Rome December: Enjoy the atmosphere of the Christmas season, stroll through the shopping streets, visit museums and nativity scenes and enjoy the rustic Roman cuisine. The temperatures are mild and there is no frost.
The current regulations and information on opening times of museums, restaurants and shops can be found on our page on the COVID situation. As part of the COVID regulations, you need a digital vaccination card or a negative test to enter the country.
December in Rome
The more central you live, the less you are dependent on public transport. You can find out how to find an affordable room and which areas are best in our information on Hotels in Rome.
Rome is a very green city. A walk in one of the Roman villas is also interesting in December. And of course you have to visit a lookout point. Die-hard people combine a visit to the excavations in Ostia Antica is with a trip to the sea. In the wintry Villa D’Este in Tivoli with its water features, there is an interesting atmosphere, especially in the evening. Located in the valley below Tivoli, Villa Adriana is the largest villa that a Roman emperor has ever built. In its ruins, the sun burns mercilessly from spring to autumn and winter is the best time for us to see it.
Weather and clothing
The highest temperatures in December are in Rome at 15° C / 59° F, the minimum temperatures at 4° C / 39° F. In the morning the air is cold and there may be fog. As long as the sun is shining, it is pleasant. It’s cold in the evening and at night.
It can rain occasionally in December and there can be lightning storms. The rain does not last long, but it is very intense. Everything gets submerged within a few minutes and you have to find a shelter. After 15 or 30 minutes, everything is usually over again.
At the turn of the year there are often strong cold winds and in some years it can be quite uncomfortable with a long drizzle.
Since you spend a lot of time outdoors in Rome, you need warm clothing and rainwear. Also important in Rome are comfortable shoes, as you will be walking a lot and the walkways are often bumpy.
Rome for early risers
Of course, it takes some overcoming to get up in the dark. Nevertheless, We would like to recommend that you start a day early in the morning. There is very little traffic in Rome until six o’clock in the morning and you can take beautiful photos of monuments and squares undisturbed. With a little luck, you’ll find a misty morning that offers beautiful and unique photo opportunities. The sunrise is in Rome in November between 7:19 and 7:38.
The early morning is also the best time to jog.
To get to know Rome, a trip on the open hop on hop off buses is a good idea. Most of the lines run the round from Termini Station to the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Piazza Venezia, Castel Sant’Angelo, Ludovisi above the Spanish Steps and Piazza Barberini in the center.
The heavy Roman cuisine goes perfectly with the cold season. In our Food category you will find tips on street food, pizza, the best ice cream parlors that offer creations to match the winter, but also on very elegant restaurants.
Typical dishes of Roman cuisine are fried rice balls, supplì, salted cod, baccalà, and oxtail in tomato sauce, coda alla vaccinara.
Italian fashion is known worldwide and everyone will envy you for your purchases.
In December, the shops are particularly attractive. They are beautifully decorated for Christmas and the shopping at the mild temperatures in Rome is very pleasant.
The luxury brands can be found around Via dei Condotti, which leads from the Spanish Steps to Via del Corso. Along Via del Corso you will find shops in all price ranges.
A special consumption temple is the department store La Rinascente in via del Tritone. In the basement you can visit the ancient aqueduct which supplies water to the Trevi Fountain and the fountains in Piazza Navona. On the roof terrace you have a wonderful view over the city.
Also in the side streets around Piazza Navona and around Campo de ‘Fiori there are many nice little shops and boutiques.
Other shopping streets are Via Cola di Rienzo and Via Appia. The Via Marconi and the Via Tuscolana as well as the newly built shopping centers are too far away from the center for most tourists. Read about shopping in Rome.
Keeping your distance is a necessary precaution. Avoid the queues and make a daily schedule. In our category 3 days in Rome you will find suggestions that you can combine with each other.
Since you have to reserve in advance at most museums, there are only queues at free attractions such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon. Until mid-December, however, the risk of queues is low. There are almost always queues at ticket offices in airports and at the ticket machines. Bookings on the Internet are therefore the best choice.
Organize the journey from the airport to the hotel in advance and read our information about the metro and how you can get tickets quickly and easily.
Many museums can only be visited by reservation. These include the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums, the Colosseum, the Borghese Gallery and the museums of the Municipality of Rome. You can find information about the museums on our pages
St. Peter’s Basilica
Entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is free.
Priority entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is unlikely to be offered in December. This imposing building is definitely worth a tour. For more information read our pages on St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square and the history of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Tickets at a glance
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Rome December opening hours
St. Peter’s Basilica
Basilica 7 am – 6:30 pm – dome 8 am – 5 am – treasure 9 a.m. – 5:15 pm
More information about St. Peter’s Basilica>
Monday – Thursday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, closing 6:30 pm, Friday, Saturday 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, closing 8:00 pm. Closed on sundays. The opening times of the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo are not yet known.
City museums and national museums
In Rome, some of the museums belong to the municipality and some to the state.
The city’s museums include the Capitoline Museums, Trajan’s Markets, Imperial Forums and numerous other museums. National museums include the Colosseum, Castel Sant’Angelo, Borghese Gallery and many more. For the full list of museums, opening times and tickets, see our Rome Museums page.
All museums run by the Municipality of Rome, such as the Capitoline Museums and the Trajan’s Markets, have free admission on December 5th. The entry time must be reserved by telephone +39060608.
Cinecittà si mostra Visit the dream factory of Roman cinema, Metro A Station Cinecittà Tickets
Via di Tor Sanguigna 3 Tickets
Galleria Colonna – one of the largest ancient private palaces in Rome. The most beautiful rooms of the palace and the art collection of the family with artists from the 15th and 16th centuries such as Pinturicchio, Cosmè Tura, Carracci, Guido Reni, Tintoretto, Salvator Rosa, Bronzino, Guercino, Veronese, Vanvitelli
Via della Pilotta 17 (near Piazza Venezia) Bus 51, 60, 63, 80, 83, 85, 160, 170, H, n5, n8, n11, n90, n543, n716 (Piazza Venezia) Tickets
Via Vittorio Veneto 27 Bus 52, 53, 61, 63, 80, 83, 160, n90, nMA (Barberini) Tickets
All about Banksy 2
Thanks to about two hundred and fifty works from private collections, Chiostro del Bramante presents ALL ABOUT BANKSY: in Rome, from May 5, 2021 to January 9, 2022, a new exhibition to discover everything you can know about the most famous unknown artist in the world.
Napoleon Last Act. Exile, death, memory – 09/01/2022
Dedicated to the extreme moments of Napoleon Bonaparte’s epic deeds, the exhibition aims to illustrate the events of the Emperor’s exile and death on Saint Helena through an evocative visual narrative, constructed using prints, watercolors and sculptural and numismatic effigies.
until January 9th, 2022 I Marmi Torlonia. Collezionare Capolavori
The legendary marble collection of the Torlonia family, exhibition in the Capitoline Museums, Villa Caffarelli
Colors of the Romans – 15/06/2022
Mosaics from the Capitoline Collections
Centrale Montemartini, Via Ostiense, 106
Prima, donna. Margaret Bourke-White
More than 100 images from the Life archive in New York, divided into 11 thematic groups which, in a chronological vision, trace the thread of Margaret Bourke-White’s existential path and show her visionary and narrative capacity, capable of composing dense and striking photographic “stories”.
Klimt – The Secession and Italy
The exhibition traces Klimt’s life and artistic production, underlining his role as co-founder of the Viennese Secession and investigating his relationship with Italy, the destination of his travels and site of some of his exhibition successes.
Audiences of the Holy Father in December
General audiences of the Holy Father take place on Wednesdays at 9:30 am.
The Pope’s Angelus prayer takes place on Sundays and on December 8th at noon in St. Peter’s Square.
In December there are papal masses on Christmas Eve and on December 25th. There is also a Vesper in the afternoon of December 31st.
At noon on December 25th, the Pope gives the blessing to the city and the world Urbi et Orbi from the loggia delle benedizioni.
9.-11.12. Newspace Economy Forum on space technologyFiera di Roma – Rome Fair Train FL1 towards Fiumicino Airport
Friday 10 December 5 pm Inauguration of the Christmas crib in St. Peter’s Square
For more information see our article on Christmas in Rome
t.b.d. Musei in Musica A night of music in the museums of Rome
Participating: Capitoline Museums, Centrale Montemartini, Trajan’s Markets and many others
Christmas concert in the Vatican konzert im Vatikan
Recording December 16 7 pm Auditorio della Conciliazione website
Broadcast on Christmas Eve on Canale 5
19.12. Christmas Run for Sant’Egidio. Running for everyone at Villa Pamphili – 15 km – 8 km – 4 km. Groups with Pace Maker from 4’30″/ km to 8′ / km. Web https://www.christmasrun.it/wp/
Rome has a lively music scene. Many pubs and music venues offer live music, especially on weekends. Classical music can be found in many churches and palaces.
Rome’s Music Park
A jewel is the Parco della Musica, built by the internationally known architect Renzo Piano, in northern Rome on Via Flaminia. See all events here. Events and tickets
There are several auditoriums and an open-air stage in the Parco della Musica. There are performances in all styles.
Some events are also organized together with the Casa del Jazz. Events and Tickets Casa del JazzBus 160, 671, 714, 792
Atlantico is a concert hall in the EUR neighborhood. You take Metro B to EUR Fermi and then bus 705 or 706 to Colombo / Atlantico.
Palazzo dello Sport
The Palazzo dello Sport is a multifunctional hall where concerts are held regularly. It is located in Quartier EUR and is easily accessible by Metro B station Palasport.
Largo Venue is a cultural center on Via Prenestina.
The Teatro Brancaccio on Via Merulana also hosts musical events.
Monk Club is a cultural center located in the Portonaccio neighborhood near Tiburtina Station.
In Rome and the surrounding area there are a few parks that offer a welcome change. However, in winter they are mostly only open on weekends and public holidays. The parks are decorated for Christmas and the children can get to know Santa Claus.
The Luneur Park offers many rides. It is located in the south of the city in the EUR district on Via Cristoforo Colombo. The opening times in winter are irregular, mostly Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in summer daily until midnight. On the Luneur website you can see the calendar with the opening days. Bus connections are lines 30, 170, 714 and 791, Colombo / Agricoltura stop. From there it is 750m to the entrance on Via delle Tre Fontane 100.
Cinecittà World is a theme park about cinema and television. It is located next to the Castel Romano outlet center on Via Pontina between Rome and Pomezia. A shuttle bus runs from the Termini main station. Tickets
Excursions around Rome
Rome has beautiful surroundings. The Romans go to the seaside or the mountains for a good meal on weekends.
The seafood restaurants by the sea are also well attended in December. There is a rustic kitchen in the mountains that goes well with the cooler temperatures. With a little luck you can even go skiing.
You can reach many destinations by public transport.
Excursions to the sea
If you want to see the sea, just go to Ostia Lido. A ticket for city traffic is sufficient for the journey and on the way you can visit the excavations of the old port city of Ostia Antica.
Excursions in the mountains
The most famous summer residence of the Romans in Castel Gandolfo. The popes spent the summer here at an altitude of around 400 m. Pope Francis, however, remains in Rome and the palace and gardens at Castel Gandolfo can be visited.
You can get to Castel Gandolfo by train from Roma Termini or from Ciampino with a 3-zone ticket. The train station is located on the volcanic hill between Lake Albano and the village.
With the high-speed trains that are punctual to the minute, Florence and Naples are only around 1 ½ hours away. With our tips you can put together your own day tour or book an organized tour. Take a day to stroll around Florence and see the world famous Uffizi Gallery. Or visit the excavations in Pompeii and see Vesuvius, which is still active today and buried the city under its ashes.
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