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The pool at Camping Village Fabulous, Rome
The pool at Camping Village Fabulous, Rome
Herman and Candelaria Zapp and their children

Family on 17-year round-the-world road trip visit Portsmouth

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It was hot and we’d been walking around bustling Rome for most of the day. The kids were getting tired and irritable. We had to do something.

As we turned a corner and arrived at the fabled Trevi Fountain, I had an idea.

Normally, you’re supposed to throw a coin in and it will guarantee your return to Rome. But the bubbling waters were about to be put to another use.

One after the other, I picked up my two young sons and dunked their heads in the fountain. The Japanese tourists may have been a bit bemused, but it certainly did the trick.

Two wet but cool children who will now be on somebody’s holiday video back in Tokyo.

We were in Rome during a week-long stay with Keycamp at Camping Village Fabulous.

This wooded parc near the Tyrrhenian Sea is ideal if you want a family holiday that combines fun with culture.

Now calling yourself Fabulous is quite a statement, but it was. Really.

After flying in to Rome’s Ciampino airport and finding the waiting taxi, we were soon settling into our comfortable Vista mobile home.

It was set amongst the old pine trees and came complete with a decked area and air conditioning for those humid nights.

The parc has got plenty to keep the kids happy. At the centre of the daily routine was the huge pool complete with waterslide and a big dome with tunnels.

The waterside bar served cold drinks and pizzas and the excellent Your Friends entertainment team organised games for children and adults.

But if you didn’t want to join in, then it was a case of bagging a sunlounger and a parasol and watching, or getting lost in a good book and catching some rays.

In the evening, there was an open air mini disco and regular appearances by ‘Romey’ (somebody dressed in a costume that looked like the column of an ancient building). The kids loved him.

There was also the obligatory nightly visit to the cafe as we worked our way through all the flavours of gelato.

Some people probably stayed around the pool all holiday, buying provisions from the well-stocked shop. and were quite happy.

But we wanted to take the opportunity to expose the boys, aged three and six, to a bit of culture.

So we managed to extract them from the waterslide and headed off to see Rome and some of its many wonders.

From the parc, it was about a 35-minute bus journey into the city. Then it was on to the Metro to start our day of sightseeing.

We headed for the Colosseum, forerunner of all modern sports stadia. It’s still mightily impressive, but the ‘gladiators’ trying to get you to take a picture and the tat merchants were a bit wearing.

Then we made for the Pantheon, originally dedicated as a temple to the gods.

We also squeezed in a visit to the lovely Piazza Navona, with its Baroque fountains and street artists.

But the boys were equally impressed by a cafe we chanced upon, that had Ducati racing bikes hanging from the walls, and a shop selling football shirts.

The next day, it was good to lie by the pool and rest our weary legs. But our brief time in Rome has made us resolve to go back.

I wonder if putting boys’ heads in the Trevi Fountain, rather than a coin, will have the same effect?