If you’re looking for the best things to do in Rome in winter, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about visiting Rome in winter and even some tips to enjoy Rome in the winter just like locals do.
The first thing you need to know is that winter is actually a great time to visit the Eternal City, as the crowds are gone, you can still catch some lovely winter sunshine, enjoy some typical Roman festivals and some seasonal Roman food, plus much more.
The winter season in Rome is not too cold. It lasts between November and March for the most part, and many days are sunny and mild. Some days are rainy, but the good news is that it doesn’t rain every day during the colder months. The nights can be cold, so be sure to pack appropriately.
It snows very rarely in Rome, not even once in a decade, but if you’re lucky enough to catch it, you won’t regret it!
Spend Valentine’s Day in Rome
Love is in the air! As the birthplace of Saint Valentine, Rome is the perfect place for Valentine’s Day. The weekend before February 14th, enjoy the Chinese New Year festival and the Roman carnival.
Explore the Christmas markets In Rome
Watch winter magic come alive at the various Christmas markets in Rome! Truly, there is nothing like spending Christmas in Rome!
Drink all the hot chocolate in Rome
No matter the weather, hot chocolate is always a good idea! Venchi is a popular place to enjoy cioccolata calda (hot chocolate). This vintage spot offers bags of hot cocoa mix, chocolate liqueurs candy, and even chocolate cigars, or cigarette-shaped and sugar-filled treats. You’ll absolutely taste the best chocolate in Rome here!
Visit a shopping mall
Fancy doing a bit of shopping during the winter in Rome? This is an excellent opportunity to buy Christmas gifts in Rome, personal souvenirs or the latest Italian fashion. Retail therapy is also the favourite pastime of many Romans during the winter and it’s a great way to turn around a rainy day. Also, if you visit Rome in January, you might enjoy some great deals, as the sales season starts!
Get cosy in a local enoteca
Lots of people love wine! But winter is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of wine in a Roman enoteca, when the weather takes a turn for the worst outside and you are yearning for a cosy evening with friends or a loved one. The best wine drinking in Rome takes place in an enoteca, literally a wine store, many of which have cute corners for sipping wine and often a fairly ambitious kitchen to enjoy food while you drink.
Catch the Christmas lights and Christmas trees
Unlike many European cities, the Christmas lights and the major Christmas trees in Rome aren’t set up and switched on until early December. The big unveiling date is usually around 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the first major holiday of the month before Christmas takes place.
Unfortunately for the romantics, the lakes and rivers in Rome never freeze over. Happily, outdoor ice-rinks are however a thing in the winter months, with a few public-private rinks going up across the capital, with boots for rent and child-friendly amenities.
It’s snack time! The carciofi alla Romana stems from Lazio, Italy, and was initially prepared by farmers in antiquity. Indeed, these Roman-style braised artichokes could easily be your next favourite appetizer or side dish.
One of the major benefits of visiting Rome in winter is beating the queues at some of the city’s most famous attractions. There are hardly any tourists here, so it’s the perfect time for a guided tour! Also, nothing beats taking tourist-free pictures of the iconic Colosseum.
Winter is the perfect time to visit the Vatican, not only because it is an important place in Christendom, but you can enjoy this magical place without the usual crowds. Imagine admiring the magnificent frescoes and sculptures without craning to see around someone’s head! Also, if you visit the Vatican during Christmas, you will enjoy the Christmas tree, the famous nativity scene and the Christmas Eve mass.