Best Time to Visit - 11 min read

Best Time of Year to Visit Rome (Fierce Culture & Historical Sites)

Kaylee Giacomini

Kaylee Giacomini, Updated October 24, 2022

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Italians refer to Rome as a lasagne. Much like the pasta dish, the city has been built up, layer by layer, since the days of Julius Caesar. One of the great marvels of Rome is the juxtaposition of ancient and modern sharing the same city block.

No matter when you visit Rome, you are bound to find something to do. However, some times are favorable to others. 

The best time to visit Rome is in April and October. The weather hovers around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and crowds are manageable in the late spring and early fall. The cost of travel in these months is also cheaper. It falls from around a $360 per day average in high season to only $130 in April and October.

Within a single day, you can see a range of things such as the Colosseum, Vatican City, and modern art galleries. There is so much to do beyond the mesmerizing attractions in the city. Rome is a global gastronomic center with one of the most refined culinary palettes in the world.

What is the Worst Time to Visit Rome?

It is easy to find things to do in the eternal city at all times of the year. However, the worst time to visit is in August. 

A few factors play into this unfortunate ranking. For one, August in Rome is hot. Any city in sweltering heat can be brutal, and Rome is no exception. 

From experience, it doesn’t get much worse than touring the shadeless Colosseum in 90-degree Fahrenheit weather. 

August also marks the Italian holiday Ferragosto. During Ferragosto, much of the country goes on vacation. The tourism industry on the coast tends to remain intact, but people like to leave cities at this time. Expect long wait times for attractions that manage to stay open. 

What is the Cheapest Time to Visit Rome?

The cheapest time to visit Rome is in January. Flight and hotel rates tend to reach their lowest point during this month. 

The weather in the winter is chilly at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can manage the cold, you will find an uncrowded, peaceful city to explore on the cheap. 

Related Read: Italy: Travel Budget Calculator

What Time of Year Does Rome Have the Best Weather?

Rome has some of the best weather in the spring and fall. Average temperatures stay in the 60s and precipitation is low. With warm days and brisk nights, it doesn’t get much better than this. 

The pleasant weather beckons in heavy crowds. Although it’s a great time to visit, be prepared to wait for attractions like the Colosseum. You may also have a few people in your photo at the Trevi Fountain.

Best Weather and Cultural Events in Rome: Monthly Breakdown

January: Celebrate Epiphany

Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is a widely celebrated Christian holiday. It takes place on the 12th day of Christmas, or the 6th of January. In Rome, it is especially sacred. 

The Vatican is an independent nation-state in the heart of Rome. It is one of the most sacred places in the world for those of the Catholic faith. The Pope governs the Vatican, not the Italian president. Chrisitan holidays are a huge deal in Italy, but especially in Rome. 

Epiphany in Rome is marked by family feasts, a parade through Piazza Navona, and La Befana. La Befana is a unique figure in Italy similar to Santa Claus on Christmas. 

She is a mythological witch that travels around on the morning of the Epiphany and delivers small treats to children in their shoes. On the eve of January 6, children across Italy leave their shoes out in hopes that La Befana will leave them candy or a small gift. 

  • Festa di Sant’Agnese
  • Festa di San Antonio Abate

February: Carnevale

Italy is widely Catholic. However, you can be from any faith to get in on the fun of their religious holidays. Carnevale is no exception. This holiday is celebrated on the day before Lent. 

The world observes Carnevale in several ways. Some of the most notorious spectacles include Mardi Gras in New Orleans, USA, and Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Carnevale Romano is an event to rival some of the most extravagant of its competing celebrations. 

Today, Carnevale in Rome has a handful of jovial events. Visitors can expect a historic horse race, theatrical performances, street art, fireworks, and parades. 

  • International Conference on Museums
  • International Conference on Architectural restoration

March: Roman Marathon (Marartona di Roma)

Every year, thousands gather to run through the Eternal City in the Maratona di Roma (Roman Marathon). The Marathon winds through the piazze of Rome, making significant passes by famous landmarks. 

As you run the streets of Rome, check out some historic landmarks. The Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Spanish Steps are just a few of the sites you’ll hit. 

If you’d rather walk the 26.2-mile course, you’re welcome to do so. The Maratona di Roma allows athletes to power walk. 

  • Festa di Santa Francesca Romana
  • Festa di San Giuseppe

April: Best for Seeing Museums & Gladiators

Rome has a lot of museums, and the best time to see them is in April. In mid-April, many museums and cultural sites open up for a week of free admission. 

This free admission is due to the Settimana della Cultura, or Culture Week. Some sites not often open to the public also welcome visitors. If you’ve ever wanted to see the basement of the Colosseum, April is your chance!

April also marks the founding of Rome. As per legend, Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by brothers Romulus and Remus. One of the most unique events during the festivities is live gladiator fighting in the Colosseum. This is a rare sight in modern times.

  • Holy Week observances
  • Easter (Pasqua)
  • Festa della Primavera

May: Best For Dining (If Possible!)

There is no bad time to visit Rome for food. The cuisine of Italy is among the best in the world. Whether you go in the spring or winter, you’ll be blown away by the culinary scene. 

May is one of the best months to visit Rome for dining for several reasons. For one, many of Rome’s best crops are in season. Popular Roman produce such as artichokes are plentiful and fresh in May. 

The weather in May is also perfect for outdoor dining. Eating al fresco, or outside, is popular across Italy. 

Every region of Italy has different specialties. You can find classic pizza and pasta options everywhere, but there are certain Roman dishes that everyone must try. Pasta Carbonara, white pizza, and dishes made with bucatini pasta are all locally crafted and delicious. 

  • Concorso Ippico Internazionale (International Horse Show)
  • Labor Day Holiday
  • New Swiss Guards sworn in at the Vatican on May 6th

Related Read: 40 BEST Restaurants in Italy

June: Republic Day

Republic Day is a major Italian holiday celebrating the nation’s independence. In the capital city of Rome, celebrations are extravagant. 

The holiday was first celebrated after Italy became a republic on June 2nd of 1946. It is celebrated in Rome by a large parade through the Via Dei Fori Imperiali and music in the Quirinale Gardens. The Italian president even makes an appearance at the events.

 

One of the most amazing spectacles is an air show put on by the Italian air force. Planes that trail green, red, and white smoke fly in unison over the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II. The smoke represents the Italian flag and is visible across Rome. 

  • Son et Lumiere
  • Festa di San Pietro
  • Estate Romana (Rome Summer Festival)

July: Best Time for Nightlife

July and August are some of the hottest months to visit Rome. One of the best things to do is avoid daytime sightseeing, which can get sweltering, and venture out at night. 

Start your evening with a late dinner. Italians and much of Southern Europe don’t eat dinner until around 9 pm. Grab a table al fresco and enjoy the cool nighttime breeze with your meal. 

Rome is home to a handful of notorious clubs and bars. Some don’t even open until 1 am, following a pattern set across much of Europe. 

In the hot Roman summer, it is appropriate to sleep in and stay out into the night. 

  • Festa di Noentri
  • Expo Tevere

August: Take a Day Trip During  Ferragosto

Ferragosto is an international holiday in Italy where much of the country’s bustling tourism industry lulls. For three weeks in August, Italians vacation. Especially those who live in bustling tourist hubs like Rome. 

August is not a bad time to visit Rome. However, be prepared for longer wait times and some attractions being closed. Much of the staff goes on vacation and some things close down entirely. 

Act like the Italians during Ferragosto and take a day trip to the sea. Rome is in proximity to the West Coast and some gorgeous beaches.

Sperlonga is one of the prettiest coastal towns near Rome with crystalline waters and a resort feel. Anzio is another great beach town. It has remained so popular throughout history that it was once Emperor Nero’s seaside oasis. 

  • Festa Delle Catene
  • Festa Della Madonna Delle Neve

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Lake Como

September: Best Time of Year for Football Fans

Sports in Italy are a big deal, especially Football (American soccer). Rome has two football teams, creating a major rift in the city. The AS Roma and SS Lazio are a contested Roman rivalry. They even share the same home stadium. 

If you visit Italy during football season, be sure to catch one of the spirited games. Fans can get heated, but this heightens the fun. 

The arts in Rome also flourish in September. Throughout the piazze, you can find various pop-ups and vendors. 

  • Sagra dell’Uva
  • Various arts, crafts, and antique fairs

October: Roma Jazz Festival

The first Roma Jazz Festival occured in 1976. Since then, the event has welcomed major headliners including Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, and Norah Jones, to name a few. 

Over 900 performers have taken the stage in Jazz Fest’s 33-year history. The artists range far beyond Jazz music. Hundreds of musicians, both renowned in Italy and internationally, perform here. 

October is a popular month in Rome for the performing arts. Aside from Jazz Fest, visitors can participate in live theater and other performances across the city. 

  • Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Rome Film Festival

November: Best Time for Sightseeing

November in Italy is one of the best times for sightseeing. Crowds are consistently low and the weather is crisp and perfect for some time outdoors. Average daily temperatures fall around 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bundle up and check out some of Rome’s top tourist attractions. The sweltering summer heat can ruin an afternoon. So can crowds eclipsing the view of the city’s top sites. Visiting the city in November is a great way to avoid both of these problems. 

Take an organized tour of the city to learn the history from experts. Make sure to see top historic sites like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Trevi Fountain. 

  • All Saints Day
  • Europa Festival

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Tuscany

December: Shop the Roman Christmas Markets

Christmas is a big deal in Rome due to the city’s heavy Catholic influence. In December, Rome is adorned with festive garland, angel motifs, and lights. Massive Christmas trees are also stationed across Rome’s piazze. 

One of the best things to do in Europe during the holidays is shop at Christmas markets. Rome has some of the best. Grab some mulled cider, bundle up, and check out hundreds of vendors. 

Piazza Navona has the largest market in the city. It is open for almost a month from December 8th until Epiphany on January 6th. Others pop up in Piazza Mazzini, Mercato Monti, and the Auditorium of Rome. 

  • Christmas Blessing by the Pope
  • The nativity display in Sala del Bramante

What is the Best Time to Visit Rome With Family?

June is the best time to visit Rome with family. Every year, there is an influx of young children to the city in June. This is because schools tend to let out around this time in Europe and the United States.

While in Rome with the family, one of the best things to do is sightsee. Get a Roma Pass for discounted rates on entry, transportation, and more. It is perfect for tourists who want to do a lot in a few days. 

What is the Best Time to Avoid Crowds in Rome?

The best time to avoid crowds in Rome is in January. Any time from October through April tends to see low crowding. 

The weather is brisk. However, it would be rare to see the temperature dip below freezing in Rome. Bring a light winter coat and get ready to experience the city without the presence of too many people. 

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