By Tracy Broderick
My family and I visited Camping Village Fabulous on September 17, 2022, for a week. Our family trip consisted of my 4 children (ages 6, 9, 11 and 16), my husband, my father-in-law and me.
We flew Ryanair from Dublin to Ciampino airport. I chose Ciampino airport as it is a small airport which I prefer with children, and it is the same distance from the camp as the much bigger Fiumcino airport in Rome. Both airports are a 25-minute taxi drive from the camp.
Arrival at Camping Village Fabulous
Our arrival at the camp at nighttime was hassle-free as we had previously checked in online, and we were driven by a golf buggy with our suitcases to our accommodation. We booked through Eurocamp and stayed in a 3-bed cabin with air conditioning from the comfort range. We rented linen and towels through Eurocamp at the time of booking, and all this was waiting in our cabin upon arrival.
The camp itself is quite large and there are cars and pets allowed on site. Cars drive very slowly throughout the camp and to be honest, we didn’t come across many during our stay, so it still felt very safe. There are tennis courts, table tennis, soccer courts, mini golf, beach volleyball, playgrounds, a minimarket, bar, restaurant, takeaway and 3 large pools on site. One of these pools is a splash pool with a large whale on one side with slides and water sprays and another water slide on the other side of the pool. None of my children are swimmers so this pool was a God send and really made me feel at ease. The pool will go no higher than 60cm in any area of it and is shallower at the edges. There is a bar where you can buy snacks, drinks, and ice cream at the pool area. There are 2 other pools, an infinity pool which is about 4ft deep and a larger pool which is 5.5ft deep throughout. There is also a fun water spray area where a large bucket fills overhead and empties every 3 to 4 minutes. Close to the pool area is another bar/gelato bar. This was closed during our stay as it only opens for the high season.
We stayed on site every second day. The first day we ventured out of camp was our second day and we got public transport from outside the park to Ostia. Ostia is a coastal town with a beach which also has the ancient ruins of the old seaport town. We travelled by bus and metro to Ostia, and it took about 35 minutes in all. There are 3 metro stops in Ostia, Ostia Lido is the stop for the beach and Ostia Antica is the stop we took to see the ancient ruins. Unfortunately, having arrived and on entry to the ruins, we discovered it closes every Monday. We spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering around Ostia Antica which is a small village area with restaurants, gelato bars and a castle and church.
On Wednesday we travelled to the Vatican again by public transport, using the bus stop across the road from the park to the metro station Eur Fermi then taking the metro towards Rebibbia/ Jonio and changing at the Termini station to go to Ottaviano. The Vatican has free entrance if you just want to enter the city and St Peters Square. We bought tickets through GetYourGuide for the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Going through the museums takes about 3 hours and is well worth it – the Sistine Chapel will blow your mind. You can book directly with the Vatican website but there was no availability while we were there directly with them. You select a timeslot at which you can enter the museums and there is a security check at the entrance.
Our final outing was on Friday to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. We booked our tickets online again with a vendor called Headout. This again was because we had a group of 7, and we could not secure tickets for all of us directly with the Colosseum, we would have had to book in advance of arriving in Rome. We travelled by bus and metro again, this time taking the bus outside the camp to Eur Fermi and getting off at Colosseo. Close to the Colosseum, you can walk towards the city to see Piazza Venezia and the Trevi Fountain. In this part of the city, there is something to see at every turn and you will be just floored by the beauty and extravagance of the buildings.
Thumbs up from Tracy
Overall, we had a wonderful time. It was the exact correct measure of sightseeing and relaxation. This camp has a lot to offer with so much on its doorstep! We will definitely return to see some more of the sights Rome has to offer.
Things to note
- Bus stop outside the park is called Colombo Malafede – there are 2 stops, one at each side of the road.
- Each bust stop has its own ID – this may be on the sign or the pole.
- Moovit app will help you with all metro/bus times and help identify the correct stop as it indicates the ID of each bus stop.
- Metro/Bus tickets can be bought at the info point or reception in the camp.
- 100-minute tickets allow you to use buses for 100 minutes in conjunction with just one metro ride. · Tickets must be validated on buses – there are little machines on the buses.
- Eur Fermi is the name of the metro station you must travel to by bus from Colombo Malafede to go to city.
- There is a supermarket outside the park about a ten-minute walk and it is much cheaper than the minimarket on site. Directions – take a right outside the park and walk straight to the second right-hand cross. Turn down here and take the first left and walk straight to the supermarket. Please note between the first and second cross there is a stretch of road with no footpath – it is about 50 meters in length. · The flies bite – so bring repellant! · Starting in September, groups of students from European countries travel to the park.
- There can be between 800 and 1600 arriving weekly. They can be quite noisy at night time.
- Tickets for the Vatican, Colosseum and other attractions can be bought from the info point on site.
- You will have a famous neighbour while staying! The presidential palace is across the road from the park you won’t be able to see it but there is an orange building for security at its entrance – so when you see the orange building you know what is behind it!