What To Do in Rome in the Winter

Rome provides year-round fun for tourists and locals! If you look for a spot to celebrate your winter vacation, Rome is the right destination. The good news for those who enjoy activities in the outside is that snow is a rare occurrence in Rome (the last time it  snowed in Rome was February 2012). It doesn’t even rain much in the winter season. Most Roman winters are pleasant and mild, with occasional showers.

Recommended activities for a Winter Getaway in Rome

Rome’s sightseeing spots thrive with tourists year-round, but during the winter months touristic crowds become slimmer, which means that the winter season is the perfect time of the year to explore popular sight-seeing spots, such the Spanish steps, Piazza Navona, and the Vatican . You can even snatch a good winter deal at one of Rome’s romantic hotels, and we recommend Villa Spalleti Triveli as a charming historical spot in the city.

Coffee and Dining

Dining is one of the most enticing activities for international travelers in Rome who can savor numerous traditional dishes in the city’s vibrant taverns.

One of our recommendations is Epiro, a contemporary restaurant that serves Mediterranean wines and tasty tapas with a highlight on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The place is conveniently located at a cozy San Giovanni corner. Piazza Epiro, 26, 00183 Rome, Italy

For those who are passionate about traditional Italian cuisine, we also recommend Osteria Fratelli Mori, a local’s favorite for freshly-made  meatballs, woodfire Napoletana pizzas and a wide variety of liquors and wines. Via dei Conciatori, 10, 00154 Rome, Italy

Osteria Fratelli Mori, images sourced by Gusto

For your coffee break, head out to Tazza D’Oro for a cup of steamy cappuccino or an extra-strong espresso. You can also choose from one of the coffee variety packages sold behind the bar to take home with you. We recommend Queen of Coffees, a blend of eight Arabica flavors.

If you plan on visiting Rome over the Christmas holidays, make sure you sample the traditional baked sweets, such as pandoro and panettone.

Market Hopping in Rome

If you look for an activity to add to your winter exploration of Rome, consider a visit to one or a few of Rome’s vibrant markets.

Mercato Monti – For those looking to mingle with budding fashion designers and trendy artists, the Mercato Monti is the right destination. In this vibrant shopping area, you can find traditional gifts, Roma-inspired souvenirs, chic outfits and modern accessories to take home with you.

Mercato Monti, Image Sourced by American in Rome

Piazza della Marina, 32, Open every Sunday from 10am-7pm, Entrance fee: €1.60

For those looking to buy a traditional bottle of liquor, fresh fruits, cheeses or meats, the Piazza Campo de’Fiori is the recommended spot. Location: Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, Rome, Italy, Open: Monday – Saturday from 7.30am to 3pm

Ice Skating in Rome

Rome may not be one of the snow capitals of the world, but you can easily fake a snow activity by heading out to one of the five major ice skating locations in the city. Our favorite ice rink is located just below Castel Sant’angelo, and it’s open from late December. There you can skate through the day till midnight.

A Visit to the Vatican

The Vatican, Image Sourced by Italy

A visit to the Vatican is a must in the winter, because the visiting crowds are slim. However, if you decide to enjoy the Vatican’s grandeur in the period between Christmas and New Years’ Eve, you may have to wait in line for too long.

However, if you are smart, you can schedule a private Vatican tour to beat the congestion and receive proper guidance throughout one of the world’s legendary Catholic centers.

Tour of the Borghese Gallery and Gardens

Villa Borghese, Images Sourced by Roman Tours

If you would like to visit this haven of the arts, you need to book tickets early in advance. Once you sign up for the gallery access, you can enjoy the exquisite art works of Canova, Bernini and Caravaggio, and walk around the exclusive arts pieces of other world-famous artists. It’s interesting to note that the Borgehse Gallery features a private gallery by Cardinal Scipione Borghese from the 17th century.  His former Roman villa is the location of display.

Explore Il Giardino degli Aranci

This orange park provides a refreshing respite from Rome’s sight-seeing tours. Curious tourists can enjoy a walk among the ripe orange trees with ever-green leaves while soaking in the beautiful views of Rome spread right in front of their eyes.

Enjoy a Perfect Glass of Wine in an Enoteca

Enjoying a glass of wine in Rome has its own charm in the winters the weather limits your outside activities. So head out to an enoteca, an Italian winery store that provides a wine sampling area for wine enthusiasts. Often, you can team wine tasting experience with masterfully prepared appetizers of all kinds. WE recommend Enoteca Buccone for food and wine (located on via Di Ripetta 19)

Many enotecas are wood-lined and cozy offering romantic gastronomic experience to visitors.

Enoteca Buccone, sourced by Design Duemila

Explore the Winter Sales

If you visit Rome in January, don’t skip the winter sales, also known as saldi in Italian. Saldi take place twice a year and are the perfect occasion to bring authentic Italian bag, leather boots, or a chic Italian-made outfit home with you at a discounted price.  Saldi goods are typically featured at most commercial centers,  and the various boutiques at via Nazionale and Via Dei Corso. Local family-run stores also offer affordably-priced goods for deal-seekers.

The winter in Rome is eventful and vibrant, just like every other season. It features both indoor and outdoor activities for those willing to fill their schedule with unforgettable experiences, such as ice skating, gallery tours, clothes shopping and wine tasting.