Easter Rome: Opening hours, Pope’s Mass, celebrations and information on Easter in Rome

If you’re going to Rome for Easter this year, you should check out the following question before you travel: Can you shop in Rome for Easter, are museums and attractions open on Easter in Rome or is it all closed in Rome on Easter? Answers to these questions as well as further useful information on opening times of restaurants, sights and shops at Easter in Rome can be found in this article!

Easter Rome: Useful information & tips for Easter 2018 in Rome

The Easter holidays are often used for a short city break or extended weekend break in a European capital such as Rome. Easter in Italy is a bit different from ours, so you should inform yourself in advance about the holidays and their activities in Italy. Mostly there are small but subtle differences between the different countries. For example, in Italy on Good Friday we have no holiday, but a public holiday on April 25th.

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Also for your stay in Rome you should read about the opening hours of the sights and museums and – if you want to shop – also about the opening hours of the shops in Rome.

Easter Rome: What’s open on Good Friday in Rome?

Good Friday is not a holiday in Rome, but a normal working day. As a result, all the shops, restaurants, museums and sights in Rome are open as usual. So you can go shopping as usual every day of the week, visit well-known and lesser-known museums and sights of Rome, have a coffee in the evening or a nice dinner in the restaurant.

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The Good Friday in Rome thus brings no restrictions on the opening hours of sights and shops with it. An exception is the Coliseum with the Palatine and the Roman Forum, which closes at 12 o’clock because of the Pope’s celebration of the Cross. The metro station Colosseo will be closed at 13 o’clock!

Rome Easter celebrations on Good Friday

In St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 pm, the Pope’s Mass for Good Friday takes place. To participate in the fair, you must order tickets at the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household. St. Peter’s Basilica and the dome are therefore not accessible on the afternoon of Good Friday!

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The Way of the Cross at the Coliseum in Rome starts at 9:15 o’clock. The procession leads first to the Basilica of San Giovanni and on to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The procession usually ends around 11:30 pm.

Easter Rome: Do restaurants, shops & attractions in Rome open on Easter Saturday?

Easter Saturday is a normal Saturday in Rome, so you can usually go shopping in peace until 8 pm, enjoy the sun in a café or park and continue working on your sightseeing list for Rome. By the way, the Roma Pass or the Omnia Card can be very useful. Easter Saturday, like Good Friday in Rome, is a normal day when sightseeing, museums and shops are open according to their regular opening hours.

The Pope’s Mass of Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica starts at 8:30pm. To participate in the Mass, you can secure tickets at the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household.

Is Rome overflowing at Easter?

At Easter it is always very crowded in Rome. Many use the holidays or a long weekend to travel to Rome on Easter. Because many pilgrims are on the road, you have to wait with long waiting times at the most famous Roman sights such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Colosseum and also the Capitoline Museums.

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Rome itself is overcrowded at Easter, which is not only due to the holidays, but also to the mostly beautiful weather with pleasant temperatures.

Rome Easter: Tickets without waiting

If you want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica at Easter, you can book a quick access to the security checkpoints. The quick access is also available with the highly recommended Omnia Card. If you want to see the Coliseum and the Castel Sant’Angelo on the Easter holidays, there are also tickets with fast access. Incidentally, this is also included in the Roma Pass and the Omnia Card.

For a visit to the Vatican Museums at Easter you should definitely book in advance. The reservations are valid for a specific day and time. Without reservation you have to wait in a very long queue in front of the entrance of the museums.

Easter Rome: What did Easter Sunday open in Rome?

Easter Sunday in Rome is a Sunday like any other. On Sundays, most shops in the center of Rome are usually open. Many grocery stores and supermarkets are also open on Sundays. The same applies to the new department store La Rinascente in Via del Tritone, where you can see the aqueduct in the lower floor, which brings water to the Trevi Fountain and other fountains in the city.

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Shopping in Rome is therefore no problem on Easter Sunday. Roman gastronomy has the same opening hours on Easter Sunday as on any other ordinary Sunday, with the exception of Eataly, where shops and bakeries are closed at Ostiense train station.

Rome Easter events on Easter Sunday

As for the museums, you should know that national museums such as the Coliseum and Castel Sant’Angelo offer free admission on the first Sunday of each month. This is a problem on this Easter Sunday in 2018, because you have to count on endless waiting lines and not get on with the preferred city passes. For museums and attractions in Rome, the regular opening hours apply on Easter Sunday. The Vatican Museums are closed on Easter Sunday. Likewise, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Dome are not accessible until about 1 pm due to the Easter celebrations.

If you do not want to stand in line for hours, on Easter Sunday a museum in the municipality of Rome, such as the Capitoline Museums or the markets of Trajan, is better to visit.

Rome Easter Vatican: The blessing of Urbi et Orbi

Many visitors and pilgrims come at 12 o’clock to St. Peter’s Square for the traditional blessing of Urbi et Orbi the Pope in St. Peter’s Square. When the weather is fine, a bus ride 118 to the Via Appia Antica or the metro from the Pyramid to Ostia to the sea are also good alternatives.

Easter Rome: Are museums, attractions & shops open on Easter Monday in Rome?

Easter Monday is a holiday in Rome. Most Roman shops are closed on Easter Monday, but the restaurants are working normally. Some restaurants, based on local customers and closed on Sundays, are also closed on Easter Monday. But do not worry, with the abundance of restaurants in Rome, you’ll find a large number of open restaurants where you can eat delicious lunch and dinner.

Although Easter Monday is a public holiday, all the museums of Rome except the Vatican Museums are open normally. On Easter Monday, you can benefit from preferential admission with the Roma Pass or the Omnia Card at the Coliseum, Castel Sant’Angelo and the Capitoline Museums. Many museums, which are usually closed on Mondays, are also open on Easter Monday.

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On St. Peter’s Square, the Pope prays the Regina Caeli on Easter Monday at 12 o’clock. You only get into the dome and the dome when the prayer is over. Even a holiday in Rome so only in very few cases of sightseeing off!

Easter Rome: Opening times of the Roman museums at Easter

This is how the opening hours of the museums in Rome look like at Easter:

Attraction/museumOpening hoursAdditional informtion
Coliseum, Palatine and Roman Forum8:30am-7:15pmClosed on Good Friday at 12 noon
Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella9am-7:15pm
Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella and Villa dei Quintili9am-7:15pmCombi ticket, mausoleum closed on Mondays, Easter Monday open
Baths of Caracalla9am-7:15pm
Roman National Museum9am-7:45pmCombi ticket for several museums
Gallery of Villa Borghese9am-7pmOnly by phone reservation Tel .: +39 06 32810
National Gallery of Ancient Art in the Palazzo Barberini8:30am-7pmClosed on Mondays
National Gallery of Ancient Art in the Palazzo Corsini8:30am-7pmClosed on Mondays
Gallery Spada8:30am-7:30pmClosed on Tuesdays
GNAM - National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art8:30am-7:30pmClosed on Mondays
National Museum of Oriental Art8am-7pmClosed on Mondays
National Museum of Musical Instruments9am-7pmClosed on Mondays
National Museum of the High Middle Ages8am-7pmClosed on Mondays
National Museum of Folk Art and Popular Traditions8am-7pmClosed on Mondays, closed on Sundays in July & August
Prehistoric National Museum8am-7pmClosed on Mondays
National Museum Engelsburg9am-7:30pm
National Museum Palazzo Venezia8:30am-7:30pmClosed on Mondays
Etruscan National Museum of Villa Giulia8:30am-7:30pmClosed on Mondays
Excavations in Ostia Antica8:30am-7:15pm

The combination ticket for the Roman National Museum is valid for the following museums: Crypt Balbi (Via delle Botteghe Oscure 31), Palazzo Altemps (piazza di S. Apollinare, 48), Palazzo Massimo (Largo di Villa Peretti, 1) and the Baths of Diocletian (via E. De Nicola, 79).

The following performance shows the opening hours of the museums in Rome that belong to the municipality:

  • Musei Capitolini: 9:30am-7:30pm
  • Centrale Montemartini: 9am-7pm, closed on Mondays
  • Mercati di Traiano: 9:30am-7:30pm
  • Museo dell’Ara Pacis: 9:30-19:30
  • Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco: 1-7pm, closed on Mondays
  • Museo della Civiltà Romana: currently closed
  • Museo delle Mura: 9am-2 pm, closed on Mondays
  • Villa, Circo di Massenzio e Mausoleo di Romolo: 10am-4pm, closed on Mondays
  • Museo di Roma: Tue-Fri 10am-2 pm and Saturday, Sunday and public holidays until 6 pm
  • Museo Napoleonico: 10am-6pm, closed on Mondays
  • Galleria d’Arte Moderna: 10am-6:30pm, closed on Mondays
  • MACRO: Tue-Sun 10:30am-7:30pm
  • Museo Carlo Bilotti-Aranciera di Villa Borghese: Tue-Fri and on holidays 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7pm
  • Museo Pietro Canonica e Villa Borghese: 10am-4pm, closed on Mondays
  • Museo di Roma in Trastevere: 10am-8pm, closed on Mondays
  • Musei di Villa Torlonia: 9am-7pm, closed on Mondays
  • Planetario e Museo Astronomico: currently closed
  • Museo Civico di Zoologia: 9am-7pm, closed on Mondays

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