Rome: the Eternal City, Italy’s bustling capital - gateway to so much history and beauty. It’s on many people’s bucket lists, and for good reason. There is just so much to see and explore in Rome; art, architecture, archaeology, myths, legends, history, nature… But when is the best time to visit Rome?
Year-round, Rome is stunning. But depending on what you want to get out of your visit, there are definitely better times to visit for you personally. If endless sunshine and hot weather are your thing, going at Christmas isn’t likely to tick every box for you! Rome is beautiful throughout the year - it’s all about picking the right season for what you want…
Spring in Rome
The weather in Rome during the spring months is ideal for sightseeing. Not too cold or too wet, and not too hot either. It’s jeans and t-shirt weather, which paired with comfortable shoes makes for the perfect city break outfit. Take a jacket or coat with you for the evenings, but generally you’ll be fine without.
Spring is a shoulder season, so Rome is much less crowded than it is during the summer months. Prices are better, ticket lines are shorter, it’s easier to get a reservation in one of the city’s many incredible restaurants.
If you like nature, then spring is the ideal season for you to be visiting Rome. The city is awash with flowers: lilac wisterias hang on suburban streets, scenting the air, and the Spanish Steps are covered in bright pink azalea flowers. Orange blossoms and peachy roses and white sakura can be found right across the city. It is like Rome has woken up and burst into life after the winter!
Spring also coincides with the birthday of Rome. The city was founded in 753 BC - the exact date given is April 21st. There are, of course, many celebrations across Rome during April. And the parties don't stop there; spring sees Easter, an important time in the Catholic calendar and widely celebrated across Rome. There are audiences with the Pope, and various masses that tourists are welcome to attend. If this is something you’re interested in the spring is definitely the best time to visit Rome!
Summer in Rome
If you’re a sun-seeker, then the summer is the best time to visit Rome. June brings heatwaves but the city is full of beautiful green spaces where you can sit back, relax and catch some rays - from the Orange Garden with its stunning views of Rome and Villa Borghese with its serene atmosphere, there are plenty of areas to chill out and cool off.
It is vacation time for many but if you don’t mind crowds then you’ll love the atmosphere in the city during the summer months. From open-air opera to bars that spill out onto cobbled piazzas, there are so many chances to party in Rome.
There are beaches and lakes within driving distance of Rome, so if you’ve had your fill of city walking tours and you’ve explored the darker (but ultimately cooler) underbelly of the city by way of its crypts and catacombs, grab your SPF and head to the shores.
Fall in Rome
Another shoulder season, fall is great for those who want to steer clear of the crowds in Rome. Again, ticket lines are shorter and prices are generally a bit cheaper in terms of accommodation, flights and transfers. While the street parties and sunbathing opportunities are gone, there is still so much to do in Rome: visit the Colosseum, take an evening walking tour to learn about the city’s ghosts and legends, or take a trip out to Pompeii.
The cooler weather makes this the best time to visit Rome if you’re sensitive to sun and heat. Thin jumpers and light jackets should be enough, and don’t forget your comfortable shoes for all the walking you’ll be doing across the city. It’s a great temperature to explore everything the Eternal City has to offer.
There is still a lot going on in Rome during fall. From film festivals to All Saints’ Day, to the mid-October La Notte dei Musei, which sees museums and cultural spaces open their doors for free, you won’t get bored. And of course, fall is a beautiful season in terms of colors. Leaves turn red and yellow, giving the city a beautiful orange hue as you walk around and take in the beauty of the streets. Perfect for photo opportunities!
Winter in Rome
If you’re planning a winter city break, Rome is a great place for it. The weather can get cold so make sure you plan for that - take your gloves and a good coat, and wrap up warm. If you’re lucky you’ll get to see the city’s churches dusted with snow and experience the magic of a real winter in Rome.
Of course, winter means Christmas. It’s definitely the best time to visit Rome if you are a lover of all things Christmas - from Piazza Navona’s market full of roasted chestnuts and handmade toys to the endless fairy lights that give the city such a special glow, Rome can be a true winter wonderland. Christmas is another incredibly important time for the Catholic faith, too. Winter offers a plethora of chances to see the Pope with masses and papal addresses. The Vatican really does Christmas in style - so it’s the perfect time for a Vatican tour! Note that the Christmas season in Rome starts on December 8th and runs right through to January 6th, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to celebrate.
There is really no best time to visit Rome. It is a city that has something different to offer at every point throughout the year, and it oozes beauty and charm no matter what the date is. Whether you want street parties or Christmas markets, lilac flowers or rust-colored leaves, you’ll find them all in Rome at some point. It is definitely a city worth visiting: from the history of the Colosseum to the stunning architecture around every corner, you’ll easily fall in love with Rome.