Rome autumn · The most popular travel time
Autumn in Rome is the most popular travel season of the year. We will inform you about museums, papal audiences, dates and how you may avoid queues.
Many visitors come to Rome, especially in September and October, and in November it is a bit quieter.
September and October are high season in Rome and the months with the highest number of visitors. Most visitors focus on a few attractions, especially the St Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums. This inevitably leads to long queues. How to avoid queues you can find out here.
Rome autumn · Weather
Autumn begins on September 23, 2018 and usually the autumn weather in Rome sticks to it. For the Romans, autumn begins with the public schools on 17 September 2018. Especially in early September it can still be very hot in Rome. From mid-September to early November temperatures in Rome are very pleasant. Many say that autumn in Rome is the most beautiful season. From beginning to mid-November, the heating season begins. There is no frost in Rome in November and December. Sometimes there can be fog in the morning, giving the city and the parks a special atmosphere.
In autumn it can occasionally come to strong rain. They usually do not last long, but are in part very intense. On a rainy day you should plan a visit to the museum. In a rain shower you can also turn to a church, a shop, a bar or a restaurant.
While in northern Europe everything is green in summer and brown in autumn, in Rome in summer the grass is brown and turns green again in autumn.
Rome autumn · Avoid queues
Especially if you are only a few days in Rome, it is a pity to waste valuable time in the queue.
Rome autumn · Quick entry to St. Peter’s and the dome
For access to St. Peter’s, you must pass a security check like at the airport. With a pocket knife you can not pass here. Umbrellas and liquids are ok.
If you have booked a tour for the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, you pass the security check in the Vatican Museums, thus avoiding the security check at St. Peter’s Basilica.
From 7 to 9 in the morning, the security controls are fast, then the queues are getting longer.
The official tour operator of the St. Peter’s basilica Vox Mundi offers fast access through a preferred safety check at St Peter’s. This preferential access is free for persons with disabilities and one accompanying person and no booking is required. All others can book the preferred access here, also in real time:
The entrance to the dome is located above the visitor center on the right side of St. Peter’s Basilica. The visit of the dome costs 10 euros including the fee for the elevator.
Please note the clothing rules in St. Peter’s Basilica: you can only enter with presentable clothing. The clothing should not be strapless or low cut, pants or skirt must cover the knees. Sandals and hats are not allowed.
Here you can find more information about St. Peter’s.
Rome autumn · Coliseum ticket
On the first Sunday of each month the entrance to the Coliseum is free and there is no possibility for preferential entry. On these days you should avoid visiting the Coliseum.
The quickest access to the Coliseum is with the Roma Pass. Holders of the Roma Pass use the group entrance of the Colosseum. Omnia Card and Sightseeing Pass include the Roma Pass, so you can also use the goup entrance. Here is a comparison of Rome City Cards.
Another option is the preferred accompanied entry for the so-called gladiator gate “Stern”. This entrance leads directly to the level of the arena and is particularly suitable for short visits. No single visitors are allowed at this entrance. The visit of the basement areas, which served the stage technique and as access to the stage for humans and animals, as well as the visit of the upper floors of the Colosseum begin at the gladiator gate. To the tickets.
All tickets are valid for two days for visiting the Colosseum, the Palatine and the Roman Forum.
Here you can find more information about the Coliseum tickets.
Rome autumn · Vatican Museum Tickets
On the last Sunday of the month, admission to the Vatican Museums is free and there is no preferential entry. On the other Sundays, on the 1st November and the 8th December, the Vatican Museums are closed.
At the Vatican Museums, you must pre-order access for a specific time. Otherwise you have to wait at the cash register and that can take a long time.
There are a variety of offers for the Vatican Museums. Most visitors, however, opt for a guided tour of the Vatican Museums with St. Peter’s Basilica. Although only half of the Vatican Museums can be seen with this tour, it’s through a passage for groups from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica. The alternative, however, would be to go back from the Sistine Chapel through the Vatican Museums to the entrance, then outside the Vatican Museums to St. Peter’s Basilica, and then pass again a security checkpoint – a total of several hours.
The special early entry to the museums is also recommended. You will be among the first to visit the museums and the Sistine Chapel in the morning.
Special early entry with breakfast buffet is at 7am.
Special early admission without breakfast is at 8am.
Until the end of October there are also guided tours in the evening, on Friday from 6 pm to 11 pm with last admission at 9:30 pm. You can find these exclusive tours here:
Here you can find more information about the Vatican Museums.
Rome autumn · Gallery Borghese Tickets
You can visit Villa Borghese Gallery only by reservation. If you have a Roma Pass or any other Rome City Card, you can make a reservation at +390632810.
Rome autumn · Enjoy the autumn in Rome
The mild climate in autumn in Rome allows for a variety of activities.
Many visitors in Rome pound the whole city on foot. However, this can be very stressful and you need good shoes. In your daily planning, you should therefore specify your preferences exactly.
So we advise you to reserve one day for the ancient Rome around the Colosseum and another day for St. Peter’s, Castel Sant’Angelo and the city center.
A bit faster and more convenient you can visit the attractions on wheels:
Rome autumn · Events
From 6 to 21 October 2018, the rose garden of the municipality of Rome will be open daily 8:30 am – 6 pm. The rose garden is located on the slopes of the Aventine above the Circus Maximus.
After sunset a lively and colorful nightlife develops. Popular areas are Trastevere, the Ghetto as well as the area around Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona.
On October 21 in the morning the 15km run Roma Urbs Mundi takes place. The run goes through the center, until Piazza del Popolo. Start and finish are at the Baths of Caracalla.
November 4: National Unification and Armed Forces’ Day, ceremony of deposition of a laurel wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Altare della Patria – Monument of Victor Emmanuel II – and overflight of aerobatic team Frecce Tricolore
November 18, Ecological Sunday with driving ban in the city center 7:30am – 12:30pm, 4:30 – 8:30pm
On 1.12.2018 “Musei in Musica 2018” – Special opening of the Museums of the Municipality of Rome 8pm-2am Admission 1 Euro, include the Capitoline Museums, the Markets of Trajan and others.
December 2, Ecological Sunday with driving ban in the city center 7:30am – 12:30pm, 4:30 – 8:30pm
For more events in December, see Rome Christmas 2018
Saturday night in the museum
Museo di Roma, at Piazza Navona
27.10., 3.11., 10.11., 17.11.2018 Time 8pm-12 Admission 1 Euro including concert
24.11., 8.12., 15.12., 22.12.2018, 5.1.2019 Time 8pm-12 Admission 1 Euro including concert
Rome autumn · Papal audiences and Angelus
As a rule, the Pope’s general audience is held every Wednesday morning. All audiences will take place in September. On October 3, 2018, instead of the general audience a mass will take place at 9:30 for the opening of the synod. On the 14th and 28th of October 2018, holy masses will be held in St. Peter’s Square. For the audiences and the masses you need a reservation. Here you will find more information about papal audiences.
The Angelus prayer with Pope Francis takes place every Sunday at 12 noon on St. Peter’s Square. Furthermore, on 1 November the Angelus prayer takes place because of the All Saints’ Day. Admission to the Angelus Prayer in St. Peter’s Square is free and possible without reservation.
St. Peter’s Basilica and the Dome are closed until the end of the General Audiences and the Angelus Prayer.
On the 8th of December, the Christmas season begins with the feast of the Immaculate Conception. In the afternoon before, the nativity scene is inaugurated in St. Peter’s Square.
Rome autumn · All Saints in Rome
All Saints is a national holiday in Italy. Shops and museums are open except for the Vatican Museums.
At 12 o’clock the Pope prays the Angelus on St. Peter’s Square.
Rome autumn · Museums
The Vatican Museums are closed on 1 November.
The public museums and the museums of the municipality of Rome follow the normal opening hours.
Rome autumn · Hotels
Since it can be very hot in September in Rome, I strongly recommend to book a hotel with air-conditioned rooms. This is no longer necessary in October.
Cheap are the hotels around Termini central station, but you always need public transport to get anywhere, or you have to do a long walk.
If you want to get to know the Roman city life, hotels are ideal in the center, on the ancient Campus Martius, which stretches from the Tiber to the Piazza del Popolo, the Spanish Steps and Piazza Venezia.
If you choose a hotel on the other side of the Tiber, you should not go too far from the Vatican.
I have put together some hotel recommendations on my hotel page.
Rome autumn · Eating out
General information I collect in the category eating out in Rome.
Since September is still very hot, it is not yet the right time for the heavy Roman cuisine. An exception is the deep-fried stockfish – Baccalà – which you can enjoy all year with a nice cool beer or a fresh wine.
Of course there are always pasta dishes such as Cacio e Pepe, Gricia, Amatriciana and Carbonara. For heavy Roman cuisine, the right season begins in mid-October.
The Romans also like to eat fish. Good fish restaurants are everywhere in Rome and of course by the sea in Ostia and Fiumicino. Very good, and usually expensive, restaurants also offer raw fish and raw shellfish.