You think that if you look hard enough, you can find just about anything on the Internet. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough but when I searched for Rome scavenger hunt for kids, all I came up with were some printables for teachers to use for research scavenger hunts in the classroom. So instead of spending more hours searching for something that might not exist, I figured I would create my own. So I pulled out my guide books (including Lonely Planet’s Not for Parents book), and other kids books that we read in preparation for our upcoming trip to Rome and got to work.
If you are headed to Rome on a family trip and you are worried about whether or not the kids will get bored or disinterested by touring around, print out the free printable Rome Scavenger Hunt for kids to bring along.
Just in case you need a parent cheat sheet, here are the some helpful hints:
1. The Colosseum has 80 arches, how many did your child find?
2. You will see many Gladiators around the Colosseum, eager to pose for pictures.
3. SPQR can be found all over Rome including on manholes, coats of arms, the Arch of Septimus Severus, the inscription of the Arch of Titus and many other places.
4. Remus and Romulus were the twins fathered by the god Mars and born to the Vestal Rhea Silva. They were abandoned in the Tiber River and floated to the banks of what is now Rome and were raised by a she-wolf. Romulus killed Remus and founded Rome.
5. The monument nicknamed the Wedding Cake is the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.
6. Some of the places you will see porphyry are on Roma’s dress and St. Helen’s altar in S. Maria in Aracoeli in Capitoline Hill and in St. Peter’s Basilica to start.
7. Bocca della Verita is found on the portico of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Piazza Bocca della Verita between the Tiber and Circus Maximus.
8. Circus Maximus is a good place for kids to run around and expend some energy.
9. The 13 obelisks are found at: Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Navona, Piazza Minerva, Piazza della Trinita dei Monti, Piazza dell’Esquilino, Piazza della Rotunda, Piazza di Montecitorio, St. John Lateran, Piazza del Quirinale, Pincio Gardens on the Piazza Napoleon, Villa Celimontana, Piazza dei Cinquecento, and Piazza San Pietro.
10. On the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, there are doves on the papal escutcheons being straightened by the Danube and the Nile, on the iron fence of S. Agnese and on the top of the obelisk.
11. An oculus (a large circular hole) is in the ceiling of the Pantheon.
12. The Barberini bees can be found at Palazzo Barberini, Fontana del Tritone (under the merman), in the north corner of Piazza Barberini on the Fontana delle Api on the marble clam shell, throughout the Vatican Museums (in particular on the frescoed walls of the Gallery of Maps), and in St Peter’s Basilica on the baldacchino above the main altar and on Urban VIII’s tomb in the apse to the right. Also on the stained glass windows in the church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli on the Capitoline Hill and the Borromini-designed church of Sant’Ivo by Piazza Navona.
13. It is 323 steps to the Dome’s lantern terrace.
14. Looks for the stars for the Cathedral of Seville and St. Paul’s in London.
15. Search for these crests throughout the Vatican Museum and keep a tally.
16. You can see the Dome of St. Peter’s through the keyhole.
17. This refers to the Castel Sant’Angelo.
18. The pyramid of Caius Cestius is in front of the Protestant cemetery where poets Keats and Shelley are buried.
Pizza and gelato — this up to you! I’d recommend at least once a day 😉
If you use this Rome scavenger hunt, I’d love to hear how it goes so be sure to come back and leave me a comment.
For more ideas on scavenger hunts or things to look for around Rome, be sure to read Rome with Kids by J. M. Pasquesi.
Photo credit: Featured photo is from ewiemann on Flickr via the Creative Commons License and has been cropped.