Rome Fall 2020. For Rome, autumn is the most popular time of year. We inform you about museums, papal audiences, dates and how you can avoid queues.
Rome autumn · The most popular season in Rome
Many visitors come to Rome, especially in September and October. In November it is a bit quieter. September and October are high season in Rome and the months with the most visitors. Many visitors focus on a few attractions, especially the St Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums. This inevitably leads to long queues and you have to reserve a lot of sights in advance.
Autumn begins on September 22, 2020 and usually the autumn weather in Rome sticks to it. For the Romans, autumn begins with the beginning of the school year for public schools in mid-September. From mid-September to early November, the temperatures in Rome are very pleasant. 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.
Heavy downpours can occasionally occur in autumn. They usually do not last long, but are sometimes very intense. It rarely rains for several days.
You should plan a visit to the museum on rainy days. You can also escape to a church, shop, bar, or restaurant during a downpour. While in Northern Europe everything is green in summer and turns brown in autumn, in Rome the grass is brown in summer 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.
Priority entry to St. Peter’s Basilica and the dome
To access St. Peter’s Basilica you have to go through a security check like at the airport. You cannot pass through here with a pocket knife. You can take umbrellas and liquids with you. If you have booked a tour for the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica , you will pass through the security check in the Vatican Museums and save yourself the security check at St. Peter’s Basilica. From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., security checks are quick, from then on the queues get longer and longer.
The official tour operator of St. Peter’s Basilica Vox Mundi offers preferential access to the security check at St. Peter’s Basilica.
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 · Colosseum ticket
You always need a reservation for the Colosseum, even with the Roma Pass. You make the reservation online, just like buying the tickets. Here you can find a comparison of the Rome City Cards.
Rome autumn · Vatican Museum Tickets
At the Vatican Museums you have to pre-order access for a specific time. There are a variety of offers for the Vatican Museums. Most visitors, however, opt for a tour of the Vatican Museums with St. Peter’s Basilica. Here you can only see half of the Vatican Museums because a passage for groups leads from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica. However, the alternative would be to walk from the Sistine Chapel through the Vatican Museums back to the entrance, then outside the Vatican Museums to St. Peter’s Basilica and then queue up again at the security checkpoint – a whole undertaking 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.
For more information, see our article on the Vatican Museums.
Rome autumn · Gallery Borghese Tickets
You can visit Villa Borghese Gallery only by reservation. If you have a Roma Pass, you can try to book at +390632810. However, the chances with the Roma Pass are not very high and you should reserve a ticket or a guided tour directly.
Enjoy the autumn in Rome
The mild autumn climate in Rome allows for a variety of activities. Many visitors to Rome visit the whole city on foot. However, this can be very tiring and you need good shoes. When planning your day, you should therefore clearly define your preferences.
You can find some recommendations on how to put together a daily schedule in my series of articles Three Days in Rome. In principle, everything can be combined. However, you should have a rough idea of what you want to do. Otherwise you risk losing a lot of time and it becomes too exhausting. Enjoy a guided tour by bike, Segway or take a hop on hop off bus tour. Tickets
Rome autumn · Events
In the second half of October, 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.
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
Rome autumn · Papal audiences and Angelus
As a rule, the general audience of the Pope takes place every Wednesday morning. You can see on which days the audiences take place in our monthly overviews. Here you can find more information about the 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.
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.
All Saints in Rome
November 1, 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.
Conception of Mary in Rome
A special atmosphere develops around Maria’s conception around the Marian column at Spanischer Platz. From early morning to afternoon, the Marian column is honored by the Roman citizens. Conception of Mary in Rome
Rome autumn · Museums
The Vatican Museums are closed on 1 November.
Details and opening hours can be found in the list of museums.
Rome autumn · Hotels
In October this is no longer absolutely necessary to book a hotel with air conditioned rooms. The hotels around Termini Central Station are reasonably priced, but you always need public transport to get anywhere, or you have to walk a long time. If you want to get to know Roman city life, hotels right in the center are ideal, on the ancient Martian field, which stretches from the Tiber to Piazza del Popolo, the Spanish Steps and Piazza Venezia. If you choose a hotel on the other side of the Tiber, you should not choose too far from the Vatican. We have put together some hotel recommendations on our hotel page.
Rome autumn · Eating out
General information we collect in the category eating out in Rome.
Worth mentioning is the fried stockfish – baccalà – which you can enjoy all year round 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.