Best Time to Visit Rome for Weather

By Stuart Bak

When planning a visit to Rome, there are a few things you should consider *besides* all those bucket-list Roman relics you want to tick off. That’s right: we’re talking about the weather. Rome’s location in west-central Italy means a generally warm climate with all the usual peaks and troughs of temperature you’d expect from a Mediterranean country in southern Europe. So what’s the best time to visit Rome for weather? Read on for our guide to all the seasonal pros and cons.

Planning to spend a few days in town? The Omnia Vatican & Rome Pass can save you money when on attractions, activities and tours, including the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and the Circo Maximo Experience.

Best Time to Visit Rome: Spring

The Colosseum in Rome

No point beating about the bush: Rome’s spring season is hands-down the most pleasant time of year to visit. In terms of weather, average highs in March start in the low 60s, rising to the balmy mid-70s by late May, and rainfall is relatively low, so you won’t have to carry an umbrella everywhere you go. Perfect conditions, in other words, for city sightseeing: cool enough for pounding the pavements for several hours and being exposed to the midday sun at open-air bucket-listers like the Colosseum and Roman Forum, but warm enough (most definitely warm enough) to justify that daily gelato.

Rome's Trevi Fountain in spring

As the city shakes off the relative chill of winter, so the streets begin to fill with a thousand colorful blooms, presenting yet another fine reason to visit in spring. Stroll the streets for Insta-tastic snaps of pink cherry blossoms, purple wisteria and clouds of yellow mimosa, and don’t miss the pink azaleas that line the Spanish Steps in April and May. This is also when the sprawling Vatican Gardens are at their blooming best. And those clear spring skies don’t half make a great backdrop for souvenir snaps of the dome of St Peter’s either.

Best Time to Visit Rome: Summer

Friends cycling in Rome

Sightseeing masochists may well relish the searing temperatures, madding crowds and infuriating attraction queues during the height of Rome’s summer season, but it can feel a little unpleasant to most normal people. June through August is peak season in the Eternal City, when average temperatures sit in the upper 70s/lower 80s, but have been known to top out as high as 108°F, not exactly the most comfortable conditions for stomping up Capitoline Hill or the Spanish Steps (all 135 of them, each more sweaty than the last).

Friends eating ice cream

Having said all that, summer can be a great time to enjoy Rome’s great expanses of green space without the risk of a surprise downpour to ruin your picnic. We’re talking the wooded glades, leafy lanes and tranquil pools of historic Villa Borghese and the beautiful botanical gardens in Trastevere, among others. Then of course there are all those excellent rooftop bars, perfect for summer sunsets and Campari cocktails. Not to mention the people-watching opportunities afforded by the crowds that pour through Piazza Navona and Piazza di Spagna, with a dripping gelato in hand, natch. Don’t miss the chance to catch the historic Teatro dell’Opera in its temporary summer home: the ancient Roman Baths of Caracalla. It’s quite the atmospheric location for performances of La Traviata, Aida and the rest.

Best Time to Visit Rome: Fall

Sleeping cat at Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome

The temperature in Rome drops fairly rapidly in the fall, but not unpleasantly so. You can still reasonably expect September and October averages in the mid-to-high 60s, dropping down to the mid-to-high 50s by November. But what we’re really talking about is warm, comfortable days with slightly cooler evenings and an increased chance of rain: three out of four of Rome’s wettest months are in fall (the wettest, by some margin, follows in December). With peak season done and dusted and kids back in school, there are also plenty of hotel and flight bargains to be had at this time of year, and you won’t have to worry quite as much about booking all your tours months in advance nor queuing outside attractions like the Pantheon, Colosseum and St Peter’s Basilica for hours at a time.

The Appian Way in Rome

The fall’s pleasant climate makes it a great time for exploring the Appian Way. Pack a picnic of market cheeses, cured meats and fresh bread (and a light raincoat, just in case) and strike out along this ancient road, which remains largely unchanged since Julius Caesar marched his armies up it a couple millennia ago. A rented bicycle will give you the freedom to cover way more of this fine cobbled avenue than you could manage on foot in one day, allowing plenty of time to explore the numerous ancient monuments that lie beyond the lofty pines.

Best Time to Visit Rome: Winter

Snow on Rome's rooftops in winter

It will come as little surprise to European weather watchers that Rome’s winter season, from December to February, is its coldest and wettest. So yeah, you can forget balmy afternoons in Villa Borghese and sun-soaked selfies on the Spanish Steps for now; this is not the best time to visit Rome if fine weather is top of your wish list. If, on the other hand, you thrill to the promise of long afternoons gorging on hot chocolate and panettone in atmospheric cafes like the landmark Antico Caffè Greco on Via dei Condotti, or Caffè Sant’Eustachio between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, your luck’s in.

Friends at a Christmas market in Rome

December is also, of course, Christmas market season, and boy does Rome go to town on its yuletide festivities. A Christmas tree festooned with hundreds of fairy lights towers over Piazza Navona throughout the season, as the city’s biggest and best Christmas market gets underway. Wander from this artisan craft stall to that roasted chestnut hawker, drinking in the joyful atmosphere, riding the old-fashioned carousel, joining the carol singers in full festive song, and sipping warming mugs of mulled wine, a drink that was in fact invented by the ancient Romans. Magical.

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3 Days In Rome Itinerary (72 hours in Rome)

Rome is a fascinating city full of ancient culture and whose historic ruins, monuments, and museums are waiting to teach you about its rich past. To make the most out of your time in Rome, we’ve put together a suggested 3 day itinerary to show you how you can spend three days (72 hours) in the Eternal City and see the best of what Rome has to offer. Day 1 Morning - St Peter's Basilica  St Peter’s Basilica is perhaps one of the most important religious and historic buildings in the world, let alone in Rome, so a visit to this iconic cathedral is a must. Its imposing architecture is breath-taking and inside is even better with its huge dome, Baldacchino, and Papal throne. The best thing is you can skip the queue and walk right in and make the most of a free audio guide too! Midday - Sistene Chapel and Vatican Museums Save up to four hours of queuing with the Rome and Vatican pass package and step right into the Vatican Museums. Considered some of the most prestigious museums of its kind for the sheer scale of collections and artworks on display, you can see ancient Roman bronzes, to marble sculptures, and tapestries. There are over 9 miles of art to appreciate so you’ll need a few hours to take it all in. Don’t miss Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Last Judgement, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel before you leave. Afternoon - Castel Sant'Angelo On the bank of the River Tiber, Rome’s ancient fortress Castel Sant’Angelo – also known as Hadrian’s Mausoleum – is waiting to be discovered. Built over 2000 years ago, it has seen its fair share of events, from battles to Papal refuge and jailing criminals so it has a story to tell. Walk through its courtyards and bring Rome’s ancient history to life. Day 2 Morning - Colosseum The Colosseum is arguably the most famous amphitheatre in the world and provides a fascinating insight into the world of gladiator fighting and Ancient Roman entertainment. Walk through the ancient corridors and along the tiers that would have held aristocracy to paupers and imagine what the gruesome games would have been like as a spectator. Learn more about Rome’s ancient culture in the exhibitions – and what’s more, enjoy fast track entry to get in! Midday - Museum of Rome Revisit some of Rome’s forgotten art and sculpture at the stunning Museo di Roma. The Baroque Palazzo Braschi, a fine example of Roman architecture in itself, celebrates the ‘forgotten ages’, showcasing frescoes, mosaics, ceramics, and more. Right beside Piazza Navona its location is hard to beat, too! Spend a few hours admiring its rich collections dating back to the Middle Ages and spanning up to the mid-20th century. Afternoon - Capitoline Museums If you are an art and sculpture aficionado, make a beeline for the Capitoline Museums. Founded in 1471, they are considered the oldest museums in the world. A true museum of the people, they feature the first collections donated by Pope Sixtus IV, the original bronze statues, as well as the iconic She-Wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. Day 3 Midday - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour See the sights of Rome from the comfort of a hop-on hop-off bus tour and let the guide do all the work. Pass the iconic sights and get a unique perspective along the way. You’ll be pointed out the Colosseum, Imperial Forum, Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza Navona, and more – and you can hop on and off at leisure to tailor-make your own itinerary. We recommend going to Campo di Fiori to see the local fresh produce. Afternoon - St John in Lateran Officially the seat of the Pope, St John in Lateran is a must for your Rome itinerary. You’ll see the baroque and Costmatesque style and architecture and 14th century Baldacchino, cloisters and Scala Sancta (Holy Steps) to which thousands make a pilgrimage to every year to see. Whether you’re a visitor or a worshiper, St John in the Lateran is not to be missed! Hopefully this gives you everything you need to see the best of Rome in 3 days. It will be an action-packed 72 hours but an unforgettable one.
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The Best Perspectives in Rome

You expect to see historic ruins and ancient artefacts when you’re in Rome; it’s a given. But there’s so much more to see in terms of its urban landscape. Rome’s flowing river, the Tiber, adds a romantic edge to the dusty cobbled streets and vertiginous viewpoints allow you to climb to the best summits in the city and look over the old Empire. With so many to choose from, we’ve handpicked some of what we think are must-see things to do in Rome for picture-perfect moments. Steal a snapshot of some of Rome’s best panoramas and take home something to remember. St Peter’s Basilica & its Dome St Peter’s Basilica is one of Rome’s most popular landmarks and religious hot-spots. With thousands flocking to the central church every day to step within the marble masterpiece, you know it must be good. Don’t get us wrong, the inside is wonderful, but for something a bit different, we prefer what's on the outside. One of our favourite things to do in St Peter’s Basilica is to climb the dome. For an unparalleled view over Rome, the dome stands at 136.6m – and is the tallest dome in the world. You can climb the 551 steps from the bottom, or take a lift half way, and walk around the dome for a stunning 360 ̊ panorama of the Eternal City. Look across Bernini’s square, over the walls of the Vatican and down to the River Tiber. Appreciate Rome’s terracotta themed skyline and count the domes of the city and take in the sweeping views. It doesn’t get better than this; don’t forget the camera. Villa Borghese Just across the river from St Peter’s Basilica and Castel Sant’Angelo is Piazza del Popolo, at the foot of Villa Borghese, Rome’s most central park. This green pocket of calm provides a nice contrast to the warm tones of the terraced city where visitors and locals alike seek to retreat for a quiet moment. Dotted with English classical buildings, fountains, ponds and meadow like grounds it’s the perfect place for a picnic and to experience the side of Rome that only the locals know about. Find a wooden bench, or take a stroll around the 148 acres (or however many you can manage!) for a clean and green experience of Rome; great to escape from the hustle and bustle of the ancient, vibrant, city. What’s more, if you’re after another view, the Pincio, at the top of the steps leading up from Piazza del Popolo, offers another perspective over Rome, this time from the south of the river. Rome Bus Tour As an alternative experience, Rome Bus Tour – run by Roma Cristiana – offers a great way of exploring the city from all angles – and from the comfort of your seat. As you’re driven through the streets of central Rome, past the old ruins and landmarks of the Eternal City, sit back and enjoy a running commentary of the view. Learn about the hero gladiators that fought in the Coliseum and find out about the famous artists and architects of the city as you pass in front of their monumental masterpieces. Over the river, across from the ancient Forum, Circus Maximus, up to the Vatican City and everything in between, look down the narrow cobbled streets to discover your own Rome. What’s more, you can even hop-on, and hop-off at your leisure should you wish to go exploring.... For the complete sightseeing experience, we can make your life easy with the OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card (including a Roma Pass)– you can get a free hop-on, hop-off ticket for the Rome Bus tour included, as well as skip the line privileges to St Peter’s Basilica. What’s more, you can take advantage of our free guidebook and map that comes with it so you won’t get lost on your way!
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Secret Parks in Rome

Rome is a-flurry with people, sounds and visual delights so it’s not surprising that a visit can leave your senses a bit assaulted. Although Rome’s historically famous for its ancient Empire whose ruins you can’t escape, dotted all around the city, from the impressive Coliseum to the looming dome of St Peter’s Basilica, the city also has some hidden areas to explore – and some only the locals know. So alongside these must-see monuments, take some time-out to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation in some of Rome’s greenest of oases. In no particular order, our favourite verdant spaces are as follows... Villa Borghese There’s no escaping this little pocket of greenery which sits in the middle of the city, coincidentally in the shape of a heart. Villa Borghese is one of the most popular spots for love-struck teenagers and elderly veterans alike and is a handy resource for a quiet break. With 148 acres to explore, its green meadows and manicured lawns are there to host picnics and Frisbee games, as well as sooth sore feet and unclutter busy minds. In the park are elegant temples and classic buildings, inspired by English architecture, which provide a stunning backdrop and perfect photo opportunity. Within walking distance from most major attractions, you can find it at the top of the Piazza del Poplo – where the Pincio will offer you a great viewpoint over the city, too – and is a safe option for those travelling with a family as there are plenty of toy-selling kiosks and ice cream vendors at hand! Villa Aldobrandini For something a bit more romantic and private, and dare we say it, more adult (sorry kids), Villa Aldobrandini is a tiny stamp sized garden nestled between the Trevi Fountain and Coliseum, up a hill to the East of the Vittorio Emmaneuel monument. Tree lined paths and handy benches make it the perfect stop-off if you’ve been exploring the Roman Forum and are working your way back into the city. If you walk to the very edge, you can overlook the Wedding Cake, the Roman's name for the big white Vittorio Emmanuele, and watch the world go by underneath your feet. Giardino delle Arance If secrecy and seclusion are your thing then the Giardino delle Arance, or Orange Garden to you and me, is just the one. A gorgeous private garden for you and your loved one to explore, or for your kids to pick an orange or two off the trees (there are plenty to go round), it’s an urban oasis and promises spectacular views over the city. Along the banks of the Tiber, to the left of Circus Maximus and the Aventine Hill, you can see the dome of St Peter’s Basilica and the terracotta topped buildings that stretch across the Eternal City. If you’re after a view to remember, go at dusk when you can see the city illuminate under nightfall and you’re guaranteed a bit of calm as the park is at its quietest. Just across the river is Trastevere, the perfect place to find a delicious local meal to finish off your evening in true Roman style. Villa Ada Villa Ada is great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city as it lies slightly out of the centre to the northeast. Best reached by local buses, it’s a huge expanse of green with windy paths through its impressive 450 acres and peaks at a historical summit, Monte Antenne. With a picturesque lake, you’d never think you were in Rome as Villa Ada transports you into a rural, exotic setting with squawking parrots in the trees, bright flowers in bloom and thick grassy fields. A great park if you’re in Rome for a few days and have time to spare out of your busy sightseeing itinerary, and great if you have kids – let them run wild and free and expend all their energy while you sit back and relax with a book. Villa Doria Pamphilj As Rome’s largest landscaped park, Villa Doria Pamphilj is actually the name of the monumental seventeenth century villa (or palace) whose landscaped meadows stretch for over 1.8km2. Up on the Janiculum, it was nicknamed the Bel Respiro, or beautiful breath, thanks to the spectacular views from its post up high on the hill. Much like Villa Borghese this park drew heavily on the classical English influences and is reminiscent of 18th century gardens in Stowe and Stourhead. So if you’re an Anglophile and know your classic architecture, this park has your name on it, not to mention for the Sound of Music qualities. That is of course substituting the Alps for a Mediterranean vista and ancient ruins. With the OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card you can save both time and money and make your trip to Rome that extra bit easier. With Fast Track Entry and free admission into Rome's most popular sights, as well as a 3 day travelcard included, it's your all-inclusive ticket to a stress-free vacation. Find out more, here...
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