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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

Date 2019.09.17 by romecabs in Rome, Travel Tips and Advice

Buon giorno and welcome to Stefano’s RomeCabs, Rome’s leading company for Rome Tours and Transfer Services.

It’s common knowledge that the busiest travel season in Rome starts in May and ends in late October when Rome sees most of its visitors by land and by cruise (via Civitavecchia Cruise Port).
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The low season travel months in Rome is mid November through mid March when Rome is also the coldest, often overcast, and wet.  

But don’t let the Mediterranean winters of Rome discourage you from taking advantage of this travel season that has so much to offer!  When it comes to visiting Rome in the Winter, we have 15 insider tips to make your winter travel to Rome the best possible!

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Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

 

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1.  Dress in layers and bring some warm winter clothes

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Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips - RomeCabs

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips – RomeCabs

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 Many people think that visiting Rome in the winter must be freezing! It’s not the case, winters are mild in Rome.

Although temperatures in the winter average around 50 degrees and often humid, but mornings and evenings are colder.  On some days temperatures may even dip below the 50’s, so travel prepared.

In addition to sweaters and warm winter jackets or coats, also be sure to bring with you warm socks,  proper shoes, umbrellas, hats, scarves, and gloves.

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2.  Visit  museums and churches if the weather turns bad.

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

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With hundreds of churches and dozens of museums and art galleries around Rome, you have ample opportunities to avoid the cold outdoors while enjoying architectural and artistic masterpieces from the Classical Era all the way to modern times.  

 

Prior to visiting Rome in the winter,  search online  museums, churches, and galleries that interest you and mark their locations on your travel map, so if you find yourself in those areas you’ll know where your preferred church, museum or gallery is so you can find it quickly.

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3.  Visit sites that are usually too crowded in the summer

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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Due to their immense popularity some museums, monuments, churches and squares tend to be super crowded in the summer, making it difficult to properly enjoy beautiful places such as the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.  

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Many summer travelers have lamented that they couldn’t enjoy visiting these favorite locations due to extreme crowds.

 

Vising Rome in the winter means dealing with far fewer tourists.

Super popular places are best enjoyed in the winter when Rome sees the fewest amount of tourists and fewest crowds.

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4.  Avoid ticket lines, book tickets in advance  

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Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips - RomeCabs

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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If standing in ticket lines, even for a short while, is not something you wish to do, or if you worry about bad weather making it difficult to stand in ticket lines outdoors, be sure to book your Vatican Museums and Colosseum tickets in advance on line for your preferred time slots, and avoid the ticket lines altogether.   

 

Purchasing advance tickets require some planning of your sightseeing itinerary, however it ensures a much quicker entrance.

 

Frequently visited churches, museums, and monuments require visitors to clear security first by passing through a metal detector like at airports.  To avoid problems or delays in entering, be sure to leave any prohibited items at your hotel. Prohibited items includes but not limited to knives, scissors, sharp objects, large bags.  

 

As a rule of thumb, if you can’t clear airport metal detectors with certain items, don’t bring them with you when touring Rome.

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5. Winter SALES!

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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Love shopping? Plan to take advantage of post holiday winter sales that usually begin around 7th of January.  Sales continue on through at least a month and even longer depending on inventory, and prices get increasingly lower with time.’

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6.  Book a Tour Rome by car, stay warm and comfortable

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Top 10 Civitavecchia Cruise Port Tours Questions Answered – RomeCabs

Top 10 Civitavecchia Cruise Port Tours Questions Answered – RomeCabs

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If it’s too cold outside, rainy, or maybe you just prefer to not be outdoors all day in the winter, you may book full day tours by car and enjoy being driven in a comfortable deluxe vehicle (usually Mercedes)  driven by your personal English speaking Driver from site to site, staying warm and comfortable as you explore the city.

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Since day light is shorter in the winter, you can SEE MORE of Rome in  LESS TIME on a tour by car than on foot.  

Tours by car also eliminate your need to plan your itinerary, figure out how to get from place to place, or deal with public slow transportation and unpredictable taxis.

 

On our tours by car, we offer a variety of itineraries to please most travelers’ interest to maximize your sightseeing opportunities Rome while minimizing walking in the cold.

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7.  Enjoy hot chocolate (cioccolata calda)  

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

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Enjoy delicious sweet treats like the Italian hot chocolate which is more like thick and creamy sipping chocolate rich in flavor and consistency.  It’s not your average hot cocoa!

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8. Delight in winter dishes and holiday treats 

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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 Take advantage of winter dishes at local Roman restaurants such as artichokes, hot stews, and hearty soups like ribollita

 Around the holidays you will also find traditional Christmas treats like Pantettone and a variety of other sweet breads, as well as torrone – a delicious nougat that is also made entirely of chocolate.

Throughout Rome you will also find roasted chestnut vendors for a hot snack on the go.

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Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips - RomeCabs

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips – RomeCabs

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9. Visit Pantheon “at Night”  

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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Because the days are short in the winter and darkness falls early, you have the unique opportunity that summer travelers don’t:  visiting the Pantheon at “night” and see the the night stars through the oculus of the Pantheon. It’s quite a treat that can only be enjoyed in the winter when it gets dark out before the Pantheon closes.

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10.  Plan to visit Rome during the holidays?

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  Giant Globes above via della Croce in Rome
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 If you are visiting Rome around mid December through early January, enjoy the Christmas lights around main streets in the historic center,  Christmas trees set up in St Peter’s Square and Piazza Venezia, and nativities inside many churches.  

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Italian Christmas Traditions to Enjoy in Italy

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11.  Enjoy more Christmas traditions on day trips from Rome 

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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Don’t just limit yourself to enjoying the Christmas decorations and holiday atmosphere in Rome.

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Take day trips from Rome by train to Florence, Assisi, and other great cities and towns to enjoy their Christmas atmosphere and traditions.  Some towns and cities go all out with their Christmas decorations, while others are more subdued. Many towns also add a touch of their own local traditions, which are always a treat to experience.

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12. Experience Living Nativities

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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Living Nativities are just what you think it means: real people, not dolls.  The tradition of Living Nativities is said to have started with Saint Francis of Assisi when he created the first live nativity in 1223.

 

Although it’s not commonly done in Rome, many medieval towns outside of Rome transform a section of their historic center into either a lively village setting representing the biblical times as when Jesus was born with authentic costumes and props, or rendered in Medieval times with Medieval themed clothing and props. 

 

The nativity itself (the crib) uses live actors (usually the townsfolk who participate in this popular annual Christmas event) reenacting the roles of Mary, Joseph, the Magis and often a “baby Jesus” bundled in the crib if it’s not too cold outside.  Often couples with a baby play the role of Mary and Joseph together.

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If you do not plan to rent a car or plan a stay in the towns and villages that host Living Nativities, you may also book a driver service to medieval villages outside of Rome that host living nativities.  Attending a living nativity a wonderfully unique way to experience Christmas traditions in Italy!

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13. Take a cooking class, or enjoy wine tasting

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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Wine tasting and cooking classes are popular indoor activities that are excellent to enjoy on cold winter days in Rome.  For many travelers,

 

Browse online for cooking classes, food tours, or wine tastings in Rome and book your preferred indoor activity.

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14. Thermal Spas

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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Since the Etruscan times thermal baths were widely used for their relaxing and therapeutic properties.  Pamper yourself with massages, therapeutic treatments, and soak in thermal pools.  A simple search online for thermal baths in and near Rome will give you many options to choose from.

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15. Protect yourself during Cold and Flu season

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Visiting Rome in the Winter - 15 Insider Tips

Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider Tips

 

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 Visiting Rome in the winter means also protecting yourself from seasonal colds and flu.

When flying commercial and traveling in the winter, take proper precautions on flights, public places, and crowds to protect yourself during the cold and flu season.

 

Eat healthy and drink plenty of fluids. Get plenty of rest before and after your international travel. If you get an annual flu shot,  consult with your doctor to get yours before your international trip.

 

Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating or touching your face or mouth. Bring hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to swipe on your plane seat , tray table and armrest, public transportation handles, hotel door knobs and remote control. 

 

Stay as far away as possible from other people who maybe sneezing, coughing, or appear to be sick with a cold or flu.  

 

Bring a travel kit with your personal cold and flu medicine that works best for you.

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Thank you for reading our travel blog Visiting Rome in the Winter – 15 Insider TipsWe hope it helps make visiting Rome in the winter a fare more enjoyable experience.

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For more information about our private Rome Tours and Transfers please visit our website below.

Thank you very much and we look forward to showing you beautiful places in Italy!

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The RomeCabs Team
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