Taking a child on an aeroplane at any time can be a challenge. We took our toddler on an adventure to Rome. Back in December, we booked our trip, part of the idea behind it was that we could see how Jaxon coped with a short flight before taking him on a longer one. You can find Day One here.
Now that it was about eleven hours after we’d all climbed into bed exhausted from the day before. We realised how rock hard the beds were. I did wonder if this was just comparing to my over squishy (in need of replacing) mattress at home. Then again maybe it was an Italian thing. Anyway, we were all grateful for the sleep that we did get. Jaxon was disorientated by not being in his usual bed and this meant he wanted out as soon as he was allowed. He hadn’t settled well the night before but once the tiredness took over I don’t think he cared. He wanted to get out almost as soon as he woke up but I think this was also his normal toddler ways. My alarm clock is Jaxon punching me in the ribs most mornings.
While the boys headed to the kitchen to get breakfast, I had a little more time to come too. I looked out of the windows and was so incredibly grateful to see the sunshine. I really did not want to spend the day trudging around Rome if it was downpouring again like the day before.
Chris made toast for Jaxon and convinced him to eat some which meant the day was already starting on a good note. Our Sidekick and I ended up holding on for breakfast while we were out due to the amount of bread we had to last between the three non-GF eaters. Getting breakfast for Jaxon was the priority – we could wait (and eat cake or pastry if needed for breakfast!)
With the amount we were trying to pack into the day I made sure we had plenty of changing kit with us for Jaxon. I got this packed down into my little handbag rather than using my larger hand luggage bag as the changing bag which had been one of my plans. Chris had loaded his rucksack up with packed lunches for us.
Our first adventure was to the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin following the instructions were given to us by the landlady of the flat. Look at that beautiful blue sky. There was a chill in the air but it was a lovely day in the sunshine so that was keeping us warm. Outside the church, there is the Bocca Della Verità (The Mouth of Truth). The story there is that. You put your hand in the mouth of the statue and tell a lie, it will bite your hand off. (You can see the clip here)
From the church, we walked around the building up to Circo Massimo. As it was a Saturday morning there were a lot of runners doing laps. We started from the far end of the loop walking towards the visitor information boards. As we were walking, Chris and I were discussing what the area was for. We both commented how it was probably something to do with chariot racing and when we got to the information board that’s exactly what it was.
Even though it’s January, that sky is just so blue! Clearly, we just hog grey rainy days here in the UK.
It was fascinating. I think we could have gone round all the buildings but we would have had to pay for that bit. With Chris’s directions, we took the tram from Circo Massimo to the Colosseum. First of all, we went to get some gelato for Chris and a sandwich for me. I had thought about getting gelato but I hadn’t actually had any breakfast. As much as I love ice cream, I couldn’t really do it with Jaxon watching! He would have wanted ice cream too. We ended up splitting a ham and cheese sandwich.
The Colosseum had been on my list of places to see for a number of years. I had hoped to go inside to explore but the queues were crazy to get tickets. After walking around the outside of the Colosseum we headed around the outside of Palatino (one of the hills of Rome). We ended up going to two churches that are near the Colosseum and Palatino. One of the churches we went to was the Basilica di Santa Francesca Romana. (Turns out that Santa Francesca Romana is the patron saint of car drives because of a legend that an angel used to light her way). The other church was la Chiesa di San Sebastiano al Palatino. One of the two was an accidental discovery after Chris had misread the map.
After exploring these bits we headed up along Via Dei Fori Imperiali and stopped for our lunch, across the road from the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) monument. There were a bunch of guys busking on the street so we had music to accompany our picnic lunch.
We headed further along Via Dei Fori Imperiali past the monument. After a little research, I found out that it’s built in honour of Victor Emmanual who was the first King of a unified Italy. Construction was started in 1885 and finished in 1925. There’s also a tomb for an unknown soldier as well as on the roof there are four chariot riders.
Next, we headed to the Fontana di Trevi. This one was on my list of places to go, so was very excited about it. While Jaxon and Chris explored the fountain a bit more, I stood back from the crowds and watched. It was too crowded for me right next to the fountain, also Our Sidekick and Chris were being a bit grumpy at each other so I needed a bit of a time out. Our Sidekick went for a look round United Colors of Benetton which faces the fountain.
From there we wandered up to Via del Tritone but on the way tried to find somewhere to change Jaxon’s nappy. We ended up visiting a museum called Crypta Balbi. It’s part of the National Roman Museum. The museum was really interesting and we were able to find a toilet to change Jaxon’s Nappy (Yes that’s the biggest issue we found in the room was the lack of changing facilities. Fortunately, with Jaxon being in pull-ups we are generally able to change him standing up so he’s not having to lie on the floor).
The museum is on the ground of what was Campus Martius which was a bit like the village green historically. It’s pretty much between two churches – Santa Caterina dei Funari and Chiesa di Santo Stanislao dei Polacchi. After that, we wandered around some more shops. Chris and Our Sidekick were still grumpy at one another so we decided to call it quits and we would catch the bus back to the apartment.
I told Chris he needed to chose what was happening for dinner and he formulated a plan. We ended up back at Il Maggiolino as it was definite that they would be able to cater to him. The waiter remembered us from the night before. He directed us to a table then grabbed the mat to identify Chris’s gluten free meal. Our order was pretty much exactly the same as it had been the night before and again the service was great and we couldn’t fault it.
On our way back to the apartment following dinner, we went to a different Pane e Pane branch. This time we were served by a really lovely lady who took the order in English.
Although Jaxon probably should have gone straight to bed once we got back. He was allowed to have a dessert/treat that we had bought in Pane e Pane. As you can see it went everywhere and Chris had to assist with clean up duty.
It was a great end to Day 2. Jaxon was such a good boy all day. I’m pretty sure not every toddler would have handled the day as well as he did.