The Best Time to Visit Rome

The best time to visit Rome varies on what you want from your trip and what’s possible for you and whoever else you may be travelling with. 

Whether you’re an architectural enthusiast, a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a family of four on their summer holiday, this article will breakdown for you the different factors you need to consider before deciding when to take your trip to Italy’s capital city.

Deemed a global city for its cultural eminence, Rome welcomes ten-million tourists every year, and in 2016 was the 14th most visited city in the world. So it comes as no surprise that Rome’s most famous tourist attractions, from the Colosseum to the Sistine Chapel, receive crowds of up to 20,000 people a day during the Summer months.

To ensure you get the best out of your trip to Italy, we’ve broken down a full year in Rome, highlighting crowd sizes, weather conditions, events and budget considerations.

  • January – February:

    January in Rome

    The coldest months for Rome, temperatures during January and February reach a low of 4° and rain falls every couple of days. Despite this, and the decrease in daylight hours, Rome still has some particularly glorious days in the sun. With temperatures rising to 12° on some days, it offers pleasant walking temperatures in comparison to other European cities. Even better, Rome sees its lowest number of tourists at this time of year, meaning visitors can enjoy the top attractions without the dense crowds and long waiting times.

    • Events: On New Year’s Day, the city hosts a New Year’s Parade that proceeds along the grand Via della Conciliazione and ends with people gathering in St Peter’s Square to hear the Pope’s speech and annual blessing. Join thousands of others from across the world for this annual tradition of marching bands and a stationary performance enjoyed by the entire square. As the New Year Celebrations fade take advantage of the post-Christmas sales and go shopping for the best deals, with discounts ranging between 20% and 50%.
    • Budget: The shops are not the only ones who are offering great deals, accommodation prices also reduce during the months of January-February as tourist numbers fall, making your overall stay a lot cheaper. Be sure to bring plenty of layers with you, and maybe an umbrella. We’re positive that Rome will still deliver despite its dip in popularity saying otherwise.
  • March:

    March in Rome

    Unless Easter falls in March, this can be an excellent time to visit the eternal city, as temperatures begin to rise to 17°, offering the perfect climate to walk around the city’s never-ending museum of impressive architecture, whilst welcoming the blossoming flowers of spring.

    • Events: Rome celebrates International Women’s Day or Festa Della Donna with the rest of Italy on the 8th March. As well as hosting a Women’s Day Concert, many restaurants in Rome also create a special Women’s Day menu.
    • Budget: Outside of Easter, the city is still fairly quiet compared to high season, and low-season prices still apply.
  • April:

    April is probably the busiest time in Rome, as events and festivities come into full swing. Along with Easter (a huge celebration in itself) Rome marks its birthday, Liberation Day and the Festa della liberazione to name a few. With all this activity and a further rise in temperatures, it’s no surprise that tourist numbers begin to pick up again. Many European schools also have their school breaks during this time, and pilgrims come for the religious festivities, all adding to an increase in tourism.

    • Events: As we said above, numerous events run regularly throughout the month of April, so they’re not too hard to miss. Celebrations run throughout the Holy Week of Easter, starting with the Via Crucis or ‘Way of the Cross’ tradition on Good Friday, where the Pope leads a torchlight procession around the Colosseum.
    • Budget: With an increase in tourists comes an increase in prices. With this flurry of activity, be sure to plan your itinerary with care and book your accommodation, tickets and restaurant tables in advance. The opening hours of certain attractions may be subject to change dependent on events and public holidays.
  • May – June:

    Following Easter, there is a significant bump in tourism as people flock to Rome to enjoy its blue skies and spring flowers with the hopes of avoiding the larger summer crowds and families. The weather at this time of year is mild and perfect for long days exploring historic sites without overheating.

    • Events:  Like April, May and June offer many different events to choose from for your trip to Rome. These include the Primo Maggio, a May Day rock concert, the Italian Open tennis tournament and Festa Della Repubblica (Republic Day).
    • Budget: High-season prices begin to take place, so be sure to book in advance.
  • July – September:

    July in Rome

    It’s officially high season! Accompanied by some very high temperatures!

    Add the masses of tourists coming to Rome for their summer break and the city’s stifling heat increases. Average temperatures get up to 30° which makes visiting the city during these months a bath of humidity. Saying this, there is still plenty to do, and the heat gives an excuse for more gelatos during the day, and long strolls in evening when the temperature cools and the city bustles with vibrancy.

    • Events: The Festa de’ Noantri, in the district of Trastevere, celebrates the statue of Madonna del Carmine with a religious procession, dancing and feasting. There is also Ferragosto, a public holiday held on the August 15th to celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary to heaven.
    • Budget: High season prices apply so if visiting now be sure to save up and keep an eye out for special deals.
  • October:

    As the summer crowds disperse and the locals return to their everyday lives, autumn can be a wonderful time to visit Rome. The hoards of tourists lessen, as do the temperatures, and the city’s colours turn from bright greens to fiery oranges and reds.

    • Events: There is still plenty of cultural action to be had during the Autumn season, like the International Rome Film Festival or Festa del Cinema di Roma which receives great media coverage and world-famous artists.
    • Budget: Although summer is over, October’s autumnal warmth and its explosion of colour, means Rome remains a popular destination, with prices varying mid-way between high and low season.
  • November – December:

    December in Rome

    The least popular time to visit, and the wettest. Temperatures drop, as do the number of tourists, making November a good time to go if you’re willing to brave the wet weather for cheap prices. December, although cold, can still be magical, especially as it gets close to Christmas. Think authentic nativity scenes in St Peter’s Square and sparkling Christmas lights illuminating the city.

    • Events: Right at the top of the list is the Piazza Navona Christmas Market, offering stalls filled with food and drinks, toys, decorations and festivity.
    • Budget: With it being the holiday season many shops close earlier than usual and are completely closed from Christmas Eve to the 27th of December. This also impacts transportation into the city, so tourists tend to book lodging in the historic centre which could affect your budget plans. Do your research before you go, and if you are visiting around the 25th, stock up on groceries.

Hopefully this article has helped you decide when you want to take your getaway to Rome, and you feel better prepared for your trip. If you’re looking for further help or inspiration, then check out our range of Rome tours or flick through our accommodation page.

Related article: The Best Underrated Museums to See in Rome

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