Visiting the Eternal City can be a major bucket list item for most people, but teens can be a tough crowd to please! These tips for visiting Rome with teenagers will help you navigate the city and pique their interests!
The Best Things to do in Rome with Teens
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When people ask which Italian city is best for teens, I always answer that Rome with teenagers is the best choice! It’s got history, culture, great food, and plenty of activities and tours to keep them occupied and entertained.
While it can be necessary to schedule in some downtime during any family vacation to Rome, it’s essential to have a basic schedule to avoid the “I don’t know” or “whatever” opinions you may get from your teenagers when asked what they want to do. The truth is, they might think something sounds boring until they do it…like laundry, ha! This should help you find the best things to do in Italy for teens.
Places to get that iconic shot for Instagram, but actually learn something at the same time…
1. The Colosseum and Roman Forum
Make sure you take your teens to those great iconic sites in Rome. They may think they just want that iconic shot for Instagram, but they’ll love learning about the ancient Romans they’ve been talking about in school over the years. It really brings it all to life for them.
I highly recommend going with a good small tour or hiring a private guide. Teens might get bored or lost in a large group setting. They’ll feel more comfortable opening up and asking questions with fewer people around. We love this tour with our teens. It’s a small group and the guide is great with kids and teens. They make it really relatable and fun.
Another fun idea to do in Rome with teenagers is to do a night tour of the Colosseum! It’s a little different and much less crowded.
2. The Trevi Fountain
Join the throngs of other people trying to get a picture in front of this famous fountain designed by Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini. If you want to motivate your teen to get out of bed early, you can get to the Fontana di Trevi just after sunrise to beat the crowds for a great picture.
3. The Spanish Steps
Another site best seen early in the morning before the crowds descend. The Spanish Steps are an iconic site in Rome that was closed for renovation the last few years but recently opened up again. Sitting and eating on the steps is looked down upon, but feel free to walk up and down.
4. The Pantheon
Another place full of history, but also an iconic shot, especially early in the morning. Be sure to go inside and check out the amazing art and sculptures, and check out the famous oculus in the roof.
5. The Vatican & Sistine Chapel
Once your teens have had their fill of ancient Rome, move on to Rome’s Catholic and artistic history by visiting the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. I’ll be totally honest, this can be a really boring stop if you don’t play your cards right.
The only way I recommend doing the Vatican is by taking the Pristine Sistine tour from Walks of Italy. This tour allows you to see the Sistine Chapel before the entrance time. I’ve done this tour and also gone without a tour and it’s night and day. I’ll never go after opening time again.
Activities and Classes to Keep Teens Busy and Active in Rome
6. Villa Borghese Gardens
If your teenagers love being outdoors and need some green space to run around and get their energy out, the Borghese Gardens are a great place, not only full of nature but also history. You can wander the beautiful pathways or rent Segways to explore the park.
7. Vespa Tour
This is one of my favorite things to do in Rome with teenagers! Your teens will get a real kick out of this Vespa Tour. It’s a super fun way to get around the city and also learn some incredible history! The guides on this tour are fantastic and make the tour really entertaining. It’s also a great way to get an overview of Rome, so I always recommend doing it toward the beginning of your trip.
The best thing about this tour is that your teens (or you) don’t actually have to drive a Vespa in Rome. You get to sit on the back while your guides whisk you around. It’s so much fun!
8. Take a Food Tour
It’s usually easy to get teenagers involved in a destination when there is food involved! Especially when it’s Italian food. Italy has some of the easiest food to entice teens with like pizza, pasta, and gelato. But you’ll probably find some other new things to try that they might love. Check out this great list of what to eat in Italy.
It can be hard to know where to eat when you’re in a new city, so I always recommend doing a food tour. The locals are great at knowing where to find the best food at the best prices! They won’t take you to any tourist traps! I recommend this food tour from Walks of Italy, which allows you to try different cuisine around Rome and you’ll also get to make your own pizza at the end!
9. Take a Cooking Class
If your teenagers are really into food and cooking, a cooking class can be another great way to introduce them to Rome and also to take home something home with them….a new skill! Maybe it will come in handy when they go off to college!
We love this cooking class with my friend Sylvia. She is amazing with teenagers and makes the class fun and educational….and of course tasty! There’s lots of cooking, but also lots of relaxing and eating. She’ll also take you to Campo di Fiori, Rome’s oldest market to explore and taste some amazing Italian food and produce options before you get started.
Tips for Visiting Rome with Teenagers
- Keep the teens fed. There ar4e plenty of pasta and pizza places all over Rome! Find a list of what to eat in Italy.
- Stop for Gelato. Gelato is quintessentially Italian, so it’s practically a cultural purchase! The cool treat and sugar pick me up will be just the thing to keep them going! Learn how to find the best gelato in Rome.
- Keep busy, but not too busy. Schedule downtime, especially during the hottest hours of the day. I prefer waking up early with my teens, taking an afternoon nap midday, and then staying out late at night.
- Try not to push the education too hard yourself. This is the beauty of hiring a guide. They’ll learn a lot more if you’re not trying to shove it down their throat. Don’t stress if it looks like they’re not paying attention. I’m always impr4essed that when my kids learn about something in school from a place they’ve been that they’re excited to spout off their knowledge that I didn’t even know they caught!
I hope this has been helpful for when you’re reading to visit Rome with teenagers. It will be a great experience for all of you!