Winter is a great time to travel to Rome. Vacationers who choose to visit Rome during December, January and February have the chance to fully enjoy the city, with shorter cues, gorgeous light, less traffic, cheaper lodging rates, more elbow room in the Sistine Chapel, and the aroma of roasted chestnuts wafting through the cobbled avenues.
If those weren’t enough reasons to lure you to the Eternal City and have it all to yourselves, here is our list of why winter is the best time to visit Rome.
- Airfare and lodging are cheaper in the bassa stagione, low season. It’s not safe to predict airline fares, but rates in January and February are generally several hundred US dollars less during these months than at other times of the year. Within Europe, low cost airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, AirOne are always a good bargain, but even more so during low season. Many accommodations charge lower prices during winter, plus during particularly slow periods additional discounts are sometimes applied.
- Every first Sunday of the month, state-owned heritage sites (museums, galleries, archaeological digs, monumental parks and gardens) are open with free admission for all visitors. For more info, please check out the 060608 website.
- Shopaholics can go crazy on the saldi – Italy’s post-holiday sales.
- It’s easier to get reservations at your favorite restaurants and the chance to enjoy winter foods like porcini, artichokes, pumpkin risotto, hearty soups and other winter treats, or the opportunity to enjoy a cocktail in a cozy bar, curled up in front of the fireplace…
- It’s possible to participate in fun events like #winterinrome and #emptymuseo, to enjoy the beauty of the city minus the crowds and high season mania.
- The temperature is ideal for touring. Summer in Rome is hotter than Hades. Traveling to the Eternal City in July means setting yourself up for dehydration, sweaty nights and physical exhaustion. For heat-hating vacationers it makes more sense to visit Rome in winter, when temperatures range between 5 and 14 degrees Celsius.
- You can mix with the locals attending pop-ups and other special events. Check out our calendar or sign up to receive our newsletter for news on upcoming wine tasting pop-ups.
- There are less people circling the newly restored Trevi Fountain. It will be easier to toss your coin wishing to return… next winter!
Eleonora Baldwin is a TV host, journalist, and culinary connoisseur based in Rome, Italy. Her writing appears in several food and travel publications. Her show “ABCheese” is broadcast on Italian food network Gambero Rosso. She loves guiding culturally curious, food-passionate travellers seeking experiences in Italy beyond the guidebook.