Rome with Children: Preparation, Flight and Hotel

IMG_3102Tickets: We flew to Rome with Alitalia. We purchased out tickets way in advance (November/December) of our trip in August. We paid pretty decent price compared to summer prices, about $750 per seat. The plane takes off in the afternoon from Chicago and arrives Rome early morning. So you get to sleep during the flight.
IMG_2220Flight: Alitalia flies old model planes. It doesn’t even say Alitalia on their planes, instead it says Air One. We fly Turkish Airlines to Istanbul every year and we have been pretty spoiled with amenities. Here, there are no personal screens or…
IMG_2226…flight packet with sleeping mask, earplugs and anti-skid socks. What’s more, the two reading lights above us could not be turned off. However, I must say the crew was very helpful and courteous. One of them prepared this make shift lamp share cover which came very handy while the kids were asleep. It had decent meals and snacks.
IMG_2228Sleep/Time Zones: Since we fly to Europe every summer, I have a routine to make the kids go to sleep. I make a tent using blankets, kids put on their sleeping masks and ear plugs, and I make whatever I can do to fall asleep. I sing lullabies, tell stories, scratch their back. I try to get the middle 4 seats to help them sleep comfortably. Once they sleep about 5 hours or so,  it’s much easier to adapt to time zones. I keep them awake until bed time and go to bed at local time. Rome is GMT+1, CST+7 hrs.
IMG_3317Equipment rental: Before we arrived in Rome, we decided to rent a stroller. We don’t use stroller anymore but we figured, especially my 5 year-old daughter could not handle the long daily walks. I could not risk carrying 40 lbs around Rome. We rented our stroller from Babyriders.it. The rental / payment transaction was very smooth. The stroller arrived to our hotel on time. It was a clean, good quality stroller. It was an expense well worth. My son even helped us push it. We left at the hotel before our departure.
IMG_3541Hot weather: Another important preparation was for possible hot weather. My children grew up in the arctic zone, Chicago. My son’s relationship with son and hot weather is like Superman and cryptonite. He pretty much stops functioning above 85F. We got these battery-operated spraying fans from Dalyan, a beach town on the Aegean coast of Turkey. I saw the blue one in Walgreens few weeks ago. The white one was half the price and quieter, but the fan head wasn’t as sturdy and came off after few days in our backpacks. The weather in Rome during our stay was perfect for me, but during high sun around noon these spraying fans saved my kids’ and my lives.
IMG_3193 Hotel: We used Rome Shuttle Limousine service to get to our hotel from the Rome Fiumicino Airport and back. The cost was $50 one way for a van that fit 5 people and 5 big, 5 small suitcases. My husband did an extensive research to find our hotel and I can say he did a pretty god job. We stayed at Hotel Nerva. It was in a walking distance from the Roman Forum and Colosseum. We walked to Via Cavour for dinner and gelato few nights and there was a really nice Piazza nearby that people gathered at nights.
IMG_5740Our room was quite big, suitable for a family of 4-5. We had a 1 king, and 3 queen beds in the room. We were able to fit our luggage and everything. The A/C was working fine.
IMG_5739The bathroom was royal. It even had a bidet.

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