Family trip to Rome for Easter


#1

My husband needs to go to Italy for a work trip next month and invited me to come along. I suggested we go at Easter time so we could to to the papal mass in St. Peter’s square and he thought it sounded like a great idea. BTW, my husband isn’t Catholic or religious, so this is a huge step for us.

We will be travelling with our 15 month old daughter. Any advice from those who have been there is most appreciated. Thanks so much!


#2

What a blessing!! The trip in itself, and the fact that your husband is open to this despite not being Catholic. Perhaps this will spark something in him – you never know how God will work in our lives to bring us close to Him. :wink: :smiley:

When our DD was about 18 months old we flew to another state (not nearly as long as your flight to Rome will be) and something we found very helpful was definitely having a pacifier and bottle (of milk, juice, water, whatever) ready for takeoff and landing. The sucking helped with the pressure difference so it didn’t hurt her ears and she was fine. (I hope this will work for your DD too!)

Have a wonderful time!! God bless you and your family! :smiley:


#3

If you take a stroller, take a very sturdy one that can handle cobblestones and curbs, and it should be rather compact, as you’re going to be moving around in big crowds in narrow streets. You may want to carry her on your back in a backcarrier frame for events like the Mass at St. Peter’s Basillica.

Wear very, very comfortable shoes. Take two pairs so that you can alternate them, unless you literally have perfect shoes that will never rub or bother you at all.

Although the weather will probably be too cool for this to be an issue, if you ever want to go sleeveless, carry some sort of lightweight shawl to throw over your shoulders so you can go into churches.

Go into various churches on a whim. You can’t tell from the outside what you’ll find on the inside.

Don’t be afraid to be rude if a begger gets too persistant. It’s a common tactic to distract you by touching you or maybe getting between you and your child, etc. If a begger gets so far as to grab ahold of your arm (as happened to me), be very assertive and get away from them. There are absolutely beggers who will go into churches, climb into the pews, and grab your arms begging while trying to steal your purse. This nearly happened to me and the sacristan had to interfere violently. This happened at St. Susanna, the “American Parish” and I think they target Americans, who are naive and too polite to actually get physical.


#4

ricksteves.com/

Tons of great advice, and has a section devoted to travel with kids.

Call your Diocese also, they will be able to give you good advice.


#5

I’m not sure but I *think *you have to have a pass for Easter Vigil. Check that out.

The only problem with a little one is that you have to be at the basillica hours before mass just to get in and then it’s mass chaos once the doors are open to get to the front or at least on the center. Once you’re in you have to wait hours again before mass starts. It can be very difficult with a toddler. It can be done, just prepare yourself. I definately second the backback for the baby. So much easier than a stroller. Europe is not at all stroller or handicapped friendly.

Also, not sure about Rome itself, but where we lived whole area of the country shut down from Good Friday to Easter Monday. I mean nothing was open. Make sure you pack everything you think you might need. Normally I wouldn’t say that, but during Holy Week you don’t know what will be open.


#6

In the mid-1990s, I attended Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the Vatican, and we did indeed need a ticket or pass to get in. I’m not sure if you need them now, or if you’d need one on Easter, though I would guess that you would.

I got mine from a contact I had at the cultural attache office at the American embassy, so you might check with the embassy.

And, at least back then, we did have to line up at about 7 or 8 pm outside in order to get “good” seats inside, so it could be a long wait with a little one.

At the time, I had been away from the church (and it would be another 10-12 years before I would return). Now that I’m back at church and loving it, how I wish I could go there again!

As for the rest of Rome - good things to see are:

-the Pantheon
-the Vatican Museum
-the Scavi
-the Catacombs and via Appia Antica/church of San Sebastiano

Enjoy!

S.


#7

I was in Rome last year the right before Palm Sunday and it was very crowded. The weather was mild.

Watch out for long lines and pick pockets; if you carry a back pack, turn it around and carry it in front of you.

Take a camera because you will have a WONDERFUL time.


#8

pnac.org/general/visiting_vatican.htm

I would email these guys. We were in Rome this past January and found their office to be by far the most helpful.

The thing that we found most challenging about Rome was getting around. There are so many small streets that maps are at time useless. My sister told me a friend of hers used her Garmin (not sure of the spelling) which allows you to put in a destination address, and carried it around. I take it that it was international. We stayed at a hotel, but I found there were a lot of condos/apartments that we could have stayed in for less money. With a baby the kitchen would be a big help, especially for breakfast. We had a really hard time finding a good breakfast in Rome. We didn’t use the subway system this past visit, but had used it on a previous visit and found it to be crowded. Oh and be forwarned, the drivers in Rome are like no other. Look out.
We had the best time and can not wait to go back.


closed #9

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