Erica Firpo

Correspondent

  • Rome, Italy, Europe

Erica Firpo writes about art, culture and travel for online and print publications such as The Huffington Post, New York Times, Globespotters, The Guardian, BBC Travel and Cathay Pacific’s Discovery Magazine. She is Luxe Guide’s Rome editor. With Rome as home base, she loves to travel the Mediterranean in search of contemporary art and culture as well as traces of the Ancient Roman Empire.

  • On March 28, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    Where can you get the best view of Rome?

    Photo by Erica Firpo Since Rome is a city built on many hills, there are many advantageous spots to get a beautiful view of the city.  Traditionally, the Janiculum Hill (above Trastevere) has the most desirable panorama day or night, which overlooks the entire city from the west.  For a view from another country, climb the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica (in Vatican City), and you will have prime perspective on Rome’s historic center. 

    Closer to the city, the rooftop terrace at Castel Sant’Angelo has a front row view of Rome’s rooftops while the Terrazza delle Quadrighe in the very center of the city (at the monument to Victor Emanuel) looks forward into contemporary city and also back in time to the Roman Forum.  For a slightly more expensive view, book a reservation at the Cavalieri’s restaurant La Pergola, on the Montemario hill to the north of the city. There is nothing quite like watching the Eternal City glitter at your feet while having a three-star dinner.

    Hotels The First Art Hotel and Grand Hotel de la Minerve also have spectacular views of Rome from their rooftop gardens. Though not quite as all encompassing, there is nothing quite like watching the sunset drench the rooftops of Rome with a delicious beverage in hand.
  • On March 28, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the five best Rome food experiences?

    Photo by Giovanna Cozzi, burroealici.net Rome's five best food experiences can easily be organized into a brief day's itinerary of feasting.
    1. Shakerato- when the days are warm, the shakerato is the perfect and frothy start to the day. A pre-sugared, very cold espresso, the shakerato is like a morning espresso martini but without the gin and olive.  A good (read: well-equipped) bar should offer the shakerato, so walk out if it doesn't.
    2. Trapizzino- essentially a triangular pizza pocket filled with classic Roman dishes, the trapizzino is a great snack at any time of the day. Testaccio's 00100 perfected the trapizzino and fills it with braised oxtail, meatballs with in a red sauce and chicken alla cacciatore and other delicious dishes.
    3. Carbonara- when in Rome, you must taste spaghetti alla carbonara, a pasta dish of pancetta (bacon), pecorino (cheese) and egg.  To me, it is the perfect comfort food. Word on the street is that Roscioli and Pipero al Rex make the best carbonara. Best to try both.
    4. Carciofo alla Giudia and/or Puntarelle- there is nothing that brings a smile to my face more quickly than the cruch of a well-made carciofo alla giudia, fried Roman artichokes, to describe it simply. Artichoke season, late November through May, peaks in February, so avoid eating out of season.  When in need of a something more piquant and even more local, I'll order puntarelle, the crispy points of chicory in an anchovy, lemon and garlic dressing.  Like the artichoke, puntarelle are seasonal with autumn as best.
    5. Gelato- gelato in Rome has increasing become more en vogue and specialized, with gelaterie offering bespoke flavors along with traditional favorites like Stracciatella, Cioccolato and Fragola. For gelato recommendation, review the best places for gelato question where Forbes expert voice their opinions.
  • On March 28, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the five best Rome food experiences?

    Photo by Giovanna Cozzi, burroealici.net Rome's five best food experiences can easily be organized into a brief day's itinerary of feasting.
    1. Shakerato- when the days are warm, the shakerato is the perfect and frothy start to the day. A pre-sugared, very cold espresso, the shakerato is like a morning espresso martini but without the gin and olive.  A good (read: well-equipped) bar should offer the shakerato, so walk out if it doesn't.
    2. Trapizzino- essentially a triangular pizza pocket filled with classic Roman dishes, the trapizzino is a great snack at any time of the day. Testaccio's 00100 perfected the trapizzino and fills it with braised oxtail, meatballs with in a red sauce and chicken alla cacciatore and other delicious dishes.
    3. Carbonara- when in Rome, you must taste spaghetti alla carbonara, a pasta dish of pancetta (bacon), pecorino (cheese) and egg.  To me, it is the perfect comfort food. Word on the street is that Roscioli and Pipero al Rex make the best carbonara. Best to try both.
    4. Carciofo alla Giudia and/or Puntarelle- there is nothing that brings a smile to my face more quickly than the cruch of a well-made carciofo alla giudia, fried Roman artichokes, to describe it simply. Artichoke season, late November through May, peaks in February, so avoid eating out of season.  When in need of a something more piquant and even more local, I'll order puntarelle, the crispy points of chicory in an anchovy, lemon and garlic dressing.  Like the artichoke, puntarelle are seasonal with autumn as best.
    5. Gelato- gelato in Rome has increasing become more en vogue and specialized, with gelaterie offering bespoke flavors along with traditional favorites like Stracciatella, Cioccolato and Fragola. For gelato recommendation, review the best places for gelato question where Forbes expert voice their opinions.

  • On March 28, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the five best Rome food experiences?

    Photo by Giovanna Cozzi, burroealici.net Rome's five best food experiences can easily be organized into a brief day's itinerary of feasting.
    1. Shakerato- when the days are warm, the shakerato is the perfect and frothy start to the day. A pre-sugared, very cold espresso, the shakerato is like a morning espresso martini but without the gin and olive.  A good (read: well-equipped) bar should offer the shakerato, so walk out if it doesn't.
    2. Trapizzino- essentially a triangular pizza pocket filled with classic Roman dishes, the trapizzino is a great snack at any time of the day. Testaccio's 00100 perfected the trapizzino and fills it with braised oxtail, meatballs with in a red sauce and chicken alla cacciatore and other delicious dishes.
    3. Carbonara- when in Rome, you must taste spaghetti alla carbonara, a pasta dish of pancetta (bacon), pecorino (cheese) and egg.  To me, it is the perfect comfort food. Word on the street is that Roscioli and Pipero al Rex make the best carbonara. Best to try both.
    4. Carciofo alla Giudia and/or Puntarelle- there is nothing that brings a smile to my face more quickly than the cruch of a well-made carciofo alla giudia, fried Roman artichokes, to describe it simply. Artichoke season, late November through May, peaks in February, so avoid eating out of season.  When in need of a something more piquant and even more local, I'll order puntarelle, the crispy points of chicory in an anchovy, lemon and garlic dressing.  Like the artichoke, puntarelle are seasonal with autumn as best.
    5. Gelato- gelato in Rome has increasing become more en vogue and specialized, with gelaterie offering bespoke flavors along with traditional favorites like Stracciatella, Cioccolato and Fragola. For gelato recommendation, review the best places for gelato question where Forbes expert voice their opinions.

  • On March 28, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    Where are the best cocktails in Rome?

    Daniele Gentile, Micca Club, Photo by Diageo Hands down, my favorite place for a cocktail in Rome is the Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar.  Though higher priced than most Rome bars, the Stravinskij Bar is the gold standard for both atmosphere ~ a lovely hidden garden in the center of Rome~  and extraordinarily made cocktails.  French Mojito, anyone?  Across town, near Campo de’ Fiori is the quieter PierLuigi restaurant.  Hidden to the side, PierLuigi’s has a tiny, design bar with an excellent bartender whose Manhattans make me feel like an Uptown girl.  Around the corner and open only from midnight to 4 am is the Jerry Thomas Project, a speakeasy inspired by Boardwalk Empire, with cocktails to match the Jazz Age. Reservations are required.

    When on the other side of town, Caffè Propaganda, a restaurant near the Colosseum, wins for the most stylish bar with lovely stemware and beautiful chandeliers. The bartenders are not afraid to make anything with flair. One friend swears by their Cosmpolitans.  Micca Club in the nearby Piazza Vittorio/train station area, has boasting rights to southern Italy’s best bartender.  Daniele Gentili won this January's Diageo Reserve World Class bartending semi-final and will be hopefully representing Italy for the July 2013 World Championship.  His signature drink? Frankie loves Rome- a cappuccino-inspired cocktail of Tanqueray No. 10, meringue, lime and Frangelico.

    If looking for excellent cocktails in a more casual environment, head over to Morrison’s in Prati, a very kitsch Irish pub (make a note of the Gaelic writing on the walls) where bartenders make their own bitters and finesse epic drinks like the Martinez. Two of Morrison’s bar staff have also taken center ring at Barnum Cafe, near Campo de’ Fiori, in Rome’s historic center.

    Look out for Misceliamo, a new entry to Rome’s cocktail scene and located at the First Art Hotel by Piazza del Popolo. Misceliamo is all about mixology, and intends on making the best cocktails in Rome. The all-white lounge bar has a slightly Clockwork Orange vibe, but I have my eye on summers at the rooftop terrace.
  • On March 28, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    Where are the best cocktails in Rome?

    Daniele Gentile, Micca Club, Photo by Diageo Hands down, my favorite place for a cocktail in Rome is the Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar.  Though higher priced than most Rome bars, the Stravinskij Bar is the gold standard for both atmosphere ~ a lovely hidden garden in the center of Rome~  and extraordinarily made cocktails.  French Mojito, anyone?  Across town, near Campo de’ Fiori is the quieter PierLuigi restaurant.  Hidden to the side, PierLuigi’s has a tiny, design bar with an excellent bartender whose Manhattans make me feel like an Uptown girl.  Around the corner and open only from midnight to 4 am is the Jerry Thomas Project, a speakeasy inspired by Boardwalk Empire, with cocktails to match the Jazz Age. Reservations are required.

    When on the other side of town, Caffè Propaganda, a restaurant near the Colosseum, wins for the most stylish bar with lovely stemware and beautiful chandeliers. The bartenders are not afraid to make anything with flair. One friend swears by their Cosmpolitans.  Micca Club in the nearby Piazza Vittorio/train station area, has boasting rights to southern Italy’s best bartender.  Daniele Gentili won this January's Diageo Reserve World Class bartending semi-final and will be hopefully representing Italy for the July 2013 World Championship.  His signature drink? Frankie loves Rome- a cappuccino-inspired cocktail of Tanqueray No. 10, meringue, lime and Frangelico.

    If looking for excellent cocktails in a more casual environment, head over to Morrison’s in Prati, a very kitsch Irish pub (make a note of the Gaelic writing on the walls) where bartenders make their own bitters and finesse epic drinks like the Martinez. Two of Morrison’s bar staff have also taken center ring at Barnum Cafe, near Campo de’ Fiori, in Rome’s historic center.

    Look out for Misceliamo, a new entry to Rome’s cocktail scene and located at the First Art Hotel by Piazza del Popolo. Misceliamo is all about mixology, and intends on making the best cocktails in Rome. The all white lounge bar has a slightly clockwork orange vibe, but I have my eye on summers at the rooftop terrace.
  • On March 28, 2013
    Donald Strachan is now following Erica Firpo
  • On March 27, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    Where are the best cocktails in Rome?

    Daniele Gentile, Micca Club, Photo by Diageo Hands down, my favorite place for a cocktail in Rome is the Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar.  Though higher priced than most Rome bars, the Stravinskij Bar is the gold standard for both atmosphere ~ a lovely hidden garden in the center of Rome~  and extraordinarily made cocktails.  French Mojito, anyone?  Across town, near Campo de’ Fiori is the more quiet PierLuigi restaurant.  Hidden to the side, PierLuigi’s has a tiny, design bar with an excellent bartender whose Manhattans make me feel like an Uptown girl.  Around the corner and open only from midnight to 4 am is the Jerry Thomas Project, a speakeasy inspired by Boardwalk Empire, with cocktails to match the Jazz Age. Reservations are required.

    When on the other side of town, Caffè Propaganda, a restaurant near the Colosseum, wins for the most stylish bar with lovely stemware and beautiful chandeliers. The bartenders are not afraid to make anything with flair. One friend swears by their Cosmpolitans.  Micca Club in the nearby Piazza Vittorio/train station area, has boasting rights to southern Italy’s best bartender.  Daniele Gentili won this January's Diageo Reserve World Class bartending semi-final and will be hopefully representing Italy for the July 2013 World Championship.  His signature drink? Frankie loves Rome- a cappuccino-inspired cocktail of Tanqueray No. 10, meringue, lime and Frangelico.

    If looking for excellent cocktails in a more casual environment, head over to Morrison’s in Prati, a very kitsch Irish pub (make a note of the Gaelic writing on the walls) where bartenders make their own bitters and finesse epic drinks like the Martinez. Two of Morrison’s bar staff have also taken center ring at Barnum Cafe, near Campo de’ Fiori, in Rome’s historic center.

    Look out for Misceliamo, a new entry to Rome’s cocktail scene and located at the First Art Hotel by Piazza del Popolo. Misceliamo is all about mixology, and intends on making the best cocktails in Rome. The all white lounge bar has a slightly clockwork orange vibe, but I have my eye on summers at the rooftop terrace.
  • On March 27, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    Where are the best cocktails in Rome?

    Daniele Gentile, Micca Club, Photo by Diageo Hands down, my favorite place for a cocktail in Rome is the Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar.  Though higher priced than most Rome bars, the Stravinskij Bar is the gold standard for both atmosphere ~ a lovely hidden garden in the center of Rome~  and extraordinarily made cocktails.  French Mojito, anyone?  Across town, near Campo de’ Fiori is the more quiet PierLuigi restaurant.  Hidden to the side, PierLuigi’s has a tiny, design bar with an excellent bartender whose Manhattans make me feel like an Uptown girl.  Around the corner and open only from midnight to 4 am is the Jerry Thomas Project, a speakeasy inspired by Boardwalk Empire, with cocktails to match the Jazz Age. Reservations are required.

    When on the other side of town, Caffè Propaganda, a restaurant near the Colosseum, wins for the most stylish bar with lovely stemware and beautiful chandeliers. The bartenders are not afraid to make anything with flair. One friend swears by their Cosmpolitans.  Micca Club in the nearby Piazza Vittorio/train station area, has boasting rights to southern Italy’s best bartender.  Daniele Gentili won Diageo World Class Resever 2013 bartending semi-final and will be hopefully representing Italy for the July 2013 World Championship.  His signature drink? Frankie loves Rome- a cappuccino-inspired cocktail of Tanqueray, meringue, lime and Frangelico.

    If looking for excellent cocktails in a more casual environment, head over to Morrison’s in Prati, a very kitsch Irish pub (make a note of the Gaelic writing on the walls) where bartenders make their own bitters and finesse epic drinks like the Martinez. Two of Morrison’s bar staff have also taken center ring at Barnum Cafe, near Campo de’ Fiori, in Rome’s historic center.

    Look out for Misceliamo, a new entry to Rome’s cocktail scene and located at the First Art Hotel by Piazza del Popolo. Misceliamo is all about mixology, and intends on making the best cocktails in Rome. The all white lounge bar has a slightly clockwork orange vibe, but I have my eye on summers at the rooftop terrace.
  • On March 27, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    Where are the best cocktails in Rome?

    Daniele Gentile, Micca Club, Photo by Diageo Hands down, my favorite place for a cocktail in Rome is the Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar.  Though higher priced than most Rome bars, the Stravinskij Bar is the gold standard for both atmosphere ~ a lovely hidden garden in the center of Rome~  and extraordinarily made cocktails.  French Mojito, anyone?  Across town, near Campo de’ Fiori is the more quiet PierLuigi restaurant.  Hidden to the side, PierLuigi’s has a tiny, design bar with an excellent bartender whose Manhattans make me feel like an Uptown girl.  Around the corner and open only from midnight to 4 am is the Jerry Thomas Project, a speakeasy inspired by Boardwalk Empire, with cocktails to match the Jazz Age. Reservations are required.

    When on the other side of town, Caffè Propaganda, a restaurant near the Colosseum, wins for the most stylish bar with lovely stemware and beautiful chandeliers. The bartenders are not afraid to make anything with flair. One friend swears by their Cosmpolitans.  Micca Club in the nearby Piazza Vittorio/train station area, has boasting rights to southern Italy’s best bartender.  Daniele Gentili won Diageo World Class Resever 2013 bartending semi-final and will be hopefully representing Italy for the July 2013 World Championship.  His signature drink? Frankie loves Rome- a cappuccino-inspired cocktail of Tanqueray, meringue, lime and Frangelico.

    If looking for excellent cocktails in a more casual environment, head over to Morrison’s in Prati, a very kitsch Irish pub (make a note of the Gaelic writing on the walls) where bartenders make their own bitters and finesse epic drinks like the Martinez. Two of Morrison’s bar staff have also taken center ring at Barnum Cafe, near Campo de’ Fiori, in Rome’s historic center.

    Look out for Misceliamo, a new entry to Rome’s cocktail scene is. Located at the First Art Hotel by Piazza del Popolo. Misceliamo is all about mixology experts.  All white downstairs bar has a slightly clockwork orange vibe, but I have my eye on summers at the rooftop terrace.
  • On March 27, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    Where are the best cocktails in Rome?

    Daniele Gentile, Micca Club, Photo by Diageo Hands down, my favorite place for a cocktail in Rome is the Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar.  Though higher priced than most Rome bars, the Stravinskij Bar is the gold standard for both atmosphere ~ a lovely hidden garden in the center of Rome~  and extraordinarily made cocktails.  French Mojito, anyone?  Across town, near Campo de’ Fiori is the more quiet PierLuigi, best known as a fish restaurant, PierLuigi’s has a tiny, design bar with an excellent bartender whose Manhattans make me feel like an Uptown girl.  Around the corner and open only from midnight to 4 am is the Jerry Thomas Project, a speakeasy inspired by Boardwalk Empire, with cocktails to match the Jazz Age. Reservations are required.

    When on the other side of town, Caffè Propaganda, a restaurant near the Colosseum, wins for the most stylish bar with lovely stemware and beautiful chandeliers. The bartenders are not afraid to make anything with flair. One friend swears by their Cosmpolitans.  Micca Club in the nearby Piazza Vittorio/train station area, has boasting rights to southern Italy’s best bartender.  Daniele Gentili won Diageo World Class Resever 2013 bartending semi-final and will be hopefully representing Italy for the July 2013 World Championship.  His signature drink? Frankie loves Rome- a cappuccino-inspired cocktail of Tanqueray, meringue, lime and Frangelico.

    If looking for excellent cocktails in a more casual environment, head over to Morrison’s in Prati, a very kitsch Irish pub (make a note of the Gaelic writing on the walls) where bartenders make their own bitters and finesse epic drinks like the Martinez. Two of Morrison’s bar staff have also taken center ring at Barnum Cafe, near Campo de’ Fiori, in Rome’s historic center.

    Look out for Misceliamo, a new entry to Rome’s cocktail scene is. Located at the First Art Hotel by Piazza del Popolo. Misceliamo is all about mixology experts.  All white downstairs bar has a slightly clockwork orange vibe, but I have my eye on summers at the rooftop terrace.
  • On March 27, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    Where are the best cocktails in Rome?

    Daniele Gentile, Micca Club, Photo by Diageo Hands down, my favorite place for a cocktail in Rome is the Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar.  Though higher priced than most Rome bars, the Stravinksky Bar is the gold standard for both atmosphere ~ a lovely hidden garden in the center of Rome~  and extraordinarily made cocktails.  French Mojito, anyone?  Across town, near Campo de’ Fiori is the more quiet PierLuigi, best known as a fish restaurant, PierLuigi’s has a tiny, design bar with an excellent bartender whose Manhattans make me feel like an Uptown girl.  Around the corner and open only from midnight to 4 am is the Jerry Thomas Project, a speakeasy inspired by Boardwalk Empire, with cocktails to match the Jazz Age. Reservations are required.

    When on the other side of town, Caffè Propaganda, a restaurant near the Colosseum, wins for the most stylish bar with lovely stemware and beautiful chandeliers. The bartenders are not afraid to make anything with flair. One friend swears by their Cosmpolitans.  Micca Club in the nearby Piazza Vittorio/train station area, has boasting rights to southern Italy’s best bartender.  Daniele Gentili won Diageo World Class Resever 2013 bartending semi-final and will be hopefully representing Italy for the July 2013 World Championship.  His signature drink? Frankie loves Rome- a cappuccino-inspired cocktail of Tanqueray, meringue, lime and Frangelico.

    If looking for excellent cocktails in a more casual environment, head over to Morrison’s in Prati, a very kitsch Irish pub (make a note of the Gaelic writing on the walls) where bartenders make their own bitters and finesse epic drinks like the Martinez. Two of Morrison’s bar staff have also taken center ring at Barnum Cafe, near Campo de’ Fiori, in Rome’s historic center.

    Look out for Misceliamo, a new entry to Rome’s cocktail scene is. Located at the First Art Hotel by Piazza del Popolo. Misceliamo is all about mixology experts.  All white downstairs bar has a slightly clockwork orange vibe, but I have my eye on summers at the rooftop terrace.
  • On March 27, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the best wine bars in Rome?

    Photo by Erica Firpo In Rome, your allegiance to the local enoteca (wine bar) is on par with your fidelity to Roma or Lazio, the two local soccer teams. But since each neighborhood has several enoteche, from quaint and traditional to stylish and trendy, you are allowed a piccolo tradimento (tiny betrayal) on occasion. My favorite enoteche in Rome are:

    Il Goccetto is often considered one of the oldest wine bars in Rome and has all the rustic charm that I need for a traditional wine bar- a great selection of wines and a delicious antipasto menu. Location is perfect, a charming side street between the Tiber river and Campo de’ Fiori that side steps the college crowd.  On the other side of Campo de’ Fiori is Angolo Divino, via dei Balestrari 12, another rustic wine bar with slightly more space and a lovely wine list and antipasto menu, though availability is dependent on the owner’s whims. Another favorite in the nearby Ghetto neighborhood is Beppe e Suoi Formaggi, an incredible cheese and wine shop frequented by many gastro-tourists.

    Other neighborhood enoteche that have caught my eye and palate are Monti’s Ai Tre Scalini (unmistakable on the corner of via Panisperna and Via dei Serpenti), a rustic wine bar and the recently renovated Le Barrique at via del Boschetto 41, who’s mod remake also includes a dinner menu, and Trastevere’s quiet Uva Rara on via di San Crisogono 31.

    If looking to learn more about Lazio, head toward Piazza di Spagna to Palatium which focuses on Lazio region vintages, or else Enoteca Provincia Romana (Piazza Venezia) whose Rome-focused menu of wines also includes notable products from the region.
  • On March 27, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Rome?

    Photo by Erica Firpo Rome is a city for kids of all ages, though some think it is not quite that easy to entertain the little ones who easily can get tired and weary in a nearly 3000 year old city.  The best thing to do with kids in Rome is to get them involved, whether with history, art, culture or simply the city.

    Ancient history is more palatable when interactive-  take the kids to the Roman Forum (avoid high noon) and let them enjoy walking on the ancient Via Sacra or meandering around the Palatine hill.  For older kids, send them to school- Gladiator school, where they will learn how to fight like a Roman.  If needing to entertain all ages and the Forum doesn't suffice, head to Villa Borghese, the center's largest park which has pony rides, carousel, bikes, boats and bouncy castles, along with the vast green expanse. 

    Gelato tasting is always a hit with kids, whether comparing chocolates from Ciampini and Gelateria al Teatro in the historic center, or sampling more clever flavors at Fatamorgana in the Monti neighborhood near the Colosseum.  For a bit of a thrill, visit the Cripta dei Cappuccini in the church of Santa Maria della Concezione on Via Veneto.  The monks' cript includes an informative museum visit, but you're really going for the bones.
  • On March 27, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Rome?

    Photo by Erica Firpo Rome is a city for kids of all ages, though some think it is not quite that easy to entertain the little ones who easily can get tired and weary in a nearly 3000 year old city.  The best thing to do with kids in Rome is to get them involved, whether with history, art, culture or simply the city.

    Ancient history is more palatable when interactive-  take the kids to the Roman Forum (avoid high noon) and let them enjoy walking on the ancient Via Sacra or meandering around the Palatine hill.  For older kids, send them to school- Gladiator school, where they will learn how to fight like a Roman.  If needing to entertain all ages and the Forum doesn't suffice, head to Villa Borghese, the center's largest park which has pony rides, carousel, bikes, boats and bouncy castles, along with the vast green expanse. 

    Gelato tasting is always a hit with kids, whether comparing chocolates from Ciampini and Gelateria al Teatro in the historic center, or sampling more clever flavors at Fatamorgana in the Monti neighborhood near the Colosseum.  For a bit of a thrill, visit the Cripta dei Cappuccini in the church of Santa Maria della Concezione on Via Veneto.  The monks' cript includes an informative museum visit, but you're really going for the bones.