When to go to Rome: a month-by-month guide of when to visit

Last updated on August 18th, 2018 at 09:47 pm

I am a bit biased, but I don’t think there is really a bad time to go to Rome.

Except maybe August. August wouldn’t be my favorite time to visit Rome… but to each his own.

Every season has its pros and cons when it comes to when to visit Rome. If you want to come when the city is fairly empty in terms of visitors, then you risk having to deal with less ideal weather. If you are hoping for sunny skies, you might be waiting longer in line to see the sights.  The choice is yours.

When to Go to Rome – Month by Month

January in Rome:

January can be fairly damp and cold. The trees are bare and the river often rises thanks to the rain. Redeeming feature? Artichokes. Because I can’t exactly hibernate, artichokes give me a reason to get dressed and leave the house. One major holiday in Rome to be aware of: 6 January is the epiphany – a national holiday when businesses close and children celebrate by getting gifts from La Befana – Italy’s friendly Christmas witch. The holiday marks the end of the Christmas season in Rome and the beginning of the sale season in Italy.

Average temperature in Rome in January: 8 °C or 46 °F

Check Rome hotel prices in January.

February in Rome:

February is when I really feel like I am from San Diego because I can’t understand how it is still cold. February is usually rainy, but manageable. Because the holiday season has just ended, prices for accommodation are likely lower than most of the year. Shops are open and the markets are full of cold weather comforts. There are no major holidays you need to worry about, so pack a warm jacket, as well as some waterproof shoes, and get out there.

Average temperature in Rome in February: 9 °C or 48 °F

Check Rome hotel prices in February.

March in Rome:

In Italian, there is a saying that “March is crazy,” – marzo è pazzo. That holds true when it comes to the March weather in Rome.  Certain days will feel like spring, and just when you start to believe the sunshine might last, you will be caught in a torrential downpour.  Depending on how early Easter falls, you may have more crowds around the Vatican, but otherwise, the city is navigable.  You could very well get lucky with the weather but you will still likely need a light coat and a small umbrella.

Average temperature in Rome in March: 12 °C or 54 °F

Check Rome hotel prices in March. 

April in Rome:

April always gets my hopes up. The greenery starts to reappear and a few flowers spout up. However, the nights are still cool.  If Easter falls in April, expect pilgrims to make their way to the Vatican and crowd Metro A. During spring break season (and weekends in general) you’ll find the Colosseum and other central monuments starting to fill up with European travelers. Major holidays to be aware of include 21 April – Rome’s birthday. Rome and I are both April-babies, so I say come out and celebrate.

Average temperature in Rome in April: 14 °C or 57 °F

Check Rome hotel prices in April.

May in Rome:

May in Rome is glorious. The city is bursting with color. The leaves are fully back on the trees and pots of bougainvillea line the Spanish Steps. May 1st (Primo Maggio) is labor day in Italy and a major holiday that may close some businesses. On the upside, almost everyone is out and about and the city plans a free concert at San Giovanni. May days are warm without being stifling. It is the perfect time to picnic in Circo Massimo. After you finish up, pop into Rome’s rose garden that will be open for a limited time during the month of May.

Average temperature in Rome in May: 21 °C or 70 °F

Check Rome hotel prices in May. 

June in Rome:

The thrill of May’s welcome warmth is fleeting. By the end of June, I am usually starting to cross the street to stay in the shade as the temperatures rise. But the city feels alive. Summer is so close you can taste it. (And I quite literally start frequenting Rome’s best gelato shops as much as possible). Summer concerts start up again and all of Rome is in a good mood. The downside is that everybody knows it, so accommodation prices start to rise and the buses are more crowded. Good luck out there!

Average temperature in Rome in June: 23 °C or 73 °F

Check hotel prices in Rome in June. 

Rome buildings

July in Rome:

July is one of the best months in Rome if you want to enjoy some of the outdoor events like cinema in the piazza or concerts in Teatro Marcello. Oh! And the opera at the baths of Caracalla! There is SO MUCH TO DO IN JULY! I absolutely love it.  Yes, yes, it’s hot. And there will be longer lines at the major Rome attractions, but pick up a Rome City Pass and skip the queue. Then be ready to spend the long evenings lounging around rooftop bars or grab a glass of wine outside Il Vinaietto and watch the bella figura parade. My god, isn’t it good to be alive? (That’s what I repeat to myself as I skip through the city… slowly. Because it’s hot).

Average temperature in Rome in July: 26 °C or 79 °F

Check hotel prices in Rome in July.

August in Rome:

August is probably my least favorite time to visit Rome.

There is no way to put this delicately – it is hot as balls.

Ok, I could maybe have described that more politely?

But Rome really does feel like a furnace in August and you should not expect too much functioning AC. However, I can just move more slowly if heat is the main issue. August in Rome is a time of closures. Romans head for the beach and close restaurants and shops for weeks on end. I would recommend the first two weeks of August is you really need to come to Rome this month. Otherwise, wait until early September if possible. Major holidays to be aware of: 15 August which is Ferragosto – the feast of the assumption.

Average temperature in Rome in August: The internet claims that the average temperature in Rome in August is in the high 20s to which I say: hahahahahaha! No, it is in the 30’s °C (90 °F) and it can reach 40 °C – over 100 °F

Check hotel prices in Rome in August.

September in Rome:

While August can feel dead quiet, the Romans return for lovely September. Buses and trams are full as residents head to work and school, but the city bids adieu to most of the summer travelers meaning we all have a bit more breathing room outside of rush hour. September can still be very warm in Rome, but the evenings start to offer the tiniest respite (but don’t think you need a jacket or even that you will be able to comfortably break out the jeans quite yet).  The museums are usually offering new shows post-summer, making September a great time to come to Rome.

The average temperature in Rome in September: 22 °C or 72 °F

Check Rome hotel rates in September.

October in Rome:

October is probably my favorite time to go to Rome.  The days are usually still warm, but the nights are starting to have a bit of a bite to them. The chestnut sellers (who no longer seem to pack up their stalls, even in summer) are a welcome sight once more. Even though the days are getting shorter, the sunsets seem to get longer. I like to wander up to Rome’s Orange Garden to soak in a few more rays of light, before running for shelter from the starling birds that literally flock to the city during this season.

Average temperature in Rome in October: 18 °C or 64 °F

Check Rome hotel rates in October.

November in Rome:

I associate November in Rome with plenty of rain. The leaves fall from the trees and the honey-colored buildings seem to lose some of their sunburnt feeling. However, this past November was exceptionally mild and we sat outside sipping wine in the sun around the city. You do being to feel the cold creeping in, but add an extra layer and you will be fine.  This is the time of year when carrying an umbrella starts to be advised, but it shouldn’t stop you from visiting.

Average temperature in Rome in November: 13 °C or 55 °F

Check Rome hotel rates in November.

December in Rome:

By the time December rolls around, Rome is feeling decidedly festive. It hasn’t snowed in Rome since 2011 – but since I have lived here it has snowed twice and one time was in December. I count snow in Rome as a pro, rather than a con because the Trevi Fountain in the snow is really something else. There will be flurry of shopping activity in the center but no where near the crowds of summer.  Keep in mind that December 8th is a major national holiday. Expect closures on Christmas day (25), as well as 26 December (Santo Stefano).  Some businesses will close for the whole week between Christmas and New Year’s, and many will only open for half a day on New Year’s Eve. However, the city is so charming, you can wander through the cobblestone streets strung with lights and then cosy up in one of Rome’s best wine bars for a perfect evening without the crowds.

Average temperature in Rome in December: 10 °C or 50 °F

Check Rome hotel prices for December.

Did I miss any tips that you have for when to visit Rome?

Oh, and regardless of the month, if you want to what is happening in Rome while you are in town, I always post a calendar of events at the beginning of the month.

Regardless of when you decide to come to Rome, there are things to do and amazing places to eat.

 

 

 

18 Comments

  • Reply Links Lasso: January | Exploring Your Depths February 2, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    […] When to go to Rome: A month-by-month guide […]

  • Reply Raymond J Rodriguez February 7, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Awesome guide. We are headed to Rome during Easter Week 2017. We met someone from Foligno recently and he mentioned that the museums may be free during Holy Week. Do you know if this is true?

    Regards,

    Raymond

    • Reply Natalie February 10, 2017 at 7:40 am

      Hi Raymond! So glad that it is helpful 😀

      Unfortunately, I don’t think that the museums are free during Holy Week. I have not seen this information before and have been here myself for 6+ years. They will be free on Rome’s birthday in April, and will keep normal hours during the holy week (except for the Colosseum on Good Friday). Will update if I have more info!

  • Reply Raphaela July 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Haha, great. Just booked a weekend trip to Rome for August 🙂 Will bring my bikini to wear and not much else then.

    • Reply Natalie July 8, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Just plan for plenty of gelato stops!

  • Reply Claire Simmons August 22, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you for posting such an informative article.

    • Reply Natalie August 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

      My pleasure!

  • Reply Kristen September 14, 2017 at 3:55 am

    This is such a great article! We are planning to visit in May 2018, glad to hear that we are making a good choice! Do you have/know where we could find a guide to Rome’s neighborhoods? We are wanting to stay in an Airbnb, but I’m struggling to find a good description of which neighborhoods would be ideal for that type of thing.

  • Reply Christine September 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Your blog is so helpful for me as I get ready for my first trip to Italy. I will be visiting in November and saw you mentioned the possibility of lots of rain. I’m curious about footwear – what are the best shoes to wear in Italy during the rainy season?

    • Reply Natalie September 26, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Hi Christine! I would recommend some flat boots. I live in my chelsea boots in fall and winter, and switch out to riding boots when it gets even colder.

  • Reply Erica September 25, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    We’re debating between visiting Rome in February or April of next year. Are the crowds considerably worse in April compared to February? Recommend one month over another?

    • Reply Natalie September 26, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Hi Erica! I would tend to suggest April (though watch out for Easter weekend because that can be very busy). Both months you risk a bit of rain, but April will certainly be warmer.

  • Reply Howard Koor December 26, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Lovely blog. We spent a glorious week in Rome this past October! It was perfect, but it was just as crowded as in early September a few years back. No complaints at all. Rome is my favorite city in the world:) Thank you.

    • Reply Natalie December 28, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed your October trip — one of the best times to come!

  • Reply Charlie44 January 19, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I have a few questions about travelling to Rome.
    When is the best time to visit Rome?
    Are there any reasons to visit in cold months such as January and February?
    How does the cost of living there compare to cities in the United States?

    • Reply Natalie January 24, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Ciao! I really love October in Rome, but we are having a great January right now. A reason to visit is that there are much smaller crowds and cheaper accommodation. The cost of living is lower than major cities like NYC or LA.

  • Reply Adrianna February 19, 2018 at 2:57 am

    Hi Natalie! Thanks for the guide, it will come in handy during our upcoming trip to Rome. One quick question, will it be very crowded the week before Holy Week? I am really not a fan of big crowds so i thought that week would be ok, but then I read in another blog that it might even be more crowded the week before Holy Week? Just hoping this isn’t your experience as well…Thanks!!

  • Reply Rebecca Johnson July 12, 2018 at 8:22 am

    We are planning for our next trip to room in next month. I hope it will come in handy during our upcoming trip to Rome. I must remember your guideline when we are going for our trip. Thanks for the sharing such a informative guideline.

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