Rome in December – Weather, Activities, Travel Tips

Visiting Rome in December is a great idea compared to the summer months, as you’ll find fewer crowds, cheaper hotel and flight prices, and it’s overall an ideal time to visit.

The streets are adorned with beautiful lights and decorations, creating a magical atmosphere. The cooler weather is perfect for sipping hot chocolate or enjoying a warm meal in a cozy restaurant. Christmas markets pop up around the city, offering unique gifts and traditional treats.

Visiting the Vatican during this time can be a special experience, with the Christmas tree and nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square. December in Rome combines holiday cheer with the city’s timeless beauty, making it a delightful time to visit.

At Colosseum At Night, we always enjoy our beautiful city, and we’ll tell you everything you must know about Rome in December in this guide.

View of Castel Sant'Angelo in rome in December with leaf-free trees

Weather in Rome Italy in December

In December, the weather in Rome is often characterized by cloudy and rainy days. The average daytime temperature is around 10°C, while in the evenings, it can drop to approximately 2°C.

December 21st marks the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. Days are shorter, with the sun setting around 4:45pm. Outdoor archaeological sites close earlier, and it is recommended to visit them in the morning or early afternoon.

What to Pack for Rome in December

When planning your trip to Rome in December, it’s important to pack wisely to ensure comfort and preparedness for the changeable weather. The key is to bring plenty of layers that you can easily take off or put on as needed. Here are some essential items to include in your packing list:

  • Warm clothes: Pack long-sleeved shirts and heavy pants or jeans to keep you cozy during the cooler temperatures.
  • Layers: Bring warm pullovers or cardigans that you can easily layer over your shirts. This way, you can adjust your clothing to the temperature fluctuations between the sunlit daytime and cooler evenings.
  • Waterproof jacket: A waterproof jacket or coat is a must-have in December when there may be occasional rain showers in Rome. This will help you stay dry and comfortable while exploring the city.
  • Scarf: A scarf is a versatile accessory that can provide extra warmth and protection against the chill. It can also add a fashionable touch to your outfits.

In addition to these items, don’t forget to pack waterproof shoes and an umbrella or raincoat to shield yourself from any unexpected rain showers. By being prepared with the right clothing and accessories, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your time in Rome without worrying about the weather.

People in busy Roman square, wet day

Rome in December – Things to Do

December is a great time to visit Rome and indulge in its rich cultural offerings. With fewer crowds, you can fully immerse yourself in the historical wonders of the city. Some of the must-visit attractions include the iconic Colosseum and the incredible Vatican museums. With the reduced footfall, you can explore these landmarks at your own pace, making it a more enjoyable experience.

In addition to the famous monuments, Rome comes alive during December with various events and festivities. One of the highlights is the Christmas Fair in Piazza Navona, where you can stroll through the beautifully decorated stalls, savor delicious treats, and find unique gifts for your loved ones.

Another memorable event is the Menorah lighting in Piazza Barberini, which celebrates Hanukkah. This ritual creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere as you witness the traditional lighting of the Menorah and partake in the festivities.

  • Visit the Christmas Fair in Piazza Navona
  • Witness the Menorah lighting in Piazza Barberini

On December 8th, don’t miss the changing of Mary’s wreath at Piazza Mignanelli. This tradition represents the start of the Christmas season and is a beautiful sight to behold.

Photo of the Colosseum on a cloudy day
Market stall in a Rome piazza, vibrant

Explore Museums and Indoor Exhibits

December is also an ideal time to visit Rome’s world-class museums. With lower tourist numbers, you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate the impressive art collections and historical artifacts without feeling rushed. Don’t miss the Vatican Museums, home to masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Make sure to check out any special exhibits that may be happening during your visit. Museums often curate unique displays during the holiday season, offering a chance to delve deeper into specific topics or periods of history.

  • Discover art and history at the Vatican Museums
  • Keep an eye out for special exhibits and collections

Soak up the festive atmosphere as you explore the enchanting city of Rome in December. Whether you’re admiring the grandeur of ancient monuments or immersing yourself in the holiday spirit at Christmas fairs and Menorah lightings, Rome offers a memorable experience during this magical time of year.

St. Peter's Basilica square, Vatican majestic view

Rome in December – What to Expect

December is considered the low season in Rome, offering several benefits for travelers. Take advantage of hotel bargains during this time, as rates drop, making it an ideal opportunity to find affordable accommodation. While the weather can be cold with occasional rain showers, the city transforms into a magical wonderland adorned with festive decorations.

The low tourist crowds during this season also mean you can explore popular sites without the usual hustle and bustle. Imagine marveling at iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and Vatican without the crowds and long lines. It’s the perfect time to fully immerse yourself in Rome’s rich history and architectural wonders.

Be sure to plan ahead and book your accommodation and flights in advance to secure the best deals and availability. With lower occupancy rates, you’ll have more options to choose from and greater flexibility in your travel plans.

Pantheon and fountain, Rome's ancient architecture

Foods in Season in Rome in December

In December, Rome showcases a delectable array of seasonal culinary delights. This is the perfect time to savor the flavors of Rome with its unique winter bounty. Indulge in the culinary traditions of the city and treat your taste buds to an unforgettable experience.

Roman Artichokes

When it comes to seasonal specialties in Rome, Roman artichokes take center stage. These prized vegetables are a winter delicacy and are prepared in various mouthwatering ways. Whether you prefer them fried (alla giudia) or stewed (alla Romana), Roman artichokes offer a delightful combination of crispy textures and rich flavors.

Chicory (Puntarelle)

Another seasonal treat to look out for in December is chicory, locally known as puntarelle. This leafy green has a slightly bitter taste and is often enjoyed both raw and cooked. You can find it in salads, sautés, or paired with other ingredients like prosciutto or anchovies. The versatility of chicory makes it a must-try during your culinary adventures in Rome.

Citrus Fruits

The citrus season is at its peak in December, adding a burst of freshness to the Roman cuisine. Oranges, mandarins, and clementines are abundant during this time and provide a zesty and healthy treat. Whether enjoyed on their own or incorporated into desserts or savory dishes, these citrus fruits bring a vibrant and uplifting flavor to the table.

Exploring the seasonal foods in Rome during December allows you to truly immerse yourself in the local gastronomy. From the delightful Roman artichokes and puntarelle to the invigorating citrus fruits, December offers a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in these flavorful delights and experience the rich culinary traditions of Rome.

Spaghetti with meatballs, parmesan, and basil

Rome in December – Festivities and Events

Rome in December is a vibrant and festive destination, offering a multitude of activities and events to celebrate the holiday season. Whether you’re seeking traditional Christmas markets, cultural performances, or religious ceremonies, Rome has something for everyone. Experience the joyous atmosphere of the city as you immerse yourself in these exciting festivities.

Christmas Markets

One of the highlights of December in Rome is the Christmas markets scattered throughout the city. These markets offer a delightful blend of enchanting decorations, handicrafts, and delectable treats.

Explore Piazza Navona, where you can find beautifully crafted ornaments, unique gifts, and mouthwatering Italian street food. Make sure to indulge in some roasted chestnuts and warm mulled wine to fully embrace the festive spirit.

Concerts and Performances

December in Rome brings a variety of spectacular concerts and performances. Immerse yourself in the magical melodies of renowned artists as they take center stage.

Enjoy the powerful voices of the Three Tenors as they captivate audiences with their enchanting renditions of classical and holiday favorites. And as the year comes to a close, don’t miss the electrifying New Year’s Eve concerts that will have you dancing into the night.

Religious Ceremonies

Rome is deeply rooted in religious traditions, and December showcases a range of religious ceremonies and celebrations. Witness the lighting of nativity scenes throughout the city, each one intricately crafted and beautifully displayed.

On December 8, join in the festivities of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a significant day in the Catholic calendar. Experience the devotion and reverence of the Roman people as they come together to celebrate their faith.

Embrace the festive spirit and immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Rome in December. From exploring Christmas markets to attending religious ceremonies and enjoying world-class performances, there are countless opportunities to create lasting memories during this joyous time of year.

Spanish steps in Rome on a cloudy day

Conclusion

Rome in December offers a unique and enchanting experience. Despite the colder weather, the city comes alive with festive decorations and events, creating a truly magical atmosphere. It’s the perfect time to visit, as the crowds are much smaller, allowing you to easily explore popular attractions and immerse yourself in the beauty of this historic city.

There is no shortage of things to do and enjoy in Rome during December. You can attend the mesmerizing Papal Midnight Mass, where you’ll witness a breathtaking ceremony. Take a leisurely stroll through the Christmas markets in Piazza Navona, where you can find handmade crafts and delectable treats. And don’t forget to indulge in the seasonal foods, such as the famous Roman artichokes and citrus fruits, which are in abundance during this time.

Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere that fills the streets of Rome during December. From the twinkling lights to the joyful celebrations, you’ll be captivated by the charm and magic that surrounds you.

Whether you’re exploring the historic sites, shopping for unique gifts, or simply savoring the flavors of the season, Rome in December promises to create unforgettable memories of a truly authentic Roman holiday.

Vatican City over Tiber River, serene dusk

FAQ

What is the weather like in Rome Italy in December?

In December, the weather in Rome can be characterized by cloudy and rainy days. The average temperature during the day is in the low 50s °F/low teens °C, while in the evenings, it can drop to the mid-30s °F/single digits °C. December 21 marks the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. Days are shorter, with the sun setting around 4:45pm. Outdoor archaeological sites close earlier, and it is recommended to visit them in the morning or early afternoon.

What should I pack for Rome in December?

When packing for Rome in December, it is essential to bring plenty of layers to accommodate the changeable weather. Recommended items include long-sleeved shirts, heavy pants or jeans, warm pullovers or cardigans, a waterproof jacket or coat, and a scarf. The key is to be prepared for temperature fluctuations between the sunlit daytime and cooler evenings. It’s also important to have waterproof shoes and an umbrella or raincoat for possible rain showers.

What are some things to do in Rome in December?

December is a great time to visit monuments and museums in Rome due to lower crowds. Popular attractions like the Colosseum and Vatican are less crowded, allowing for a more enjoyable experience. Additionally, there are special events and festivities during December, including the Christmas Fair in Piazza Navona, the Menorah lighting in Piazza Barberini, and the changing of Mary’s wreath at Piazza Mignanelli on December 8. It’s also a good time to catch indoor museum exhibits and enjoy the holiday atmosphere in the city.

What can I expect when visiting Rome in December?

December is considered the low season in Rome, and it offers several benefits for travelers. Hotel rates drop, making it a great time to find bargains. The weather can be cold, with some rain showers, but the city becomes adorned with festive decorations, creating a magical atmosphere. The lower tourist crowds provide an opportunity to explore popular sites without the usual hustle and bustle. It is recommended to plan ahead and book accommodation and flights in advance.

What foods are in season in Rome in December?

December in Rome brings a variety of seasonal foods. Roman artichokes, both fried (alla giudia) and stewed (alla Romana), are popular dishes during this time. Chicory, known as puntarelle, is also in season and can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Citrus fruits like oranges, mandarins, and clementines are in abundance, offering a fresh and healthy treat. These seasonal foods contribute to the rich culinary traditions of Rome in December.

What festivities and events take place in Rome in December?

Rome in December offers a unique and enchanting experience. The city hosts Christmas markets where you can find handicrafts, treats, and enjoy the holiday ambiance. The Menorah lighting in Piazza Barberini celebrates Hanukkah, and there are special concerts held during this time, including the Three Tenors and New Year’s Eve concerts. December also sees the lighting of nativity scenes, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and various religious ceremonies. It’s a joyous time to experience the holiday spirit in Rome.

Why should I visit Rome in December?

Rome in December offers a unique and enchanting experience. The weather may be colder, but the city comes alive with festive decorations and events. It’s a less crowded time to visit, allowing for easier exploration of popular attractions. From attending Midnight Mass to strolling through Christmas markets and enjoying seasonal foods, there are plenty of things to do and enjoy in Rome during December. Embrace the festive atmosphere and create memories of a magical Roman holiday.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *