What to do in Rome over Christmas?

The ultimate festive list of things to do in Rome over the Christmas period. You’ve never felt more Christmassy!

Skip the family drama for a year and head to the wonderland of Rome for the holiday season. Bursting with twinkling festive lights and Christmas trees aplenty, the Eternal City is a magical oasis full of holiday activities. Want to know how to make the most of your stay? We’ve listed the top attractions of what to do in Rome during Christmas time.

  • Christmas Markets

    Europe is renowned for their Christmas markets popping up within the centre squares and city streets, with Italy being no different. Rome has many holiday markets to choose from, all teeming with festive decorations and lively music. Offering culinary specialities, mulled wine, traditional toys, and Christmas shows. The most noteworthy to choose from are Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona. Campo de’ Fiori sits nearby to some of the most famous tourist attractions and can be a great end to a full day of sightseeing. Piazza Navona is world famous, held in one of the most beautiful squares within the city. Take a stroll around the square, visiting the Christmas stalls, watching the performers, and marvelling at the Fountain of the Four Rivers with the baroque church of Sant’Agnese in Agone as a stunning backdrop.

  • Visit the Christmas Trees

    With holiday decorations, comes Christmas Trees. The city goes all out with their Christmas Trees, displaying enormous twinkling trees that tower over the crowds. Visit the top four trees found throughout the city, including ones at the Colosseum, the Piazza Venezia, the Spanish Steps and St. Peter’s Square. Buy some mulled wine or hot chocolate and let their sweet taste warm you as you wander around, admiring the Christmas lights. These ancient architectural landmarks are the perfect backdrop for these dazzling trees! Lit up in winter, both the trees and the landmarks shine and shimmer against the city’s dark winter sky. So, wrap and warm, bring your most comfortable shoes and try to find the best Christmas tree in Rome! Not an easy task as there are so many to choose from, but its bound to get you in the festive spirit.

  • Go to a Show

    Get in the holiday spirit and watch a traditional Christmas show or concert. See The Nutcracker within the spectacular Teatro dell ‘Opera theatre or visit one of the many churches that hold music concerts throughout the month of December. Even get your fill of nativity scenes for a lifetime at churches, markets, and event halls to see the various forms of the Christmas story. To see the best in nativity scenes, St. Peter’s Square always has an impressive display. As for The Nutcracker, it’s long-standing reputation which has made it a classic speaks for itself. But for those that don’t know The Nutcracker is a classic tale which begins in a family home on Christmas Eve. Told from the point of view of Clara who received a wooden toy solider for Christmas (the Nutcracker), the show is one of mystery, fantasy and adventure. This is a great option for families as an easy and entertaining way to experience Christmas in Rome.

  • Ice Skating

    Lace up those skates and glide around the ice at one of the city’s many holiday rinks! Rome may not be the coldest city during December, but it still offers this traditional winter activity. Try the Ice Village Roma or the Pista di Ghiaccio Icepark, for an ice rink close to the centre of Rome. With prices varying from €5-€10, this is a small fee to pay for a few hours of carefree fun. Glide around the ice and challenge your friends and family to tips and tricks on the ice whilst Christmas music plays in the background.

  • Midnight Mass

    Even if you aren’t religious, seeing the Pope in real life is an unforgettable experience. The Vatican City is the official home of the Pope and head of the Roman Catholic church. Christmas in Rome truly starts with the Midnight Mass run by Pope at the Basilica of St Peter. Despite its name, the mass is actually held earlier in the evening. Even though tickets are free, they are in high demand, so you’ll need to plan ahead. Tickets aren’t available until November, so keep any eye out as it comes closer and book your tickets in advance. Note that you’ll probably have more luck getting tickets if you reserve a small number, rather than trying to get loads all at once. If you do get unlucky don’t rule out a visit to the Vatican, as the service is displayed on large screens in St Peter’s Square, so it’s still very magical!

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