Private Kid-Friendly Tours in Rome including the Catacombs, Coliseum, St. Peter's, Sistine Chapel, Roman Forum


Private Kid-Friendly Tours in Rome
Have fun at the Catacombs, Coliseum, St. Peter's, Sistine Chapel and Roman Forum


Anyone will enjoy these tours, but they are especially designed for youngsters or for those who aren't ancient history experts. Families who visit the Eternal City have a unique opportunity to make a boring school subject come alive for their children, and it is really true that a few hours in the ruins, if done correctly, can literally change a young person's life forever. With that in mind, we asked the guides to create two exciting itineraries full of laughs and learning - and a couple of good old-fashioned scares to boot!

The Vatican & St. Peter's for Smart Kids
Half-Day San Clemente, Coliseum with Underground & Skyline View of Rome
Full-Day Catacombs, Roman Empire Museum, Coliseum & Forum
Half-Day Catacombs & San Clemente


2.5-Hour Vatican, St. Peter's & Sistine Chapel

Whether your family is religious or not, you will surely want your children to experience the art and history of the Vatican City. But let's make it fun, too! This tour starts with St. Peter's Square, where you'll learn how one lone sailor risked his life to save the monumental obelisk by shouting, "Water on the ropes!" After making the acquaintance of several dozen statues atop the colonnade, you'll climb the Dome to the very top, where you'll be able to see the whole Eternal City, including the arched secret passageway Popes used to escape marauding invaders. Afterwards, you'll have a look inside the Basilica, and continue on to see the tombs of the popes.
picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ready for a little reward? Good, because you'll stop for a soda and ice cream before strolling round the corner to the Vatican Museums. The major attractions here are the Egyptian mummies, the ancient statues and the popes' automobile museum. And let's not forget the Sistine Chapel, where you'll end the tour.

This tour is available on request any Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. It lasts 2.5 hours and does not include the secret passageway. Prices include entrance tickets at the Vatican, and personal tour guide; if you choose hotel pick-up, that transportation is also included; if your group numbers more than 6 people, whisper headsets are also included. Entrance to the Dome costs 7 Euro/person extra, paid in cash at St. Peter's. Children under 6 years old are free of charge.  Students between the ages of 6-16 receive an 8 Euro/person discount on entrance tickets.  If your group numbers more than 6, St, Peter’s Basilica requires that you purchase audio headsets at the door for 1.50 Euro/person.

2016 Prices for the Tour
Without Hotel Pick-up
1 person 276.00 Euro/group
2 people 305.00 Euro/group
3 people 333.00 Euro/group
4 people 383.00 Euro/group
5 people 412.00 Euro/group
6 people 471.00 Euro/group
7 people 500.00 Euro/group


2016 Prices for the Tour
With Hotel Pick-up
1 person 327.00 Euro/group
2 people 356.00 Euro/group
3 people 385.00 Euro/group
4 people 444.00 Euro/group
5 people 473.00 Euro/group
6 people 543.00 Euro/group
7 people 543.00 Euro/group


Full-Day Catacombs, Roman Empire Museum, Coliseum & Forum



I
f you bring children to Italy, you really owe it to them to make ancient Rome magical, and this is the tour that does it. Your guide, a longtime Rome resident, will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and travel with you by private car to the ancient Appian Way, passing the Circus Maximus, laid out below the villas of the ancient emperors, just as it was 2000 years ago.



T
he Appian Way was once the most important road in the world, and still today it maintains a feeling of faded glory. You'll see where the original marble pavers have been scarred by centuries of chariot wheels; you'll walk past the tombs of the Imperial families; you'll spot ancient road signs that have survived for two millennia. Because there is no traffic on this road, and it is surrounded by quiet Roman countryside (and the estates of a few Roman millionaires!), you can really imagine how it may have been when Spartacus led thousands of uprising slaves along its length so many years ago.





Y
ou'll also visit the most important and interesting Roman catacomb. You'll be allowed to enter on your own, without a group, and once inside your guide will distribute flashlights as you descend into the dark tunnels where clandestine Christians worshipped and were buried. You'll see the loculi where their sheet-wrapped bodies were laid to rest, and you'll learn to decipher the secret symbols that only Christians understood.

 

Next you're on your way to Mussolini's version of Imperial Rome, a neighborhood of gigantic faux-Roman monuments. One of the most impressive structures is the Museum of Ancient Civilization. Sadly neglected (but blessedly empty!), this just might be the best place on earth to ignite a youngster's interest in history. Because it is hard to get here on your own, and there are no explanations for visitors, it's the perfect place to see with a guide. Here everyone will be fascinated by brilliantly crafted models that illustrate the evolution of Rome, starting from its earliest origins.

 

A miniature of the first settlement clearly shows the Seven Hills (which today are dwarfed by apartment buildings). Nearby are cutaways of the straw huts that were inhabited by those primitive Romans. From here you'll begin to retrace the development of the insignificant riverside hamlet as it grew to become the greatest empire on earth. You'll thrill to intricate recreations of a tenement, aqueducts, baths, theatres, amphitheatres, circuses, forums, temples, streets, roads. When you get to the emperors' rooms, you will be fascinated by true-to-life models of Caesar's battles and sieges, including the bridge that his legions built across the Rhine. As your guide will explain, this was the first bridge ever to cross that mighty river. Just imagine how the terrified Germanic tribes watched and trembled while the legions erected the 1700-foot-long structure, in a mere ten days! Seeing this model, what might have been a dry history lesson suddenly comes to life!

 

The museum has many of these miniatures, each with a story your guide will relate. Because the rooms are 30 feet tall, you will also encounter many life-size recreations of long-gone monuments the Romans erected in provinces throughout the Mediterranean. You'll see a model of the Coliseum as it was then, plus warships alongside models of the harbors they sailed into, actual city gates, the family tree of Augustus (a picture of a tree with royal names pinned on its limbs!), a plastic recreation of Hadrian's villa, and life-size replicas of the dread Roman war machines.

 

All this, and you haven't even come to the stars of the museum! These are available to view on alternate days, so we can't promise whether you'll see the huge model of Constantine Rome, which was based on a 3rd BC map and is constantly updated as new discoveries are made; or the plaster casts of Trajan's Column. Built in 113 to commemorate the emperor's victories in the Dacian Wars of 101-103 and 105-106 AD, the column stands in central Rome; these perfect casts were commissioned in 1860 by Napoleon III, and show 2500 exquisitely carved soldiers embroiled in lively battle scenes.

 

Next, after a nice break for lunch, you will return by private car to the REAL Coliseum, one of the most famous monuments on earth. Here you'll skip the line and enter the amphitheatre, which originally held 50,000 spectators. Used for 500 years to host gladiatorial games and public spectacles, it was also the scene of mock naval battles, animal hunts, executions and dramas. Your guide will bring these scenes to life as you look around and remember the museum model of what it originally looked like.

 

Afterwards you'll walk next door for a stroll through the Roman Forum. What today might look like a mass of crumbling ruins will now come to life, thanks to your visit to the museum. Even after the tour as you are driven back to your hotel, and during the rest of your stay in Rome, you'll be on a scavenger hunt to find the remains of an empire that has now come to life before your very eyes!

 

These tours are available on request every day except Monday and December 25. Each tour lasts six hours (plus lunch). We regret that we cannot guarantee the chronological order of your day in advance. Prices include private car transfers as described, entrance tickets to the Coliseum & Forum, and personal tour guide. Entrance tickets to the Empire Museum & Catacombs are an extra 16 Euro/person (12 Euro/person for children) and paid for in cash on site.  Meals are not included. Children under 6 years old are free of charge.  Students between the ages of 6-16 receive a 4 Euro/person discount on entrance tickets. Available in English and Spanish.

2016 Prices for the Full-Day Tour
1 person 656.00 Euro/group
2 people 675.00 Euro/group
3 people 693.00 Euro/group
4 people 753.00 Euro/group
5 people 772.00 Euro/group
6 people 831.00 Euro/group
7 people 850.00 Euro/group



Half-Day Coliseum with Underground, San Clemente & Skyline View of Rome

 Meet your guide just behind the Coliseum and visit the arena as described above. Then, continue to visit the "backstage," which was actually underground. Here were stored the colorful fake jungles, rugged mock mountains, elaborate costumes and terrifying weaponry used above ground. This was the "Green Room" where brave men prepared to defy death before a crowd of thousands, and here were kept the beasts who would strive to kill them. Really, a visit to the Coliseum is incomplete if you don't also visit this section, newly excavated and just recently opened to the public.


Next, you'll walk a just a few blocks to discover one of the ancient city's most fascinating secrets: the church of San Clemente. This treasure trove is overlooked by most tourists, yet it is appealing for all visitors - from the most learned scholars down to kindergarten students - because its three layers include an incredibly ornate basilica, a spartan 4th-century church, and a 1st-century Roman house where Christians met secretly and pagan rituals were performed. At the very lowest level, most of which was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome identified with Nero, you can even see an underground river flowing beneath your feet!


Emerging into the lovely Roman daylight, you'll stroll past the Forum to reach your next destination, the Vittorio Emanuele monument, which locals fondly call "The Wedding Cake." After ascending a glass elevator to the top of this gleaming white structure, you will be able to see the whole Eternal City, 360 degrees of historic glory, all right before your eyes, with excellent maps to tell you what each rooftop is. Doesn't this sound a little more thrilling than being trapped in a desk while a teacher lists a bunch of dates?

This tour lasts three hours. The price of the tour includes entrance tickets to the Coliseum and personal tour guide.  Children under 6 years old pay nothing.  If your group numbers more than 9, you will hear the guide better if you purchase audio headsets at the door for 2 Euro/person. There are subway and bus stops in front of the meeting point, but if you prefer, you may be picked up at your hotel (please add the extra charges that appear in the price chart below). Available in English and Spanish.

2016 Prices for the Three-Hour Tour
1 person 332.00 Euro/group
2 people 366.00 Euro/group
3 people 400.00 Euro/group
4 people 455.00 Euro/group
5 people 489.00 Euro/group
6 people 543.00 Euro/group
7 people 577.00 Euro/group
   
2016 Prices for the Three-Hour Tour
including One-Way Transportation
From your Hotel
1 person 384.00 Euro/group
2 people 418.00 Euro/group
3 people 452.00 Euro/group
4 people 516.00 Euro/group
5 people 550.00 Euro/group
6 people 615.00 Euro/group
7 people 649.00 Euro/group




Half-Day Catacombs & San Clemente

Your guide, a longtime Rome resident, will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and travel with you by private car to the ancient Appian Way. This was once the most important road in the world, and still today it maintains a feeling of faded glory. You'll see where the original marble pavers have been scarred by centuries of chariot wheels; you'll walk past the tombs of the Imperial families; you'll spot ancient road signs that have survived for two millennia. Because there is no traffic on this road, and it is surrounded by quiet Roman countryside (and the estates of a few Roman millionaires!), you can really imagine how it may have been when Spartacus led thousands of uprising slaves along its length so many years ago.

 


Y
ou'll also visit the most important and interesting Roman catacomb. You'll be allowed to enter on your own, without a group, and once inside your guide will distribute flashlights as you descend into the dark tunnels where clandestine Christians worshipped and were buried. You'll see the loculi where their sheet-wrapped bodies were laid to rest, and you'll learn to decipher the secret symbols that only Christians understood.

 

Once again above ground, your driver will take you back to the historic center to discover one of the ancient city's most fascinating secrets: the church of San Clemente. This treasure trove is overlooked by most tourists, yet it is appealing for all visitors - from the most learned scholars down to kindergarten students - because its three layers include an incredibly ornate basilica, a spartan 4th-century church, and a 1st-century Roman house where Christians met secretly and pagan rituals were performed. At the very lowest level, most of which was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome identified with Nero, you can even see an underground river flowing beneath your feet!

This tour lasts three hours. Prices include private car and driver and personal tour guide. Entrance tickets, 16 Euro/person for adults and 12 Euro/person for children, are extra and paid for in cash on site.  Meals are not included.  Children under 6 years old are free of charge.  Students between the ages of 6-16 receive a 4 Euro/person discount on entrance tickets. Available in English and Spanish.

2016 Prices for the Half-Day Tour
1 person 381.00 Euro/group
2 people 381.00 Euro/group
3 people 381.00 Euro/group
4 people 422.00 Euro/group
5 people 422.00 Euro/group
6 people 463.00 Euro/group
7 people 463.00 Euro/group

If your group is larger, please ask us for prices.

Our Vatican tours are also perfect for introducing young children to history and art.

Click here for more information about San Clemente.