Rome for kids can, let's face it, be a bit tedious. Ancient Roman art and architecture which may fascinate older people and even hold the attention of teenagers for a while will not mean a great deal to a six year old.
And yet Italy for kids is a brilliant place. Children and the family are right at the core of Italy's culture and kids in Rome will be made welcome in all sorts of unexpected ways - a free piece of fruit from a market stall, a sweet treat in a restaurant, a cry of "Auguri" as local people peer into a newborn's pushchair.
So in such a family-orientated culture it's private cinema hardly surprising that there are plenty of things to do in Rome for kids, if you know where to look.
Here's the second of our articles to help you out when your kids are calling "time" on culture.
Go clothes shopping!
Shopping is probably not high on the list of priorities when you think about activities in Rome. But Italy is a country of style and fashion, and young Italian people take a real pride in what they wear.
For that reason there are lots of trendy clothes shops in Rome for kids, from babies right through to young adults. Where you'll go to find them depends on how much you want to spend. Try 'I Pinco Pallino' on the Via del Babuino for an Italian designer brand which is well known in Italy and Russia but not many other places. It's quite expensive because the clothes here are handmade of the very finest of materials, but they're colourful, trendy and above all, fun to wear. Even if you only buy one small item for your kids to take home to show their friends - do it.
For a less expensive option have a walk down the Via del Corso or the Via Nazionale, where you'll find up to the minute clothes shops for both girls and boys. Miss Sixty is the present favoured designer for young women in Rome.
Kids love wearing these clothes, and teenagers particularly will take great pleasure in telling their friends back home that they're dressed by an Italian designer.
Italian entertainment in the park.
Tourists often spend a relatively short time in Rome, and are understandably keen to see all the famous sights the city has to offer. However, that can sadly mean that they miss out on some of the city's wonderful natural beauty spots.
Italians know better, and the Borghese Park is one of the local sources of real Italian entertainment which Romans themselves delight in, while tourists miss out while they're busy tiring themselves and their kids out by rushing round ancient monuments.
Apart from the 148 acres of parkland and beautiful (and very romantic) pathways, it's home to a lovely family run cafe - bar (where the Mamma just adores kids!), a tiny cinema, a puppet theatre, roller-blade and bike rental, fifteen fountains (see if your kids can find them all!) and a small lake complete with boat rental. It's also home to Rome Zoo, which we described in our first article.
If you're with your kids in Rome on a Sunday it's a particularly lively place to be : Italian families tend to come out for a Sunday morning stroll before disappearing for the all important family lunch. Our favourite way of getting round the park is renting a multi-person pedal bike : it seats up to six and kids love telling their parents to pedal faster as they struggle up the hills.
Great fun - don't miss it.
OK, so it's a museum and kids might have seen enough of museums in Rome to last them a lifetime. But this one is different because it's the only museum in Rome for younger kids. Designed for the under 12s, it's very 'hands-on' and although the museum's aim is educational, it's fun at the same time.
It's broken into four sections where even very young people can experience various things from everyday life they would never normally get the chance to do until they're all grown up, from 'driving' a fire engine to changing a car wheel to helping produce a T.V. programme.
The exhibits are described in Italian, but everyone seems to enjoy experiencing them anyway and the kids mingle well with each other no matter what language they speak. Visits are fairly tightly structured over an hour and three quarters, starting at 9.30 and 11.30 in the morning and 3 and 5 in the afternoon. Booking's not necessary. It's closed on a Sunday.
You'll find the museum at number 80 Via Flaminio, near the Piazza del Popolo.
Cath Andrews lives in Italy and visits Rome regularly. Together with her husband Mike she has travelled extensively in Italy, Rome being one of their favourite destinations. They've discovered parts of Rome which tourists often don't get to know about and the aim of these articles, and of Cath's website, is to share those with you.