Hello to all my readers,
Welcome back to Blind Intuition. The last five days have been a whirlwind. Cameron and I survived a long haul flight with our toddler, Archer without killing each other and we have spent four nights in the beautiful Autumn sun in Rome, Italy. I absolutely loved Rome and will be back to visit again in the future. I wasn’t quite ready to leave as there is so much history and so much to see. We took things in our stride, as travelling with a toddler has its challenges but we’re now fairly proficient in the art of packing a day’s supplies for Archer. So what is there to do in just 3.5 days in Rome? And what do you do with a toddler? Let me tell you.
What to do in Rome in 3.5 days?
We arrived in Rome after 24 hours of travel, and yes… With a toddler! See my tips on how to travel with a toddler here and read about how our plane trip went here. We were all exhausted; so once we settled into our Hotel Crosti, we got familiar with our surroundings by going for a walk. We found the train station and kept an eye out for possible places to eat dinner. We took Archer in the stroller… Let me tell you, if you take a child under three to Rome, don’t bother with the stroller. The streets are narrow and the surfaces are very old, rocky and uneven. We ditched the stroller for the rest of our Rome visit and Cameron carried Archer in our ergo baby carrier on his back. We had dinner in a restaurant close to our hotel, but we we were all so tired, it was a bit hard to enjoy, so we came back to our hotel and literally flaked it by 7.30 pm.
We were up at 4.00 am and were ready to go. All of us had a great night’s sleep. Archer was our alarm clock. By 8:00 am we were fed; Archer’s Yum Box packed and out the door to walk to the Colosseum. When we got there we had our first taste of gelato! We got it from the train station next to the Colosseum. It was a party in our mouths and we learnt fast not to give it to Archer. As soon as we finished, Archer did the biggest tantrum- wanting more.
We then started a three hour tour of the Colosseum. There were about 12 on the tour; so it was quite nice. Archer was settled in the carrier and slept through most of the tour. If you have children under 5, I wouldn’t do a tour any more than three hours. We are really lucky that Archer is a cruiser and goes with the flow, except when food runs out! By the time the tour finished Archer was ready to stretch his legs, so we put him on his Playette puppy lead.
By the time the tour finished, we were ready to walk back to the hotel. We went out for dinner at another restaurant near the hotel, which was really nice. We flaked it by 8.00 pm.
We decided to roam the Roman streets by foot to see what this beautiful old city had to offer. We started off with the Trevi Fountain, then of course stopped off for some gelato near the Trevi. We learnt for the second time not to give Archer a taste, but it seemed a little unfair not to. We then wandered through the narrow streets, poking about the cute little shops, nooks and crannies. We came to the Pantheon and stumbled upon a half hour tour to do. This tour took us around the block, giving us the history and stories of the area. One I would highly recommend if you had kids. Inside the Pantheon was breathtaking.
We then stopped at a Pizza place on the street. The smells really drew us in. There are so many places to eat in the heart of Rome, it is so hard to pick. We had a few different kinds of pizza – absolutely to die for! We wandered back along the river, back to our hotel. Archer was in the back pack the whole time and just slept at his leisure! We got back to the hotel at about 3.30 and just chilled for the rest of the afternoon. We were too tired to go out for dinner – Archer had flaked it for the day; so Cameron went to get us some pizza to have a picnic on our hotel room floor.
This was my favourite day of the trip so far. We were up at the crack of dawn to go on a day tour to Pompeii and Naples. The bus left from the bus terminal at 7.00 am, and we endured a 3 hour bus ride to the forgotten city of Pompeii. When we got there the tour began straight away. We had a tour guide and a head set so we could hear her. The tour went for two hours- one I recommend! After the tour, we got a fresh orange juice and lunch. We got some free time to wander the markets after lunch, then it was back on the bus to Naples. In Naples we went on a double decker bus tour and learnt about the history as well as seeing some breathtaking views. We then got back on our bus to head back to Rome. We arrived in Rome at 8.30 pm. It was a long day, but all of us enjoyed every minute of it! Because we had eaten so much on our tour, we didn’t bother about dinner.
We actually packed quite a bit in to 3.5 days and I feel we saw a lot of what Rome has to offer. There’re is still so much to see and we will definitely be visiting again.
How to get around Rome with a toddler?
- A backpack or a baby carrier is a must! The streets are too difficult to get around with a stroller.
- Lots of stops to have a rest from the backpack or carrier so your toddler can run about. Archer loved the Trevi Fountain.
- Pack a lunch box with plenty of snacks. We got a few supplies to have in our hotel room and also got some extra food at our breakfast buffet at our hotel.
- Plenty of water.
- Take a harness and lead, if your toddler get’s sick of the backpack. That way they have independence while you still have control.
- You don’t come across many people with children in Rome. We saw very few. Archer was like a little celebrity and so many people entertained him with smiles and tickles and games of peek a boo. Cameron and I were so shocked with how interested people were by Archer and how keen they were to strike a conversation with us about him. It is one of the most cheerful and most friendliest place I have ever been.
- If you are on public transport, pack a couple of toys or books.
- We took a backpack with all Archer’s supplies in it. I was worried at first about pick pockets, but we didn’t come across any and were really vigilant. We kept our valuables close to us at all times.
I would highly recommend Rome to visit. With a toddler, you will experience it at a slower pace, but you can still really enjoy it. My tip is to take it all in your stride and go with the flow. A tantrum is only short lived and won’t ruin the day if you don’t let it. You need to expect restlessness and tantrums, hope for the best and deal with them as they come.
I would also recommend the hotel we stayed at: Crosti. They went out of their way to ensure we were comfortable, booked our tours and taxis, so everything ran smoothly. A buffet breakfast was part of our package each morning, which saved us money. They packed us a breakfast pack on the day of our Pompeii tour which was fantastic. It was about a half hour walk to the heart of Rome and there were plenty of restaurants around it. The room was modern and clean, however it was quite small for a family. We were happy with it though, as we only needed somewhere to sleep. There was plenty of storage to unpack our things to keep it tidy and we had a cot for Archer and a king sized bed!
Pantheon – you will run into this half hour tour outside the Pantheon. They run all day.