• amsterdam-bikes
    Amsterdam
  • amsterdam-canal-cruise
    Amsterdam Canal Cruise
  • Rhine Valley, Germany
  • Rothenburg, Germany
  • Luge Ride in the Tirol
  • Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria
  • venice-gondola-ride
    Venice, Italy
  • Pasta-Making in Tuscany
  • Pantheon in Rome

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Family Europe: Amsterdam to Rome in 14 Days Tour

Rick Steves Family Europe: Amsterdam to Rome in 14 Days makes the wonders of Europe come alive for kids — and cuts the stress for parents, too. Starting in the Netherlands and ending in Italy, your enthusiastic Rick Steves guide will introduce your family to Amsterdam’s Golden Age, Germany’s Rhine Valley and Romantic Road, castles and forests of the German-Austrian Tirol, the canals of Venice, the countryside charms of Tuscany, and the Eternal City of Rome. Join us for Family Europe: Amsterdam to Rome in 14 Days!

You may also be interested in our Family Europe: London to Florence in 13 Days tour.

Dates & Prices

Sorry, we're unable to access departure availability at this time. Please try again later or contact us at 425-608-4217, Monday-Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm.

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Kids ages 8 through 17 are welcome — and save $200
  • A full-time Rick Steves guide, tour assistant and local experts — who will make the history, art, culture — and fun! — of Europe come alive for you and your kids
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 24 group sightseeing events • Amsterdam walking tour • Amsterdam canal cruise • Anne Frank House • Rijksmuseum tour • Arnhem Open-Air Museum • Rheinfels castle tour • Rhine river cruise • Rothenburg orientation • Rothenburg Night Watchman tour • Munich orientation • Wieskirche visit • Neuschwanstein castle tour • Mountain luge (weather permitting) • South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology • Venice walking tour • Venice mask demonstration • Estense castle visit • San Gimignano visit • Hands-on pasta-making demonstration • Gardens of Bomarzo • Evening walk through Rome • Pantheon • Colosseum tour • Forum tour ...and more
  • All group transportation from Amsterdam to Rome
  • 13 nights accommodations (all stops but one are for 2 nights) in memorable, family-friendly hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff: Each household will receive a Europe Planning map. Each adult will receive a Rick Steves Best of Europe guidebook.  Each tour member will receive a French-Italian-German phrase book, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Amsterdam

Our adventure begins in the canal-laced city of Amsterdam. We’ll get together for a quick introduction meeting at our hotel at 2 p.m. Soon after, we’ll head outdoors for a “Golden Age” walking tour of Amsterdam’s historic center. We’ll see the colorful flower market, the idyllic Begijnhof, and the bustling Dam Square (overlooked by the Royal Palace). We’ll stop to grab a traditional Dutch snack before hopping on a canal boat for a floating sightseeing tour of the city. Back on shore, we’ll get to know each other during dinner together, and learn how to take a sleek, efficient tram ride back to our hotel. Sleep in Amsterdam (2 nights). Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 2: Eye-Opening Amsterdam

This morning starts with a self-guided tour of the Anne Frank House, where the teenage writer and her family hid from the Nazis for two years during WWII. After time for reflection and lunch on your own, we’ll rendezvous as a group and hop a tram to the Rijksmuseum. There we’ll enjoy an eye-opening tour through one of the world’s greatest collections of paintings, including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Afterwards, you’ll be free for the rest of the day to visit the nearby Van Gogh Museum, stroll or bike through Vondelpark, or make more discoveries on your own. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: To Arnhem and Germany

We’ll meet our coach and driver this morning and make the short drive to Arnhem’s amazing open-air museum. As we wander around the perfectly-restored windmills, farm houses, gardens, shops and peasant huts, we’ll get a hands-on experience of what life was like for people here in centuries past. We’ll gather for a traditional lunch of Dutch pancakes before heading south into Germany and into the Rhine river valley. There we’ll get nestled into our very quaint, very old hotel, and have dinner together. Sleep in Bacharach (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Rhine Castles and Cruising

This morning we’ll sleep in a bit before heading to the nearby Rheinfels Castle — a mighty fortress that towers over the banks of the Rhine. A guided tour will show us what fortress life was like back in the day. We’ll regroup for a tasty picnic lunch in a park by the river, then it’s all aboard! A boat will take us on a smooth river cruise, past miles of vineyards, villages and more castles (including one that pokes out of the river). Back at our “home village” your evening will be free for more wandering and dinner on your own. Boat: 1 hr. Bus: 1/2 hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Medieval Rothenburg

After an early breakfast we’ll pack up and head for the jewel of medieval Germany, the perfectly-preserved walled town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This is an ideal place to explore, on your own, whatever interests you — from the pointy towers of the town’s walkable wall to the creepy Crime and Punishment Museum to acres of cute shops and photo ops. After a break for dinner on your own, tag along on this evening’s very entertaining Night Watchman’s tour. Sleep in Rothenburg (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 6: Munich and Austrian Tirol

This morning’s destination is the easy-going city of Munich. We’ll get oriented at the Viktualienmarkt — an outdoor farmers market, beer garden and park, all rolled into one. You’ll have time to assemble a lunch and share a picnic table, then wander through the city’s pedestrian-friendly center. This afternoon we’ll drive into the Bavarian countryside, stopping to learn why Germany’s fanciest Rococo-style church, the Wieskirche, sits in the middle of a cow pasture. Winding our way into the foothills of the Alps, we’ll cross the border into Austria and arrive at our Tirolean guest house in time for a hearty dinner together. Sleep in or near Reutte. Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Neuschwanstein and the Luge

We’ll begin our day with a short drive and a hilly forest hike up to Germany’s most famous castle (the one that inspired Disney) — Neuschwanstein. We’ll have a guided tour of the castle’s furnished rooms, followed by free time to hike a bit further up to Mary’s Bridge over the Pollat Gorge, for that photo of a lifetime. Back at the bus after lunch, we’ll drive to a nearby luge course where (weather permitting) you’ll have a chance to go barreling down a mountain on a tiny sled with wheels. We’ll arrive back at the hotel afterward with more time to stroll in the woods, or just relax, before dinner together.  Bus: 1 hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: To Ötzi and Italy

We’ll take a scenic, all-day drive to Venice today, stopping en route for lunch at the Italian-Tirolean town of Bolzano. We’ll also visit this region’s most famous resident: the 5,300-year-old, naturally preserved remains of Ötzi the Iceman, along with a museum exhibit showing how Europeans lived and died during prehistoric times. Then we’ll make a beeline for the Adriatic Sea. Where the road ends, our bus will drive aboard a ferry, where we’ll get a ship’s-eye-view of Venice before we go ashore on the family-friendly beach island of the Lido. This evening we’ll have an orientation to our island-away-from-home, and dinner together. Sleep on the Lido (2 nights).  Boat: ½ hr.  Bus: 8 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 9: Magical Maze of Venice

Venice is a quick, 15-minute vaporetto ride from the Lido. This morning we’ll cruise there for a walking tour through the heart of Venice. You’ll learn about the amazing history of this unique, maze-like city of canals, walkways and slowly-sinking palaces. We’ll also visit a local mask-making workshop to learn about the tradition of Venetian masks. After an impressive look at the gold-lined interior of St. Mark’s Basilica, the afternoon is all yours. You might tour the Doges Palace — or simply get lost (remember it’s an island) exploring Venice’s alleyways. Stay in Venice for dinner and a gondola ride on your own — or head back to the Lido early, to bake on a sunny beach and take a dip in the Adriatic. Boat: ½ hr. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Storm the Castle

Today we say “Ciao Venezia” as we hop back aboard our bus and drive deep into the heart of Italy. On the way, we’ll stop in the town of Ferrara to explore its towering, moat-surrounded Estense Castle. Cross the drawbridge and find your way to the dungeon, if you dare. After time for dragon-slaying and lunch on your own, we’ll continue on our way through the Tuscan hills to our cozy countryside hotel, nestled among the trees and vineyards. The grownups will have time to sit back and relax over a glass of the local wine. The kids will have a ball swimming and goofing around in the pool. When our stomachs begin to rumble we’ll gather together for tonight’s feast. Sleep at a Tuscan agriturismo (2 nights).  Boat: ½ hr.  Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: light. 

Day 11: Hill Towns and Towers in Tuscany

After breakfast we’ll take our bus and time-travel to the hill town of San Gimignano, famous for its many medieval towers. We’ll visit a fascinating museum and ceramics workshop where the artists have painstakingly created a scale model of the town — complete with all 72 towers — as it was 600 years ago. You’ll have free time for lunch and to climb a tower on your own and marvel at how unchanged this town has remained. A few hours later, back at our country hotel, the afternoon is yours for taking it easy, Tuscany-style. Before dinner tonight, our chef will give us a hands-on demonstration of how Italians turn dough into pasta. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: All Roads Lead to Rome

This morning we'll visit the 16th century Gardens of Bomarzo, filled with larger-than-life sculptures and monstrous statues, where fantasy and reality meet. Then we'll press on to our final destination, the Eternal City of Rome. We’ll check into our hotel in the city’s center, and take a little time to catch our breath. Then we’ll use Rome’s public transportation system to reach the most impressive building from Ancient Roman times: the perfectly-domed, 2,000-year-old Pantheon. After a post-Pantheon break for dinner on your own, we’ll rendezvous for a stroll together through the floodlit heart of the city, lacing together lively pedestrian lanes, classy piazzas and splashy fountains. Sleep in Rome (2 nights).  Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: Ancient Rome

Today we’ll be transported back to the days of emperors, slaves and gladiators. We’ll tour Rome’s famous Colosseum and the nearby Roman Forum, where you’ll trip over the same stones as the Caesars did 20 centuries before you (history class will never be the same)! We’ll set you free for lunch and the entire afternoon. This is an ideal time to take a taxi to St. Peter’s Basilica or the Sistine Chapel (Sistine is part of the Vatican Museum, make reservations in advance). This evening we’ll gather together for our final dinner on the tour, and toast our great adventure together.  No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Rome's airport by taxi, or public transportation. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e Ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Family Europe: Amsterdam to Rome in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Be able to get up and "at 'em" in the morning, often departing around 8 a.m.
  6. Be content with the possibility of your family sharing bathroom facilities on this tour.

Reviews

Ann

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I booked this tour in order to share a taste of Europe with my grandchildren. It exceeded both my hopes and expectations. They came well prepared and listened to Stephen's talks. They made friends with two other boys who were also eager and interested. For them, the trip was fun and educational. I had a good time too. My only suggested change would be a one night stop on the Rhine, more time in Rothenburg or Reutte.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have looked at pictures of Neuschwanstein all my life and wanted to see it in person. Driving toward Reutte,, there it was bathed in late afternoon sunlight, glowing against its mountain backdrop. WOW A second WOW came at our farewell dinner, where I was seated with Myron, a mill worker from Canada who said he had had little education, knew nothing about the sights in Europe before this trip. He also said he had no words to describe the impact of these great new experiences. Wonderful!"

Elizabeth

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was beautifully organized and very thoughtfully led by Stephen and Andrew. The overall plan and schedule was truly designed to engage children. It was however unusually hot and that proved to slow everyone down a bit. In retrospect I think the two day stops were not long enough to really register with the children. Having said that, I question the validity of a family tour. Many children were not disciplined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gliding through the Gran Canal in Venice in the evening"

Jayne

West Concord, MN

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time! The weather was so incredibly hot, so that really made it difficult at times. But, we were so lucky to get Stephen as our guide! He was wonderful with the kids and adults. We learned so much from him and also enjoyed his humor. I loved the tour route, but would not wish that Bacharach hotel on anyone. The owners are fabulous, the issues are no AC, the frequent trains literally on the doorstep, the stairs, and having to close the windows because of train noise or bats.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have 3: The scenery in Austria The vistas in Tuscany The Colosseum when we emerged from the train"

Steven

West Concord, MN

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It far exceeded my expectations. The tour guides were fantastic. They added so much to the tour through their experiences and leadership through the the tour. It was hot, extremely hot for the entire tour. Unfortunately the first couple of nights in Germany provided no relief to the weather and I think probably drained the members of the tour. It took a few days to recover from that. Beyond the weather the location of the train to the first hotel in Germany made it a challenge to ge

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome, Rome, Rome! The tour guide, Francesca was so great! Stephen already had us fired up for everything that is Rome and then she took it over the top. Truly increased my personal appreciation for Rome and Italy. What a big challenge they have in protecting these historic assets for the world Stephen's excitement for everything was top notch. What a person."

Barbara

Plano, TX

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Both tour leaders, Margaret Cassady, and the Assistant, Sawyer Coleman, were excellent. They provided information in a clear, concise, timely manner. The pace of the tour was excellent. It was ashame that Bolzano had to be skipped. Apologizes were made when we encountered traffic and had trouble finding a rest stop. Margaret was unfamiliar with the driver's path and a rest break had to be skipped. The Home Office needs to provide the tour leaders more details.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "Wow" moment was at the Luge. The weather was perfect for this event. Tuscany area and the hotel was a needed break from the cities."

Carmen

Windsor, CO

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our family thoroughly enjoyed our Rick Steve's European vacation. It was a trip of a lifetime. We enjoyed Margaret and Sawyer. They were very attentive to details and I would highly encourage there are always be an assistant guide on family tours. Due to little bodies running about, and extra set of eyes and ears was super important, and helped our family to enjoy the tour even more. We loved all of the sights and accommodations each presented their own unique flavor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest "Wow" for our family was probably Rome. The incredible history and culture were something we had not experienced before. We also enjoyed the mask making event in Venice. Taking time to go "behind the scenes" really gave depth of meaning to something that most take for granted."

Jeanne

Bothell, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I truly enjoyed the tour. I enjoyed all the choices of spots to visit, although I felt a little overwhelmed by the number of sites. The travel guides both Margaret and Sawyer and the chosen guides from various locations were outstanding. The bus was beautiful and the frequent stops made it very comfortable even during the longer trips. I loved having the trip planned by some one other than me. Since we our family group was only two we felt a little out of sync particularly at the beginning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite moments included the lake hike to the castle. The serenity of the crystal clear lake, layers of green, crossing the boundary between Germany and Austria, exquisite wild flowers, emergence of the magical castle on the hill, was when I felt closest to nature on the tour. I also found myself moved to tears standing in the Pantheon, a sacred space created almost 2000 years ago. As a misty rain fell through the opening in the ceiling I felt the presence of those who came long before us."

Arline

Pueblo West, CO

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was my first time on a group tour and my first time in Europe this will be the trip that all others will have to live up to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thoroughly enjoyed the guided tour though the Rijksmuseum. I have been though several museums but never with such an engaging guide. With explanations of social do and dont's and hidden propaganda exposed one can easily spend more time gazing at a painting with new perspective. It really did set up the rest of the adventure as a realistic time travel."

Nancy

Lakewood, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Matt and Andrew were great with listening to what we wanted and customizing the trip in ways to let all types enjoy it to the max.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really great guides and attendees with great attitudes about compromising, getting along, etc so the group could have the most enjoyment. We really took care of each other and the guides instill that culture too. Wow moment is a result of the "group" allowing for contemplation at meaningful sites like Rome's buildings upon buildings."

Richard

Oakwood, OH

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Truly outstanding. Some of the highlights were unplanned activities, because of weather and scheduled free time. Although not officially on the tour, they were supported by our fantastic guides either personally or with detailed information so we could go on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure it's possible to list just one "wow" moment. I guess if I had to pick one it would be walking into the Pantheon. That's an impressive structure and we couldn't believe it's 2000 years old. It's in remarkable shape. Now I know why all the cement contractors I know are Italian--they're Roman! We were so impressed we had a pizza dinner in the square just to sit and stair at it."

Stephen

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were looking for a tour experience that was more integrated with the culture, and certainly NOT a shop and bus tour (i.e., get off the bus, take pictures, get back on - or purchase excursions to get to actually go to famous sites). We were also looking for something more active and definitely family oriented. In my opinion, Rick Steves Family tour fulfilled in these categories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the castles. I saw them from a bus window 30 years ago in another "tour." Since I read a LOT of books with medieval settings, this was a real treat for me."

Courtney

Ponca City, OK

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved having other kids on the tour, and that the schedules included educational as well as fun stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most incredible moment for me was walking across the worlds longest Tibet style suspension bridge 350 feet off the ground in the Austrian mountains. Plus, the colosseum, St. Marks in Venice, St. Peter's in Rome...what a great trip!"

Lynn

Winnipeg, MB

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As the first four Canadians on this new itinerary we were very excited to be joining the new adventure. It was everything and more than we expected. As it was a Family Europe Tour we weren't sure how that was going to play out as our son was with us as was his wife. We wondered what it would be like not have a youngster with us. Everything was wonderful. Stephanie and Kayla were fantastic and very professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first wow moment was walking around the town of Bacharach. There were no people on the streets except for a few other tourists. The town was so beautiful and so old. Every street, every turn, every view took my breath views of the Rhine, the castle, the ruined cathedral etc. My second wow moment was in Rothenburg. We walked the town wall, climbed a tower and looked out the window. Oh my goodness what a view."

Jon

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Although I've travelled several times throughout Europe, this was the first time for my wife and kids. It was a great experience for our entire family. The itinerary was well planned. Guides were great. Super group of families. Overall it exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For my family it was a toss up between Rome and being in the countryside of Austria. Seeing great mountains and rolling hills is always fun for folks from flat Florida, but Rome really offered our family a breadth of education and excitement."

Georgina

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My family and I had a wonderful time on the tour. We met Great people. Everyone got along, genuine liked one another and we all respected each other. All of the children were of similar age and bonded immediately. We visited some awesome countries and our tour guides and bus driver were just fantastic. This tour surpassed our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many "wow" moments since we were visiting several countries in our tour. We saw many iconic sights, amazing castles, beautiful churches and basilicas, incredible monuments and breath taking countrysides. But I was always "wowed" by our tour guides. Stephanie and Kayla, were always nice, kind and helpful. They had a happy disposition toward everyone on our tour. I was also "wowed" by our sweet and smiley bus driver Helda she got us to all of our destinations safe & on time."

Robert

Winnipeg, MB

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great run from Amsterdam to Rome, with wonderful stops along the way. Highlights for me were Amsterdam (a great town for walking), Bacharach (sleepy town but charming and a great base for the Rhine) and the Night Watch tour (Charming guide and a very attractive town).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was the early morning walk through Venice, the streets were quiet and the charm of the city was not muted by crowds. A second wow moment, if allowed, was the canal boat tour in Amsterdam. What an attractive city! A third was the Monstri Park in Bomarzo. I had never heard of and found it charming."

Weather

Netherlands / Amsterdam

Amsterdam Weather


Germany / Munich

Munich Weather


Austria / Vienna

Vienna Weather


Italy / Venice

Venice Weather


Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome Weather

 

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go at our Family Europe FAQ. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Italy: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

Important arrival note:  To make the most of our time in Amsterdam, this tour begins at 2 p.m. (the hotel will store your luggage if your room is not ready).

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Amsterdam and out of Rome (“multi-city” on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Europe.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Amsterdam before your tour begins, use Rick Steves Best of Europe guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Amsterdam that we do not do as a group: Amsterdam Museum (city history); Nemo Science Center (hands-on science); Vondelpark (paths, ponds, playgrounds); Artis Royal Zoo (critters); National Maritime Museum (climb aboard a sailing ship!).

With extra time in Rome after the tour, your family may enjoy the Villa Borghese (park, zoo, bike rentals and more); Spanish Steps; Largo Argentina Cat Shelter (meow); Capuchin Crypt (creepy); Ancient Appian Way (walking, biking); Vatican Museum’s Sistine Chapel (awesome but extremely crowded, an ordeal for younger kids, reserve in advance).

Packing

This tour has a few long bus rides, so card games and small travel games can keep kids from just plugging-in and tuning-out. There are some great opportunities for hiking and swimming on this tour. While hiking boots are not necessary, we recommend you and your kids bring along shoes that offer good traction. Also, pack swimsuits and a couple of light-weight microfiber towels.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.