Rome in fall. For Rome, autumn is the most popular time of year. We inform you about museums, papal audiences, dates and how you can avoid queues.
Autumn is the most popular season in Rome
Many visitors come to Rome, especially in October. It’s a little quieter in November and December. From mid-September it is high season in Rome and in October Rome has the highest number of visitors. Most visitors focus on a few sights, particularly St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Vatican Museums. It is therefore important to reserve in good time.
Autumn begins on September 22nd and the autumn weather in Rome usually sticks to it. For the Romans, autumn begins with the start of the public school year in mid-September. From mid-September to early November, the temperatures in Rome are very pleasant. The heating season then begins between the beginning and mid of November. There is no frost in Rome in November and December. Sometimes there can be fog in the morning, which gives the city and parks a special atmosphere.
In autumn it sometimes rains heavily. The rain usually does not last long and it rarely rains for several days. While in Northern Europe everything is green in summer and brown in autumn, in Rome the grass is brown in summer and turns green again in autumn.
So follow the weather report and pack a rain cover. On rainy days you can visit the numerous churches and museums. When it rains, you take refuge in a church, a shop, a bar or a restaurant. In the Colosseum, too, you are pretty much safe from rain.
Tickets at a glance
Book directly with our partners at no extra charge.
At GetYourGuide (can be canceled free of charge):
At Tiqets (with cancellation option):
Especially if you are only a few days in Rome, it is a pity to waste valuable time in the queues. You should therefore, if possible, reserve everything in advance, from entering the museums to visiting a restaurant.
Priority entry to St. Peter’s Basilica and the dome
To access St. Peter’s Basilica, you have to go through a security check like at the airport. You are not allowed to pass here with a pocket knife. You can take umbrellas and liquids with you. If you have booked a tour for the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, you pass the security check in the Vatican Museums and no more at St. Peter’s Basilica.
The official tour operator of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vox Mundi, offers priority access to the security check at St. Peter’s Basilica if you have booked an audio guide or a guided tour in advance.
The entrance to the dome is located above the visitor center on the right side of St. Peter’s Basilica. The visit of the dome costs 10 euros including the fee for the elevator.
Please note the clothing rules in St. Peter’s Basilica: you can only enter with presentable clothing. The clothing should not be strapless or low cut, pants or skirt must cover the knees. Sandals and hats are not allowed.
Here you can find more information about St. Peter’s.
Make a reservation for the Colosseum. Otherwise you may only find unfavorable remaining contingents or no tickets at all. You can also visit the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill before the booked entry time for the Colosseum.
You must also make a reservation even with the Roma Pass. You can reserve by phone at +390639967700. The reservation costs € 2. Here you can find a comparison of the Rome City Cards.
Tickets to the Vatican Museums
At the Vatican Museums, you have to pre-order access for a specific time. There are a variety of offers for the Vatican Museums. Most visitors, however, opt for a guided tour of the Vatican Museums with St. Peter’s Basilica. In this case you can only see half of the museums, because you get to St. Peter’s Basilica through a passage for groups from the Sistine Chapel. The alternative, however, would be to walk from the Sistine Chapel through the Vatican Museums back to the entrance, then around the museums to St. Peter’s Basilica and then queue up at the security check again – a total of several hours. Due to the corona regulations, however, the passage may be closed.
Very intersting is the special early admission. You will be among the first to visit the museums and the Sistine Chapel in the morning.
Tickets to the Villa Borghese Gallery
You can only visit the Gallery Villa Borghese by reservation. If you have a Roma Pass, you can reserve by calling +390632810.
Entry to the Pantheon is free. Nevertheless, you have to reserve the visit on Saturday and Sunday. Pantheon online reservation
Enjoy the autumn in Rome
The mild autumn climate in Rome allows for a variety of activities. Many visitors to Rome visit the whole city on foot. However, this can be very tiring and you need good shoes. When planning your day, you should therefore clearly define your preferences.
You can find some recommendations on how to put together a daily schedule in our series of articles Three Days in Rome. In principle, everything can be combined. However, you should have a rough idea of what you want to do. Otherwise you risk losing a lot of time and it becomes too exhausting. Enjoy a guided tour by bike, Segway or take a hop on hop off bus tour. Tickets
In the second half of October, the rose garden of the Municipality of Rome is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The rose garden is located on the slope of the Aventine above the Circus Maximus.
After sunset, a lively and colorful nightlife develops in Rome. Popular areas are Trastevere, the Ghetto and the area around Campo de ‘Fiori and Piazza Navona.
November 4th: National Unification and Armed Forces Day, wreath-laying at the grave of the Unknown Soldier by Viktor Emanuels Monument and the Frecce Tricolore aerobatic team fly over.
December 8th: Feast of the Immaculate Conception with parades through Rome and the Pope’s visit to the Marian Column on Piazza di Spagna
Rome autumn · Papal audiences and Angelus
As a rule, the general audience of the Pope takes place every Wednesday morning. You can see on which days the audiences take place in our monthly overviews. Here you can find more information about the papal audiences.
The Angelus prayer with Pope Francis takes place every Sunday at 12 noon on St. Peter’s Square. Furthermore, on 1 November the Angelus prayer takes place because of the All Saints’ Day. Admission to the Angelus Prayer in St. Peter’s Square is free and possible without reservation.
On the 8th of December, the Christmas season begins with the feast of the Immaculate Conception. In the afternoon before, the nativity scene is inaugurated in St. Peter’s Square.
All Saints in Rome
November 1, All Saints, is a national holiday in Italy. Shops and museums are open except for the Vatican Museums.
At 12 o’clock the Pope prays the Angelus on St. Peter’s Square.
Conception of Mary in Rome
A special atmosphere develops around Maria’s conception around the Marian column at Spanischer Platz. From early morning to afternoon, the Marian column is honored by the Roman citizens. Conception of Mary in Rome
Rome autumn · Museums
The Vatican Museums are closed on 1 November.
Details and opening hours can be found in the list of museums.
In October it is not necessary to book a hotel with air conditioned rooms. The hotels around Termini Central Station are reasonably priced, but you always need public transport to get anywhere, or you have to walk a long time. If you want to get to know Roman city life, hotels right in the center are ideal, on the ancient Martian field, which stretches from the Tiber to Piazza del Popolo, the Spanish Steps and Piazza Venezia. If you choose a hotel on the other side of the Tiber, you should not choose too far from the Vatican. We have put together some hotel recommendations on our hotel page.
Rome autumn · Eating out
Worth mentioning is the fried stockfish – baccalà – which you can enjoy all year round with a nice cool beer or a fresh wine.
Of course there are always pasta dishes such as Cacio e Pepe, Gricia, Amatriciana and Carbonara. For heavy Roman cuisine, the right season begins in mid-October.
The Romans also like to eat fish. Good fish restaurants are everywhere in Rome and of course by the sea in Ostia and Fiumicino. Very good, and usually expensive, restaurants also offer raw fish and raw shellfish. Browse through our Food in Rome category.