The Best Time to Visit Rome, Italy

The Best Time to Visit Rome – An Insider’s Guide!

Ask any local when the best time to visit Rome is and you’ll get a different answer with each question. Summer is a brilliant time to explore the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill while cooling off with generous scoops of gelato. Come fall, the city is bursting with beauty, when the ancient Via Appia Antica is lined with golden trees and cultural events, like the Roma Jazz Festival, bring a new lease of life.

Winter is an amazing time to travel to the Eternal City if you’re yearning for a magical atmosphere. Although it’s very unlikely to snow, the city boasts loads of whimsical Christmas markets that will get you into the holiday spirit. And as you’d expect, spring is the best time to go to Rome for a rainbow of colors. During this season, green spaces such as Villa Borghese are overflowing with a kaleidoscope of blooms. 

With so many fantastic reasons to travel every month, it’s almost impossible to pin down the best time of year to visit Rome! I’ve traveled around the capital during every season. So to help you avoid the headache of working it out on your own, I’ve put together my recommendations on the best times to travel to the Eternal City, depending on the type of vacation you’re seeking.

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When is the best time to visit Rome, Italy?

Determining the best time to visit Rome in general is impossible. It all depends on the type of experience you’re hoping for. The weather changes from icy lows of around 37°F (2°C) in winter to highs of about 88°F (31°C) in summer, which can definitely affect how your vacation goes. 

More often than not, the better the weather Rome experiences, the higher the price of accommodation and flights, which is something you may want to consider.  But if you plan and pack accordingly, you can enjoy an incredible Rome trip in any weather, whatever your budget.

Unlike some European cities, such as Paris, Rome remains open throughout the year. So whenever you travel, most attractions (big and small) will be open. With this in mind, here are my recommendations when it comes to the best months to visit Rome for…

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Partying

Best Time to go to Rome: Partying

If you’re wondering when to travel to Rome for an amazing party atmosphere, you can’t beat April. There are all kinds of incredible events happening during this month, from energetic music concerts to citywide parties.

The month kicks off with Feste della Primavera (Spring Festival), which begins in April and continues until June. This action-packed event features sports competitions, theatrical shows, music performances, and art exhibits throughout the city. Make sure you check out the Spanish Steps. They’re covered in bright pink azaleas at this time of year!

Another reason this is the best month to visit Rome for partying is that the city’s birthday is celebrated each year on April 21st with one of the best parties in Europe. As well as cultural events at the Circus Maximus and gladiator displays at the Colosseum, the city hosts historical reenactments, music concerts, and fireworks displays. It’s worth keeping in mind that a lot of the city’s biggest attractions are closed on this day, but there are plenty of other things going on to keep you entertained.  

This spectacular event is followed by another, Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione) on April 25th. It’s celebrated with historical reenactments, military ceremonies, and street parties that go on until the early hours. Unlike on Rome’s birthday, all the major landmarks remain open on Liberation Day.


Perfect Weather

Best Time to Visit Rome: Perfect Weather

The best time to go to Rome for perfect weather is June. At this time of year, the sun sets between 8:30 pm and 9 pm, giving you ample opportunity for sightseeing. High temperatures reach around 84°F (29°C), with lows rarely dropping below 68°F (20°C). Clear blue skies and sunshine are practically guaranteed each day, while the odds of rain are minimal at scattered showers for just 4-5 days per month. 

This weather is ideal for sightseeing in summer clothes, sipping an Aperol Spritz at a local bar, and hunting down the best gelato place. Unfortunately, because the conditions are so perfect for traveling, Rome is pretty busy at this time of year. 

While you won’t be stuck in the huge crowds that descend on the city in July and August, you will have to wait in line for some attractions. To keep your waiting down to a minimum, I recommend you purchase skip-the-line tickets in advance before you travel. 

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Avoiding the Crowds

When to Visit Rome: Avoiding the Crowds

February is the best time of year to visit Rome if you want to have the place almost all to yourself. Although February falls in the middle of the off-season, all attractions, galleries, museums, and restaurants remain open. This means you can see all the major sites and take excellent pictures without having to wait in line for hours!

Another benefit of traveling to Rome in February is the price. Because it’s not a popular time to travel, you can usually find fantastic deals on accommodation and flights. Some restaurants may even offer discounts to encourage the few tourists in the city to come inside. 

The biggest downside of visiting Rome in February is the weather. At this time of year, temperatures drop down to 37°F (3°C) and rain is almost guaranteed. But although it will be chilly and most likely wet, the weather is ideal for cuddling up with your special someone and celebrating Valentine’s Day in one of the most romantic cities in the world.


Sightseeing

Best Time to go to Rome: Sightseeing

The best month to visit Rome for sightseeing is September. By the second half of the month, most of the tourists have left the city. This means you can explore popular attractions, like the Trevi Fountain and Castel Sant’Angelo, without having to wait in line for hours. There will be enough people in the city to create a lively atmosphere without making you feel like you’re drowning in a pool of visitors.

September is my favorite time for sightseeing in Rome because the weather is exceptional for wandering around the city and taking it all in. Highs can reach up to 81°F (27°C), which can feel a little stifling. But temperatures will usually be around 75°F (24°C), which is much better suited to sightseeing. Lows drop to around 68°F (20°C) in the evening, so you’ll still be able to enjoy delicious Italian eats on the city’s streetside restaurants after dark. 

The later in the month you travel, the cheaper the prices and the thinner the crowds. The weather stays pretty much the same throughout September, so try and travel in the final two weeks for the best deals and conditions. 

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A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Best Time to Visit Rome: Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

I usually advise friends to avoid visiting Rome around Christmas and New Year because the city is packed out with visitors and locals. But this is the only time of year you’ll get to experience one of the most magical events the Eternal City has to offer.

Every year at 10 am on January 1st at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope hosts a holy mass to welcome in the New Year. The event is completely free and open to everyone. 

All you’ve got to do is shake off your headache from the night before and head to St. Peter’s Square as early as you can to secure a spot. The crowds will be unbelievable and the weather will be freezing, but you won’t get this experience anywhere else in the world.  


The Worst Times to Visit Rome

Best Time to Visit Rome: Palatine Hill

Although there isn’t a truly awful time to visit Rome, some months definitely are better than others. While clear blue skies and sunshine are practically guaranteed in July and August, scorching high temperatures of up to 95°F (35°C) are common, too. That may not sound that bad if you’re used to hot weather, but huge summer crowds and a lack of breeze can make it feel much hotter.

It’s worth knowing that with the exception of major international chain hotels, few places in Rome have air-conditioning. This is why dining al fresco is so popular in the capital when temperatures peak. If you are traveling at this time of year, I beg you to make sure your accommodation has air-conditioning or at least a fan for each room.

March is one of the best months to visit Rome if you want to keep your costs down. This is one of the quietest months, when you should be able to bag great deals on flights and accommodation. 

But the reason it’s so quiet is that the weather is completely unpredictable. In the morning, the sun could be shining and the air could be pleasantly mild. But come the afternoon, the skies could be black and it could be pouring down with rain. It could even be snowing by the evening!

If you’re planning to travel in March, I recommend you pack clothes for all types of conditions and have plenty of backup plans in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. As a reward for your bravery, you’ll get to explore the city and its amazing attractions with hardly any crowds. 

There you have it! An insider’s guide to the best time to visit Rome. Do you have any tips about the best time to go to Rome?


About the Author:

  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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