Rome December 2019 · Events · Climate · Food

Rome December: Rome in December is a shopping paradise. Whether luxury brands or reasonably priced goods, you will find the latest fashion for every purse. The temperatures are mild and there is no frost.

The birth of the Lord is the focus of the religious holidays and many pilgrims come.

Rome December Galleria ColonnaAlso in December you have to reserve the entrance time at the Colosseum, at the Vatican Museums and at the Borghese Gallery, otherwise there are long waiting times.

The heavy Roman cuisine is perfect for winter time. You can get to know many delicious specialties. Walks through the festively lit city are very atmospheric.

Museums opening hours

Colosseum Rome December

Rome December ColosseumThe Colosseum is the most visited museum in Italy. It can only be visited by reservation.

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine are closed on December 25th 8:30 – 15:30 Closing 16:30. Details about the Colosseum Tickets>

On the 1st and 18th of December, admission to the Colosseum is free and no reservation is possible. Due to the high demand, there are long waiting times for the issue of free tickets as well as for the security check. On December 25, the Colosseum’s Archeopark is closed.

Rome December Center Piazza ColonnaOn Sunday, December 1st, admission to all National Museums is free. Any other day with free admission will be decided by each museum itself. All information and opening times can be found in the list of museums.

Tickets for the National Museums

Tickets for the National Museums can be booked online. Tickets for the National Museums in Rome>

Vatican Museums Rome December

Vatican Museums at nightThe Vatican Museums are among the most visited museums worldwide. During normal opening hours the Vatican Museums are always very busy. It is much quieter before the official opening in the early morning.

For the Vatican Museums you should buy the tickets well in advance. Otherwise you risk long waiting times at the cash register. Details about the Vatican Museums>

The Vatican Museums are closed in December for Christmas (25. + 26.12.) And every Sunday except the last Sunday of the month. Opening hours 9 – 16 Closing 18.
Free entry to the Vatican Museums is on Sunday, December 29, 2019 . However, there are long lines and it gets extremely crowded. 9 – 12:30 closing 14:00
The Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo is open every weekday during December 8:30 – 13 closing 14, Saturday 8:30 – 16:30 closing 17:30. For Christmas (25. + 26.12.) and on Sundays is closed.

Tickets Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

When is St. Peter's closed in December

7 – 18:30

St. Peter’s Basilica is closed during the pope’s celebrations, for which you need invitations.

These are in December:

Masses: 12.12. 18:00, 24.12. 21:30, 31.12. 17:00.

General audiences: 4.12., 11.12., 18.12.

Urbi et Orbi 25.12. 12:00 (free entrance).

Details can be found at the monthly events.


Roma Antiquaria Fiera23.11.-1.12. ROMA ANTIQUARIA Antique Fair
Mon-Fri 15-20 Sat-Sun 10-20 Fiera di Roma – Rome Fair Train FL1 direction Fiumicino airport

You need invitation cards for all the Pope’s Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica and for the General Audiences.

1.12. 12:00 Angelus prayer of the Pope

Latin Experience Cinecitta World1.12. Fiesta Latina

Dance, Culture, Music, Gastronomy – Latin America & Caribbean at Cinecittà World Cinecitta World

Rome December Shopping4.12. Papal general audience

5.12. 16:30 Inauguration of the crib on St. Peter’s Square

8.12. 12:00 Angelus prayer of the Pope

Rome Bioparco christmas red ruffed lemurs8.12. Christmas in the Biopark children’s program

10:30-14:45 Animals below zero: discovering the species that survive the cold

11, 12: Reptile house, nutrition of reptiles and amphibians

11:15 Feeding the lemurs

12 Feeding the elephant Sofia

Viale del Giardino Zoologico Bioparco Tram 3, 8 Bioparco

Newspace Economy logo10.-12.12. Newspace Economy Forum on space technology

Fiera di Roma – Rome Fair Train FL1 direction Fiumicino airport

11.12. Papal general audience

12.12. 18:00 Pope’s Mass St. Peter’s Basilica, Beata Vergine Maria di Guadalupe

Roma Musei in musica 201914.12. Musei in Musica A night of music in the museums of Rome

Capitoline Museums, Centrale Montemartini, Trajan’s Markets and many others

20-2 1 €

Millenium Auto Expo Cinecitta World14.-15.12. Millenium Auto Expo

Meeting of historic cars and beauty contest at Cinecittà World Cinecitta World

15.12. 12:00 Angelus prayer of the Pope

Arti e mestieri logo12.-15.12. Arti e mestieri Arts and Crafts – Fair for craftsmen from all regions of Italy

10-20 Fiera di Roma – Rome Fair Train FL1 direction Fiumicino airport

Archery trophy logo13.-15.12. Roma Archery Trophy

Fiera di Roma – Rome Fair Train FL1 direction Fiumicino airport

Rome December Piazza Venezia Christmas tree Spelacchio18.12. Papal general audience

22.12. 12:00 Angelus prayer of the Pope

24.12. 21:30 St. Peter’s Basilica, Christmas Mass

25.12. 12:00 St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benediction Urbi et Orbi

26.12. 12:00 Angelus prayer of the Pope

29.12. 12:00 Angelus prayer of the Pope

31.12. 14:00 Baths of Caracalla, New Year’s Eve Run We Run Rome 10km and 5km

31.12. 17:00 St. Peter’s Basilica, Vesper and Te Deum


Cinecittà si mostra ticketsCinecittà si mostra Visit the dream factory of Roman cinema, Metro A Station Cinecittà Tickets
Stadium of the Domitian TicketsStadium of the Domitian The stadium under Piazza Navona Via di Tor Sanguigna 3 Tickets

Galleria Colonna TicketsGalleria Colonna – one of the largest ancient private palaces in Rome. The most beautiful rooms of the palace and the art collection of the family with artists from the 15th and 16th centuries such as Pinturicchio, Cosmè Tura, Carracci, Guido Reni, Tintoretto, Salvator Rosa, Bronzino, Guercino, Veronese, Vanvitelli

Via della Pilotta 17 (near Piazza Venezia) Palazzo Colonna Bus 51, 60, 63, 80, 83, 85, 160, 170, H, n5, n8, n11, n90, n543, n716 (Piazza Venezia) Tickets

Domus Romane TicketsDomus Romane – the Roman houses under Palazzo Valentini Piazza Venezia, Via Foro Traiano 85, opposite the pillar of the Trajan Tickets

Capuchin Crypt TicketsCapuchin Crypt – Museum and Crypt of the Capuchins

Via Vittorio Veneto 27 Kapuzinergruft Bus 52, 53, 61, 63, 80, 83, 160, n90, nMA (Barberini) Tickets

Leonardo da Vinci MuseumLeonardo da Vinci Museum – in the Galleria Agostiana at Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo 12 Metro A, Tram 2, Bus 61, 89, 160, 490, 495, 628, nMA (Flaminio) Roma – Viterbo Tickets

The Coliseum tells of itselfThe Coliseum tells of itself, permanent exhibition in the Coliseum – with the support of Heinz Beste, DAI Rom

Piazza del Colosseo Metro B Colosseo Tickets

Arte virtuale TicketsArte Virtuale Van Gogh e Monet Experience  – Virtual Art Van Gogh and Monet in Videocittà

Ex Barracks Guido Reni, Via Guido Reni 7 Hall X Tram 2 Apollodoro or Flaminia/Reni Tickets

Living Dinosaurs TicketsLiving Dinosaurs Live – an incredible journey through time in Videocittà

Ex Barracks Guido Reni, Via Guido Reni 7 Hall 11 + 12 Tram 2 Apollodoro or Flaminia/Reni Tickets

Gioiello intimo colloquio Villa Torlonia CivetteGioiello. Intimo colloquio, jewels and sculptures in the Villa Torlonia, Casina delle Civette

Tuesday – Sunday 9-19 Via Nomentana Bus Nomentana/Villa Torlonia 60, 66, 82

Rome December 2019 · Events · Climate · Food 1Mo(nu)mentum . Robert Morris 2015-2018

National Gallery of Modern Art Tuesday – Sunday 8:30am – 7:30pm via delle belle arti 131 Tram 3, 19 Galleria Arte Moderna

Tickets for the National Gallery of Modern Art

Colori EtruschiColors of the Etruscans, Treasures in terracotta in the Centrale Montemartini, Via Ostiense 106, Metro B Garbatella, Bus 23, 769, 792 Ostiense/Garbatella Tickets

Baths of Diocletian Roads of ArabiaRoads Of Arabia – Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia, special exhibition in the Baths of Diocletian

via Enrico de Nicola 79 Termini train station, Metro A Repubblica Tickets

Colosseum Carthage The immortal mythCarthage – The immortal myth, special exhibition in the Colosseum

Piazza del Colosseo Metro B Colosseo Tickets

Impressionisti segreti RomaImpressionisti segreti, treasures from private collections, including Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Pissarro, Sisley, Caillebotte, Morisot, Gonzalès, Gauguin, Signac, Van Rysselberghe and Cross

Palazzo Bonaparte – at Piazza Venezia Tickets

Bacon Freud La scuola di LondraBacon, Freud, La scuola di Londra, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, two giants of painting for the first time in Italy in a joint exhibition Chiostro del Bramante Chiostro del Bramante Bus 30, 70, 81, 87, 492, 628, C3 Zanardelli

Tickets at Ticketone buchen

Canova Eterna bellezzaCanova, eternal beauty, an exhibition of international collections, Museo di Roma Tuesday – Sunday 9-19 Piazza Navona

The sculptor Canova (1757-1822) with his marble figures is one of the main representatives of Italian classicism. Exhibition at the Museo di Roma Palazzo Braschi in Piazza Navona. Tickets for Palazzo Braschi

Frida Kahlo Il caos dentroFrida Kahlo – Il caos dentro, a documentary Spazio Eventi Via Tirso 16 Spazio eventi Tram 3, 19 Bus 63, 83, 92 Buenos Aires

Tickets at Ticketone buchen


Rome has a lively music scene. Many pubs and music venues offer live music, especially on weekends. Classical music can be found in many churches and palaces.

Rome December 2019 · Events · Climate · Food 2Christmas Concert in the Vatican

14.12. 18:00 Ticketone buchen

The music park of Rome

A jewel is the Parco della Musica, built by the internationally renowned architect Renzo Piano, in the north of Rome on Via Flaminia. Tram 2 Parco della Musica

Casa del Jazz Paolo Fresu
Casa del Jazz Paolo Fresu

The Parco della Musica has several auditoriums and an open air theater. Here you find performances in all styles.

Some events are organized together with the House of Jazz Bus 160, 671, 714, 792 Casa del Jazz

Roma jazz festivalROMA JAZZ FESTIVAL

01.12. 21:00 Mare Nostrum Sala Sinopoli

Tickets at Ticketone buchen

Auditorium Parco della Musica Classica TicketsClassical music

1.12. 20:30 Ivo Pogorelich in Recital Ticketone buchen

2.12. 20:30 Verdi Requiem Ticketone buchen

Gustavo Dudamel: Rossini, Schubert, Brahms

5.12. 19:306:12. 20:307.12. 18:00

7.12. 20:30 Evgeny Kissin in Recital Ticketone buchen

22.12. 12:00 Family Concert Piano & Voice Ticketone buchen

Roma Gospel Festival Tickets


Tickets at Ticketone buchen

Chicago Mass Choir 22.12. 17:30 – 21:00, 23.12. 21:00

Harlem Gospel Choir 25.12. 17:30 – 21:30

South Carolina Mass Choir 26.12. 21:00

Dennis Reed & Gap 27.12. 21:00, 28.12. 21:00 29.12. 18:00

Danell Daymon & Greater Works 30.12. 21:00, 31.12. 22:00

Harry Potter Azkaban TicketsHarry Potter e il Prigioniero di Azkaban™ in Concerto

29.12. 20:00, 30.12. 15:00 – 20:00

Tickets at Ticketone buchen

Practical tips for Rome December

Climate and clothing

Rome December Piazza NavonaThe highest temperatures in December are in Rome at 15° C, the minimum temperatures at 4° C. In the morning the air is cold and there may be fog. As long as the sun is shining, it is pleasant. It’s cold in the evening and at night.

It can rain occasionally in December and there can be lightning storms. The rain does not last long, but it is very intense. Everything gets submerged within a few minutes and you have to find a shelter. After 15 or 30 minutes, everything is usually over again.

Rome December Ghetto Turtle FountainAt the turn of the year there are often strong cold winds and in some years it can be quite uncomfortable with a long drizzle.

Since you spend a lot of time outdoors in Rome, you need warm clothing and rainwear. Also important in Rome are comfortable shoes, as you will be walking a lot and the walkways are often bumpy.

Rome for early risers

Rome Vatican St. Peter's Square DecemberOf course, it takes some overcoming to get up in the dark. Nevertheless, I would like to recommend that you start a day early in the morning. There is very little traffic in Rome until six o’clock in the morning and you can take beautiful photos of monuments and squares undisturbed. With a little luck, you’ll find a misty morning that offers beautiful and unique photo opportunities. The sunrise is in Rome in November between 7:18 and 7:38.

The early morning is also the best time to jog.

Mid season in Rome, what you should consider

Rome Vatican St. Peter's Square DecemberIn the beginning of December is very nice in Rome, because the attractions are not so crowded. Nevertheless, you must always reserve for some attractions, such as the Coliseum, the Vatican Museums and the Borghese Gallery. From mid-December onwards, in Rome is in high season for Christmas and there may be long queues. The entry to St. Peter’s Basilica is free of cost.

In any case, I would advise you to take a guided tour, because otherwise you will not be able to capture many of the details of the basilica with its more than 1,500-year history. If you book the tour in advance on the Internet, you can pass the queue at the security checkpoint with priority granted by the visitor service of St. Peter’s Basilica.

More information about St. Peter’s Basilica.

Rome December Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain often attracts so many visitors that it has to be closed for security reasons. Book a hotel in the center and visit the fountains and squares before breakfast when no other visitors are there. This is a unique experience!

Very usful are the Hop on hop off buses, especially between the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo. The buses run at regular intervals and are more reliable than public transport.

Rome December Borgo at the VaticanIf you are walking in the center, choose one of the small romantic back streets with less traffic. I have prepared some tips with half-day programs in the category Three days in Rome.


Pizza in Rom TrapizzinoThe Romans have an extensive lunch only on Sundays. During the week they take only a sandwich at a bar or a first course in a small restaurant.

In Rome there is an interesting street food scene and of course the best pizza al taglio. Even in December, it is worthwhile to eat a good ice cream. The best ice cream parlors offer flavor variations for every season. For dinner, the Romans spend more time. It can take several hours between appetizer and dessert. There is a lot of fish and grilled. The heavy Roman Cuisine is very suitable for December. Book a street food tour to get a good introduction.

Also in December it is a good idea to take the train from the pyramid to Ostia and have a nice dinner by the sea.

Christmas Shopping

Italian fashion is known worldwide and everyone will envy you for your purchases. In December, the shops are particularly attractive. They are beautifully decorated for Christmas and the shopping at the mild temperatures in Rome is very pleasant. The luxury brands can be found around Via dei Condotti, which leads from the Spanish Steps to Via del Corso. Along Via del Corso you will find shops in all price ranges. Rome December La Rinascente TritoneA special consumption temple is the department store La Rinascente in via del Tritone. In the basement you can visit the ancient aqueduct which supplies water to the Trevi Fountain and the fountains in Piazza Navona. On the roof terrace you have a wonderful view over the city. Also in the side streets around Piazza Navona and around Campo de ‘Fiori there are many nice little shops and boutiques. Other shopping streets are Via Cola di Rienzo and Via Appia. The Via Marconi and the Via Tuscolana as well as the newly built shopping centers are too far away from the center for most tourists. Read about shopping in Rome.


It’s a good idea to take a day to explore Rome’s surroundings.

Very popular is the drive to the sea to Ostia with the local train from the pyramid (Metro B) to Ostia Lido. On the way you can see the interesting archaeological excavations in Ostia Antica.

Here you will find a complete trading city with theater. The theater stages some concerts still today.

When the weather is nice, you can take a walk on the beach and enjoy the fresh salty sea air. Read also my Day trip to Ostia

Very interesting is a visit to the Villa D’Este in Tivoli. The numerous fountains and water features fed by the river Aniene provide a cool breeze even on hot days. Not far from Villa D’Este is Villa Adriana, the largest villa ever built by an emperor. It is always hot there in summer, but in November the visit is very pleasant. Nice is also a trip to Castel Gandolfo. There you can visit the papal summer residence and have a good lunch with local wine. A little further away is Assisi, where St. Francis founded his order.

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