The nature of your trip to Italy depends hugely on the time of year. Rome in particular changes dramatically with the seasons. We’re here to let you know what you can expect in Rome throughout the year to help you make the decision of what works for you.
Rome in January and February
As for any major city, Rome can be a popular destination over New Year’s. But by the time the second week of January rolls around, there are few tourists left. Flights are cheap at this time and as long as one steers clear of Valentines Day, you should manage to get a seat in the restaurant. It’s the right time of year for Carnevale too, the celebration of lent which is marked by festivals and parades all over Italy and may be nice to see. Although, a fun time of year it also isn’t majorly invaded by tourists so you should find rates fall a little.
Weather wise this is obviously going to be the coolest time of year to come. If you would rather avoid the cold you can just head further south in Italy for the warmth and then head back to Rome with a little bit of warmth.
Rome in March and April
This time of year is known as the ‘shoulder season’; a good period of time when the weather gets a little warmer but the tourists are yet to descend. The flights are cheaper by and large, but depending on when Easter falls one may encounter crowds, especially around The Vatican. It is worth noting that Easter week it self will be busy and many establishments and tourist attractions will be closed.
However if you tick to March you won’t go far wrong. The weather won’t quite be glorious sunshine but it will certainly be a little warm and you will have most of the tourist attractions all to yourself.
Rome in May and June
These months put you most definitely in the high season, so flight prices will go up progressively. May could be a little cheaper but you will still find a big difference to earlier in the year. However, there is a reason this is the most popular time to visit. The weather is just about perfect, not too hot but warm enough and perfect for a spot of sightseeing, with little rain and blue skies above. Remember May 1st is Labour Day, when many attractions, shops and restaurants will be closed, so best check opening times before you go.
Rome in July and August
This is the true height of the tourism season when one can expect 3 hour long waits to see The Vatican and queues going round the Coliseum. Rates for both flights and rooms skyrocket and temperature rises along with the prices; sight seeing can become treacherous, especially with the huge influx of people.
However, it does have it’s positive points mainly as the city gets ready for ferragosto. Ferragosto is when there is a massive exodus of Italians fleeing to the coast for the summer. Operas are held at the Baths of Caracalla and 2km of shops, bars and restaurants open up along the Tiber River. Once Ferragasto starts, which is officially around the 15th August, Rome transforms. Although it can seem like a blessing as fewer people mean fewer crowds, it also means many businesses close down till September. The best restaurants will not be open and really, if you can’t have good food in Rome then you might be disappointed.
Rome in September and October
September can lag a little after Ferragasto as there is no exact date when the Italians return to the cities. Also the weather is still rather hot so it is considered the high season, yet without any of the benefits!
October can still be crowded but it is a wonderful time in terms of weather. It gets a little cooler, albeit with more rain than earlier in the year. But by the end of the month the crowds really die down and we move in to another ‘shoulder season’.
Rome in November and December
November remains fairly similar to October; it can get a little wet but the number of tourists really subsides and one has the run of the town, without any queues or crowds. December again remains very quiet and there are a few holidays to consider around Christmas.
But really, the chance to have the Vatican without hoards of people makes any rain that may fall well worth it.
So now you just need to get booking! There are plenty of experienced tour guides available in Rome; whether you book them well in advance or later again depends on the season you decide to visit Rome for that authentic Italian experience!
Image credits and License Details: https://flic.kr/p/o9Jd2u User (Allison Richards, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/etRyqq User (David McSpadden, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/cGLXah User (Mary Louise Eklund), https://flic.kr/p/8UwrHk User (Dennis Jarvis), https://flic.kr/p/iwyw4T (User Nicola), https://flic.kr/p/iFiHb8 (George Rex, CC BY-SA 2.0)