Sadly, we are rapidly creeping towards the end of the summer, and before we know it, winter will be here. While it would be great to have guaranteed sunshine and warm weather all year round, Rome in winter is actually an experience all of its own and I can give testimony to it’s beauty having visited twice in December myself. With plenty of warm layers and some careful planning Rome in winter can be truly magical, so beat the tourists and grab yourself an off-peak deal.
- Visit the Vatican
Visiting the Vatican is an absolute must when you are in Rome, and the best thing about visiting it in the winter is that it is a lot quieter – there are far fewer crowds to have to contend with and the queues are just a fraction of the size. Do be wary of the festive period though as between Christmas and January 6th things can begin to get crowded again, so best to avoid it at these times. Another thing to remember is that the Vatican museums are closed Sundays, except for the last Sunday of every month, when they are free, so be aware of that when planning your itinerary. If you wanted to do something super unique – perhaps it is your honeymoon or your first romantic break as a couple – you could look at hiring a Rome photographer to capture the perfect picture of this beautiful place!
- Head to a Christmas market
If you happen to be visiting Rome in the run up to Christmas, visiting one of the many fabulous festive markets in the city is a must. Some crop up on an annual basis and some are new and spontaneous. We definitely suggest heading to the one in Piazza Navona, which comes back year in, year out. It sells a vast range of goods, from jewellery, homeware, gifts, and clothes to artisan food products from local traders. It certainly gives you ideas for your loved ones back home!
- Head to the carnival
If you’re visiting Rome in February the city is filled with colour and music for the Italian Mardi Gras carnival. Like its more famous counterparts in New Orleans and Rio, the whole aim of Mardi Gras it is to use up all of the left over luxury foods and have one final big party, before the austerity of Lent. It is full of floats, magicians, jugglers, musicians, lots of colour, lots of noise and is the perfect place to visit for fun and excitement.
- Sip an espresso in a cafe bar
One of the most iconic things that you can do on a trip to Rome is head to a sophisticated cafe bar and sip on an espresso. It is a fabulous thing to do at any time of the year, but when it is cold outside, there is nothing better than a scalding hot espresso to warm you up. Taker some time out and people watch.
Winter really is the most perfect time of year for exploring Rome and alongside these four things visiting the regular tourists attractions at off peak times gives them a whole new perspective. You can wander the winding streets and delight in everything it has to offer without the hustle and bustle of the crowds, and at Christmas, the lights make it a truly magical experience. Just don’t forget your hat and scarf!