Rocco Forte Hotels

An elegant palazzo with a classic courtyard, Hotel de Russie provides its guests with tranquility, exclusivity and authenticity year-round. We spoke to Veronica Fori, Service Development Manager, on what makes it ideal for families during the autumn half-term, and how this peaceful oasis inspires its younger guests during their well-earned break.

What makes late summer such a great time to visit Rome as a family?

“The weather! Rome is in a privileged position, both close to the sea and protected by the hills, which grants her very mild weather in September and October.

That said, there are also fewer queues and crowds, so it’s also the best period for sightseeing around the Eternal City’s historic monuments. Rome is pretty much an open-air museum.”

How do you help bring Roman history to life for children?

“It’s important to capture children’s attention in a playful way when teaching them the story of our beautiful city, and that’s why we’ve curated a range of activities which use games and technology to do so.

These include a castle visit, in which children tour Castel Sant’Angelo, a grand fortress now used as a museum. They’re given an iPad with an app that features fun, interactive content and trivia to enjoy along the way – it really brings it to life for them in a way they understand.

Or, if they’d rather visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, the Caesar game uses the same tech to help them learn as they play there. Both experiences finish with a certificate and a special prize.”

And what do you recommend for active children?

“Children all learn and enjoy in different ways. For children who like to re-enact history, a Gladiator School session can be very exciting. They learn about the history of gladiators, get to see ancient weapons and armour and even try some on. They also get a chance to playfight! Don’t worry, it’s completely safe.

But there are also lots of ways for children to learn about history and pick up a more practical craft. A mosaic workshop, for example, lets them create a traditional mosaic out of stained glass, ceramic tile and found objects. Or there’s a fresco painting class. Where better for them to learn than at the home of the Sistine Chapel?”

Early autumn is harvest season. What culinary experiences do you recommend?

“Food is the real protagonist here in the heart of Italy, and it’s what we are famous for around the world. Cooking classes are fun; they appeal to the whole family and offer the chance to get involved in creating, not just tasting.

Children (and adults) love our traditional ice cream, and our gelato-making class is always popular. It takes place at a local artisan shop and lets kids make their own, including choosing flavours, weighing ingredients and learning to mix them together. And, of course, they can eat it afterwards.

For a more savoury treat, a pizza-making class is perfect. Children love rolling out the dough and learning how to make the crust thin in our typically Roman style!”

To book your family break at Hotel de Russie, email reservations.derussie@roccofortehotels.com or call +39 06 32 88 81.

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