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BlogDestinationsWhen is the best time to visit Rome? Here’s your season-by-season guide to the Eternal City

When is the best time to visit Rome? Here’s your season-by-season guide to the Eternal City

Jun 30, 2023 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

What’s the best time of year to visit Rome? The answer depends on what you’re looking to do on vacation. The Eternal City’s see-it-to-believe-it collection of ancient attractions can be visited year-round, making exceptional sightseeing easy to do. But there are definitely specific perks tied to traveling to Rome at different times of the year. If a visit to the Italian capital is in your future, read on to find out which season would best suit your travel style.

Winter is the best time to visit Rome for festive displays, fewer crowds & indulgent Roman cuisine

Months to experience winter in Rome:

December, January, and February

Winter weather in Rome won’t compare to snowy conditions farther north, but you can still experience cold days in late December through most of February. This is the best time to visit Rome if you enjoy a cooler trip—but what really makes it magical is the city’s festive atmosphere. Thanks to the city’s rich Christian and Jewish heritage, you’ll find neighborhoods all over Rome honoring holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah in colorful ways. For example, you’ll find Piazza Barberini lit up for the eight days of Hanukkah and stunning nativity scenes displayed throughout the city.

Even if you don’t travel to Rome during the holidays, the wonderful thing about Rome during the off-season is that there are fewer crowds. Can you imagine discovering the secrets of the Trevi Fountain without having to jostle for space? While winters in Rome can be cooler and rainier, their conditions are ideal for tucking into some of the city’s most indulgent, stick-to-your-bones cuisine, from local delicacies like trippa alla Romana to hearty servings of pasta carbonara.

Maybe you can even time your trip to land on the new year, and set out on our weeklong New Year’s Eve in Rome: The City Experience tour. Like many other cities, Rome shows off with a fabulous firework display. But you know what other cities won’t have? The chance to welcome the new year with a mass led by the pope. How’s that for a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Vatican City?

Winter events in Rome:

Our Rome itineraries, like our 15-day Grand Tour of Italy, include free days, which can be spent checking out events going on in the city. During the winter, especially over the holidays, you can experience unique local happenings.

  • December 8: Celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s marked by a holy caravan, led by the pope, from Vatican City to Piazza di Spagna.
  • February: Experience Carnival, an eight-day celebration filled with opulent parties and a grand parade along the Via del Corso.

Weather in Rome in December, January & February:

Average temperatures are between 39°F and 56°F.

What our travelers say about winter in Rome:

“Our first trip to Rome surpassed our expectations,” said traveler Kelly, who visited the Eternal City over the holidays. “[It was] a memorable way to ring in the new year!”

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Spring is the perfect time to see the Eternal City in bloom & soak in the local scene

Months to experience spring in Rome:

March, April, and May

For some travelers, March, April, and May are the best months to visit Rome. While we know there are countless reasons to travel to Rome in the spring, our favorite might just be seeing the city bloom. The Italian capital is famous for its stunning, historic gardens, and come springtime (when Rome weather is all but perfect), these urban oases are vibrant, colorful, and unforgettable.

On our nine-day London & Rome tour, you get enough free time in the Eternal City for a leisurely stroll through these verdant pockets, whether that’s the rose garden near Circus Maximus or the fabled Borghese Gardens. Smaller parks and city streets will begin to flower with cherry blossoms and purple wisterias. Even an iconic attraction like the Spanish Steps gets in on the action; in April, it gets cloaked in a blanket of azaleas.

Just as the flowers are blooming, so is the city’s social scene. Spring is the best time to go to Rome to experience the locals’ zest for life. With favorable temperatures coming in nearly every day, feel free to participate in rousing afternoon aperitivos or languorous weekend lunches over pizza and crisp white wines.

Spring events in Rome:

If you love tennis, or enjoy celebrating Easter, this season’s right for you.

  • Two weeks surrounding Easter: This is one of the busiest times in Rome, culminating with an Easter mass, held by the pope, at St. Peter’s Basilica. (Heads up: While entry’s free, tickets are typically reserved months in advance. It’s just one of the many Vatican City secrets you need to know.)
  • May: Watch the Italian Open (or the Internazionali BNL d’Italia). This is a renowned tennis tournament, where world-class athletes compete at the Foro Italico stadium.

Weather in Rome in March, April, and May:

Average temperatures are between 43°F and 75°F.

What our travelers say about spring in Rome:

“Rome at its best!” said traveler Sharon following her adventures on our Rome: The City Experience tour. “It’s a great place to relax and catch up on your walking. Experience and see the best restaurants in the world. You are located in the heart of the city, just blocks away from all the beautiful sites.”

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Summer in Rome is the perfect time to slow down during extra warm days & late-night meals

Months to experience summer in Rome:

June, July, and August

If you’re a fan of hot weather, one of the best times to visit Rome is summer. The city’s Mediterranean perch means balmy, summer-vacation vibes all season long. There’s no need to ask what the weather is like; the answer is always: hot. For many travelers, that alone makes June to August the best time of the year to visit Rome, when the sun is brightly shining and there’s nothing like being outside to soak it all in.

Our 12-day Venice, Florence & Rome tour is an especially great choice for summer travel, during which the Eternal City is buzzy with excited locals and visitors alike. You’ll see the best of the city on this itinerary, which includes guided visits to historic sights like the Roman Forum, the Baths of Caracalla, and the Colosseum. There’s also plenty of free time for you to carve out your own agenda. Maybe you’ll decide to shop in the designer boutiques along Via dei Condotti, add our Ancient Rome: St. Paul’s Basilica & the Catacombs excursion, or take one of the top day trips from Rome to nearby towns.

A summer trip to Rome is also the best time to experience the city’s late-night energy. No, this doesn’t mean heading out to the nightclubs—but Italians do love a long dinner. Do as the Romans do and settle in on an outdoor patio for a later-than-usual dinner reservation. Picture it: The sun has long set, the Rome weather has dipped to a comfortable temperature, and you’re savoring a multi-course meal with your new travel buddies.

Summer events in Rome:

If you’re planning a summer trip to Rome, and parades and public parties sound fun, aim to visit during this important holiday.

  • June 2: Witness Republic Day, Festa della Repubblica, a national celebration commemorating the day Italy became a republic in 1946. (Be aware that many shops, restaurants, and attractions close in observance of this special day.)

Weather in Rome in June, July, and August:

Average temperatures are between 63°F and 89°F.

What our travelers say about summer in Rome:

“Summer is one of the best times to visit Rome because of the infectious energy,” said traveler Chadner, who’s been to Rome during the summer many times. “Yes, Rome’s weather can be overwhelmingly hot, but that heat inspires you to slow it down. Join the locals for an Italian aperitivo—maybe by the river, which is busy with pop-up bars and lounges during the summer.”

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Fall is the best time to visit Rome’s ancient sights & whip up seasonal dishes

Months to experience fall in Rome:

September, October, and November

If your ideal trip to Rome is all about discovering its history, then our seven-day Rome: The City Experience tour is made for you. Taking educational, guided tours of the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Roman Forum, and the Pantheon is made much better by the season’s mild-yet-sunny weather. Bonus: The deeper we get into the months of September, October, and November, the thinner the crowds become.

Rome in the fall is also a great time to take a cooking class, thanks to the bounty of seasonal ingredients like truffles and chestnuts. That’s why we offer an optional Pasta-Making Class & Dinner excursion during the Rome portion of our nine-day A Week in Italy: Venice, Florence & Rome tour.

But truly, the weather in Rome during the fall is incredible for both indoor and outdoor exploration. It’s warm, but not excessively so. You can just as easily enjoy an afternoon in the museums as you can a day strolling around Rome’s top neighborhoods. It can feel like anything is possible, and that’s why fall is one of the best times to visit Rome.

Fall events in Rome:

Fall, especially October, is a busy time of year in the Italian capital, when it hosts a slew of artsy cultural events.

  • Rome Film Festival: Explore Rome as an annual gathering of international film stars flocks to the Auditorium Parco della Musica.
  • Rome Art Week: Enjoy six days of public activations and exhibitions, which are held at art institutions, event spaces, and hotels, and which are all free of charge. (Ask a new friend to tag along with you during your free time on our Venice, Florence & Rome for Solo Travelers tour!)

Weather in Rome in September, October, and November:

Average temperatures are between 45°F and 81°F.

What our travelers say about fall in Rome:

“October was a good time of the year to travel as well—[there were] comfortable temperatures and less crowds,” said traveler Kelly after her Grand Tour of Italy. “We were blessed with sunny, warm weather the entire tour.”

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What is the weather like in Rome in each season?

Because of Rome’s Mediterranean location in Southern Italy, the city enjoys cool (typically rainy) winters that eventually give way to hot summers. Summer in Rome is similar to many destinations in Southern Europe, where high mid-day temperatures usually mean many shops close for a few hours after lunch.

Spring and autumn bring milder, drier conditions. These are the months when the city is less busy with tourism, too. Regardless of when you travel to Rome, its unique atmosphere and historic legacy make for a special experience. In short: Anytime is the best time to travel to Rome. Here’s your beginner’s Travel Guide to the Eternal City.

Use this guide to help you decide when to travel on one of our amazing Rome tours and start planning your trip today.

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About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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