Rome in winter

Written by on 12. November 2019 in Rome Sights with 1 Comment

Rome in the winter. Most of you are likely to associate Italy with summer holidays, right? But did you know that there is so much to discover in the Eternal City even in winter? The great advantage is that the Italian winter is by far not as cold as we know it from Germany! At about 10 ° C, the city can be wonderfully explore even in the supposedly cold season – and that without chilblains. Why a trip to Rome in the winter is particularly worthwhile and what you should not miss, I’ll tell you now!

St. Peter's in Rome

Winter magic in Rome: 10 tips for your city trip to Rome in winter

Rome in winter: 1. Enjoy the tranquility of the low season

No question, Rome is and remains an absolute tourist magnet. So you will probably never be all by yourself in the Eternal City even in the off season, or in winter. If you are not planning your holiday in Rome over Christmas or New Year’s Eve, then during the winter months you will find significantly fewer tourists than usual. This not only saves you from annoying waiting times, but makes the city stroll and the sightseeing tour much more relaxed. On a balmy winter’s night at the beginning of December, for the first time I actually stood alone in front of the illuminated Fontana di Trevi, in front of which otherwise the masses of tourists are frolicking. An unforgettable experience that you can only dream about during the high season and a clear plus for the winter!

2. Let yourself be enchanted by the bright lights of Rome

Wintertime means also Christmas time! So you can experience Rome in winter in a very particular light. Fairy lights, decorated shop windows and decorated trees adorn the city. Especially in Rome’s old town center around the Piazza di Spagna, the streets such as in Via Condotti are festively illuminated. Opulent Christmas trees stand in front of the Altare della Patria (Piazza Venezia), the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Square.

3. Strolls over Rome (Christmas) markets

Did you know that there is a Christmas market every year in Piazza Navona in the heart of Rome’s Old Town? Also in Rome you can sweeten the cold season with mulled wine and roasted almonds. If you are not the Christmas market type, just stop by the market of Campo dei Fiori (just a few minutes walk from Piazza Navona). Piazza dei Fiori is transformed every morning (except Sundays) into a picturesque colorful market square. You will find flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables, regional cheese and sausage specialties. But also all sorts of souvenirs – not only culinary nature.

4. Visit the orange garden on the Aventine

Visiting a garden in the middle of winter? I know what you might think! But the orange garden (Giardino degli aranci) on Aventin Hill is no ordinary garden and is also a highlight in winter. On the one hand, because oranges grow in the winter, on the other hand, because you can enjoy a fabulous view of the rooftops of Rome and the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica there.

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The Giardino degli Aranci is open from October to February from 7:00 to 18:00. Admission is free. You can reach the Orange Garden by bus 81, 160, 628 (via della Greca) or after a 5-minute walk from the Circo Massimo stop on metro line B. Access to the park is via Piazza Pietro d’Illiria, Via di Santa Sabina or Clivio di Rocca Savella possible.

5. Visit Rome’s churches and cribs

There are churches in Rome like sand by the sea. The Big Five of the Roman churches, ie the Basilica of San Pietro, San Giovanni in Laterano, San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Santa Maria Maggiore and the Pantheon (yes, the Pantheon is a church) will hopefully be on your bucket lists anyway. Especially in the winter at Christmas time, you should also look at the one or the other unknown church from the inside. Because in most churches now very opulent cribs are built up, which give rise to (pre-) Christmas spirit.

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A typical Neapolitan nativity scene can be found, for example, in the Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano, Via dei Fori Imperiali, 1 (between the Coliseum and the Altare della Patria). Another jewel of nativity is hidden in the church of Santa Maria in Via in Via del Mortaro 24, just around the corner from the famous Fontana di Trevi. The Neapolitan nativity scene with statues from 1700, which is exhibited all year round, is completely situated in 19th-century Rome.

6. Spend an evening at the Opera

A visit to the opera is a special experience anyway. In a city like Rome, where you can feel art, culture and history on every corner, listening to Italian operatic arias at the opera house, certainly makes your trip even more extraordinary. The opera house in Rome looks rather inconspicuous from the outside, but inside it has the typical Baroque red velvet seats and gold ornaments. Best conditions for a winter evening, which you will not forget.

The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in Piazza Beniamino Gigli 7 is just a few minutes walk from the main train station. Tickets can be ordered in advance online, sometimes there are seats (with limited visibility) for just 25.00 euros.

7. Shop and dine without any limit

In a city like Rome, there are no limits to shopping, this is true in every season. Detailed tips on where to shop in Rome s.besten, I have already summarized in a separate article. For the winter time, I have a very special tip for you. Even the worst shopping muffle among you will get his money’s worth! On to the Eataly in Rome! The Eataly department store in Rome is a culinary temple that stretches over an incredible 17,000 square meters. In other words, four floors filled with everything the Italian cuisine has to offer and much more. A true palace for gourmets, foodies and those who want to become one. In addition to an immense selection of possible souvenirs (and Christmas presents?), there are also many stalls and a large selection of restaurants and snacks.

The Eataly can be found in Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492; directly at Ostiense station. Take the metro to the stop Piramide (line B) and take the (very long) underpass, which will take you directly to Ostiense train station. The opening hours of Eataly are daily from 10:00 to midnight.

8. Stay cool in the Ice Bar Roma

Probably the coolest bar in the Eternal City is probably the Ice Club Roma in Via Madonna dei Monti 18/19 (metro line B to the stop Cavour). If the Roman winter should be a bit too mild for you then you can cool down a bit in the Ice Club.

The special feature of the Ice Bar is that it has temperatures of minus 5 ° C inside. The counter, seating and decoration of the bar are made of ice sculptures. Entry into this icy but unique winter landscape costs 15 euros per person a drink and a cold weather jacket is already included.

9. Marvel at the Sistine Chapel

In the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums you can admire world-renowned works of art. In general, in the winter months from November to February the Vatican is less visited. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are of course excluded. Therefore, now is the ideal time to visit the Vatican Museums. Save time in the line and spend more time seeing the detailed ceiling frescoes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.

10. Try Panettone and Pandoro – preferably home-made

For most Germans stollen, speculoos, cookies, macaroons and co. are the typical treats that sweeten the winter time. In Italy, Panettone and Pandoro are sweet classics in the cold season. Both are made from yeast dough. In contrast to panettone, the lighter Pandoro traditionally contains neither raisins nor candied fruit. It is dusted with powdered sugar from the outside. Actually, the airy yeast pastry comes from the north of Italy, but now it graces the supermarkets across the country. Of course, Rome is no exception. It tastes better but fresh from the bakery; or from the Pasticciere or Forno.

In the Antico Forno Roscioli in Via dei Chiavari 34 (located very centrally between Largo di Torre Argentina and the Campo dei Fiori) you can taste the homemade version of the two classics and decide whether you are more of the Pandoro or Panettone type.

You see Rome is always worth a visit even in winter. So grab the winter coat and embark on your trip to wintry Rome!

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