ABC’s of Rome’s Borgo District: Angels, Bonci, and Cioccolato


Beyond the Coliseum and the Forum, on the west side of the Tiber River, we were recently schooled on some of the finer and lesser known family attractions in Rome. From exploring dark tunnels, to sampling the most creative and delicious pizza we’ve ever tasted, to enjoying an amazing vegan chocolate gelato, the Borgo district is definitely not to be missed.

Castel Sant’Angelo

Originally built as the mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 139 AD, the Castel Sant’Angelo is a wonderful destination for kids. From the playground at the base of the fortress to the maze of dark tunnels to explore, it gives visitors of all ages the chance to soak up art, history, and some commanding views from the top. In the 14th century the Vatican converted the structure to a castle (the Pope even has a covered fortified corridor that leads from Vatican City to the castle), and the military fortifications only add to the list of things to explore during a visit.

Pizzarium by Gabriele Bonci
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If you are looking a pizza that is creative, delicious,and reasonably priced, then Pizzarium is the place for you. Chef Gabriele Bonci uses a dizzying array of vegetable (and also meat and cheese) combinations to make the mouths of vegans and non-vegans alike water. The pizzas coming out of the oven are constantly changing and always a surprise; we had the pleasure to sample a pumpkin cabbage pizza as well as a roasted eggplant and basil pizza. While there is no fixed seating, there are plenty of stools available for an impromptu pizza picnic on the sidewalk.

Chocolate Fondant Gelato at Lemongrass
DSC05670-picsayWe’ve had some good vegan gelato while in Rome, but the chocolate fondant flavor at Lemongrass rises above the rest. There were lots of flavors of dairy and vegan gelato to choose from, and combining the fruit flavors (banana, strawberry, etc.) with the chocolate fondant can’t be beat. And given its strategic location between the Pizzarium and Castel Sant’Angelo, there are many opportunities to sample different flavor combinations while in transit between these other sites and/or en route to the Cipro or Lepanto Metro stops. 



7 thoughts on “ABC’s of Rome’s Borgo District: Angels, Bonci, and Cioccolato

  1. We also enjoyed exploring the Borgo District years ago pre-kids, and we look forward to visiting Rome again with them this time. There are so many interesting hidden gems in Rome, it’s an incredible city to just wander around and get lost in. The Borgo District would be great with a family, we found it was less crazy busy than other areas… is that still so? And a slice of vegan pizza would be nice too!

    • Around the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo was a little on the busy side, but still nothing like the Forum or Coliseum. The park at the base of the wall is great for kids to run around, and no admission required for that part. The pizza at Bonci looked amazing for any kind of eater (plenty of meat and cheese options too); it was definitely our favorite pizza here in Italy!

    • It does help to give the kids a chance to roam free before having to walk through hallways and more confined spaces. Our favorite playground in Rome was at the Aqueduct Park (which itself was kind of like a giant playground); that will likely be our next post 🙂

  2. Pingback: A Week in Rome with Kids | Fives on the Fly

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