Family friendlyHistory, art and cultureTips and advice
Katie Sagal

Rome for Teenagers

Rome is a magical place to visit. It's bursting with that unique combination of modern life and strong historical roots. Everyone lucky enough to visit the Italian capital will likely never forget their time spend in this amazing city. But traveling with teens can occasionally be a challenge. If you’re worried about your teens getting bored, or not enjoying the best Rome attractions, check out our helpful guide to Rome for teenagers. We’ve tailored these ideas specifically to teens, making sure that everything we suggest is fun and/or enlightening for your curious kids. Check out our top attraction recommendations, tips for traveling with teens in Rome, and ways to save on Rome attractions.

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Historical Sites in Rome for Teenagers

At their age, most teens can appreciate the historical value of the many Roman antiquities and ancient buildings that dot the city. They’re great opportunities for those perfect Instagram shots, and they’re simply a cool reminder of the global past. Here are some top historical attractions for teens.

  • The Colosseum: Everyone traveling to Rome should make a point of exploring this one-of-a-kind historic site. The Colosseum, along with the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, comprise the biggest trio of historical sites in the city. They are the best way to learn about the city’s ancient history. Let your teens reflect on the past and appreciate the conservation work preserving these magnificent sites.
  • Saint Peter’s Basilica: This grand basilica boasts one of Michelangelo’s greatest works. Plus plenty more beautiful décor and artwork. On this guided tour, you’ll climb to the top of St. Peter’s Dome, walk through the Basilica, and then delve deep into the “Vatacombs.” If you’d like more time at the Basilica itself, opt for a specific Saint Peter’s Basilica Tour. Either is great for photos and learning more about Catholic history.
  • Piazza Navona Underground: Only opened to the public in 2014, Piazza Navona encompasses the ruins of the Stadium of Domitian, an impressive archeological site. It was once an athletic facility in Ancient Rome, so a visit here is a smart choice for teenage sports fans or anyone interested in gladiators. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, too, so it’s a truly special experience.
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Tours of Rome for Teenagers

One of our favorite ways to see the city is via a tour. It’s easier than trying to navigate the streets in your vehicle, and it’s often more suited for sightseeing than public transit. However, we do highly recommend using the metro system to get around. Check out these tours for teens.

  • Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour: Big Bus Rome provides one of the best and most comprehensive tours of the city. Choose from eight different stops, including the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican. Additionally, choose from four different walking tours—a bonus with your bus ticket. See the city from the comfort of a bus. Enjoy the flexibility to choose your destination, explore for a little, then board again for the next adventure.
  • Pantheon Guided Tour: One of the most recognizable buildings in Rome, the Pantheon is also among the most historically significant. A temple to the Ancient Roman gods with those signature Corinthian columns, the Pantheon is today a Catholic church. You can embark on a guided, one-hour tour of the building and snap photos of this impressive structure at your leisure.
  • Spherae Virtual Tour: Teens are all about learning through technology, so why not incorporate some high-tech elements to their sightseeing? Bring the history of Ancient Rome to life in vivid color and sound with this Spherae Virtual Tour. On this 50-minute walk from the Marcello Theater to the Trajan Forum, your teens will enjoy exciting virtual reality shots of what life could have been like in the distant past.
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Cultural Attractions in Rome for Teenagers

Rome is not only a historic city but a modern metropolitan destination with a dedication to arts and culture. People come from all around the world to enjoy the music, art, and dance of Rome. Let your teens appreciate some of that culture for themselves at one of these performances.

  • Opera Arias: It’s hard to beat this chance to enjoy an operatic medley of some of the most beautiful arias ever to be written in music history. Enjoy featured arias by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, and Rossini in a moving, inspiring show. This 90-minute performance is also prefaced with a quick pasta tasting (because why not?).
  • Pocket Opera: If you’d prefer an entire operatic performance, check out the Pocket Opera at an Italian church. This 90-minute show will delight and surprise visitors. It is the retelling of the moving story of La Traviata, which is a nineteenth-century opera by Verdi. Enjoy one of the most frequently performed operas of the modern era and show your teens the power of opera.
  • Classical Music Concert: Another way to appreciate Italian musical culture is at a concert. This classical music concert highlights the biggest masterpieces in the history of Italian music, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to the many masterpieces of Johann Sebastian Bach. It’s an exciting experience for any teen in an orchestra or concert band themselves or anyone who just appreciates a good performance.
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Outdoorsy Attractions in Rome for Teens

Finally, we’d like to highlight a few of the things that your teens can enjoy in the great outdoors. Sadly, with school, clubs, and other commitments, teens rarely get to spend as much time outside as we’d like them to. Let them enjoy fresh air on their Italian vacation with these outdoorsy ideas.

  • Horseback Riding: Get some exercise and enjoy the sun and fresh air with an invigorating horseback ride through Appia Antica Park. This two-hour excursion is a great way to indulge your love of horses while touring this new side of Italy. Appia Antica Park encompasses a few historical sites and buildings to peer at, as well as plenty of natural beauty.
  • Bike Rides: What better way to get your teens some exercise than with a leisurely bike ride? Rent a bike and have all day to pedal around Appia Antica Park. It's an expansive natural space in the heart of Rome. See Ancient Roman tombs and villas alongside a preserved Roman road. A great spot for selfies!
  • Kayak Tour: Paddle around the Lago Albano and explore Castel Gandolfo via the water. This guided kayak tour around the lake will showcase several Roman historic sites, including Roman villas (even the villa of Emperor Domitian) and submerged stilt houses. It’s also just an enjoyable experience to glide around the lake!
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Tips for Traveling with Teens in Rome

  • Selfies are encouraged in a lot of places, but they aren’t looked upon favorably at religious sites like the Vatican. Make sure your teen exercises some common sense when selfie-snapping.
  • The drinking age in Italy is 16 years old, which is quite a bit younger than it is in the United States. If you’re comfortable with your teens enjoying some Italian wine or cordials, it’s legal for them to do so.
  • If your teens enjoy Italian cuisine, sign up for a pasta-making class together. It’s a good way to bond and to fill your belly.
  • While it’s not the fashion capital that Milan is, Rome still has some great shopping. Check out Via del Corso (a well-rounded selection), Via Condotti (if you’re looking for luxury), or Via Urbano (for more boutiques).
  • What teen doesn’t love gelato? Take a gelato-making class for another way to satisfy your culinary ambitions alongside your teen.
  • Certain attractions in Rome—usually anything associated with the Catholic church—require adherence to a specific dress code. If you’re planning on visiting any of these sites, encourage your teens to dress appropriately or bring a sweater of some kind of wear while inside.
  • If your teens are interested in celebrity as well as history, pay a visit to the Museo delle Cere, a top-notch wax museum featuring realistic figures from the Pope to Pavarotti.
  • Leave some time to do fun little things like throwing a coin in Trevi Fountain. It’s the small traditions that sometimes mean the most.

Save on Admission to Teen-Friendly Rome Attractions

If you’re bringing your teens to Italy and are hoping to show them the best of Rome, grab a few Go Rome passes. You can save up to 47% on attraction admission on many of these top things to do in Rome with teens, from tours and historical sites and far beyond.

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