Rome December 2020 · Events · Climate · Food

Rome December 2020: Enjoy the atmosphere of the Christmas season, stroll through the shopping streets, visit museums and nativity scenes and enjoy the rustic Roman cuisine. The temperatures are mild and there is no frost.

Of course, the corona crisis is not over in December. But Italy’s numbers are in the average of safe countries and Rome has always had few cases. There are safety rules in place and if you follow the rules you can be confident that you are safe in Rome. Read what’s going on in Rome in December and how to organize yourself.

Roma Pass online

Avoid queues

Basically, one of the COVID precautionary measures is to avoid crowds and queues. You can find the current regulations in our article on Coronavirus in Rome.

You should therefore book everything on the Internet as far as possible.

Rome December Ciampino queueYou risk queues at the airport if you have not arranged the trip to Rome in advance, as well as with public transport. There are hardly any queues at St. Peter’s Basilica until mid-December. Nevertheless, we recommend the skip-the-line ticket with audio guide.

Public transport

The public transport in Rome is hopelessly overwhelmed and there is no working timetable. Only a few lines, such as lines 40 and 64 between Termini and the Vatican, run regularly. Take this into account when planning and choosing your accommodation. Book your accommodation in the city center, in Monti near the Colosseum or in the vicinity of the Vatican.

The hop on hop off buses circulate very reliably. When the weather is nice, you can rent a bike.

Accommodation

The Roman center is not very big and you can walk to many attractions. Read in our article Hotels in Rome which neighborhoods are best for your accommodation.

St. Peter's Basilica

Rome December St. Peter's Square and CathedralFor St. Peter’s Basilica, we have put together extensive information in our articles on entry to St. Peter’s Basilica and the history of St. Peter’s Basilica.

St. Peter's Basilica opening times in NovemberDec

St. Peter’s Basilica is closed when the Pope’s audiences take place on Wednesday morning in St. Peter’s Square. It is also closed during the Pope’s celebrations on Christmas Eve, on the morning of December 25th and on the afternoon of December 31st. The opening times are:

St. Peter’s Basilica 7am-6:30pm – dome 8am-6pm – Cathedral Treasure 9am-6:15pm

Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are among the most important museums in the world. They can only be visited with a reservation. Details on the Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums opening hours in Decdember

Monday – Thursday
10am – 8pm

Friday – Saturday
10am – 10pm

They are closed every Sunday and on December 8th, 25th and 26th.

Vatican gardens

There is a bus tour for the Vatican Gardens that leaves from St. Peter’s Basilica to the left. You can only take part in the bus tour with a reservation.

An alternative is a walking tour of the Vatican Gardens. This tour includes a visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

Vatican Museums with St. Peter's Dome at night

Museums opening hours

Reservation is compulsory for the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Borghese Gallery and all museums in the Municipality of Rome.

Reservations for the Borghese Gallery must be made with the Roma Pass on +39 06 32810. Since the gallery is usually booked out well in advance, we recommend buying tickets directly.

All museums are closed on December 25th. On December 24th, some of the opening times will be reduced.

Tickets for the national museums

You can book tickets for the national museums online. Tickets for the National Museums in Rome>

Tickets for the museums of the Municipality of Rome

For the museums of the Municipality of Rome, such as the Capitoline Museums and the Trajan Markets, book by phone +39 060608

Free entry

All museums run by the Municipality of Rome, such as the Capitoline Museums and the Trajan’s Markets, have free admission on December 6th. The entry time must be reserved by telephone. +39 060608

This does not apply to the National Museums such as the Colosseum or the Baths of Caracalla.

Events

Pope audiences in December

General audiences of the Holy Father take place on Wednesdays at 9:30 am with the exception of December 23rd. The audiences are public. They are likely to take place either in the Damasus court or, in bad weather, in the audience hall. Reservations are not expected to be required.

Rome December St. Peter's Square at nightIn December there are papal masses on Christmas Eve and on December 25th. There is also a Vesper in the afternoon of December 31st.

The Pope’s Angelus prayer takes place on Sundays and on December 8th and 26th at noon in St. Peter’s Square.

At noon on December 25th, the Pope gives the blessing Urbi et Orbi.

Romarama

Romarama replaces the Roman summer this year. Due to the compulsory break, events are planned until the end of the year. Details on Romarama>

Newspace Economy logo

9.-11.12. Newspace Economy Forum on space technology

Fiera di Roma – Rome Fair Train FL1 towards Fiumicino Airport

Maker faire logo10.-13.12. Maker Faire inventors’ fair

Fiera di Roma – Rome Fair Train FL1 towards Fiumicino Airport

Sports

20.12. Christmas Run for Sant’Egidio. Running for everyone at Villa Pamphili – 15 km – 8 km – 4 km. Groups with Pace Maker from 4’30″/ km to 8′ / km. Web https://www.christmasrun.it/wp/

Concerts

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's Music Park

A jewel is the Parco della Musica, built by the internationally known architect Renzo Piano, in northern Rome on Via Flaminia. See all events here. Events and tickets

Tram 2 Parco della Musica

Im Parco della Musica gibt es mehrere Auditorien und eine Freilichtbühne. Es werden Aufführungen in allen Stilrichtungen angeboten.

Largo Venue

23.12. 24 Grana

Largo Venue ist ein Kulturzentrum auf der Via Prenestina.

Largo Venue, Via Biordo Michelotti 2
Tram 5, 14, 19 Bus 81, 412, n5, n543, nMC Prenestina/Gattamelata Largo Venue

Tickets Ticketone buchen

Traffic live club

Traffic Live Club ist eine Musik Veranstaltungsort auf der Via Prenestina

Traffic live club Via Prenestina 738
113, 150F, 313, 314, 501, 508, n075 Prenestina/Tor Tre Teste Traffic Live Club

Roma Musei in musica 2019t.b.d. Musei in Musica A night of music in the museums of Rome

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

20-2 1 €

Concerto di Natale in Vaticano 2020Christmas concert in the Vatican

t.b.d. Ticketone buchen

Exhibitions

Back to natureuntil December 13th, 2020 Back to nature, 10 works of art in the park of Villa Borghese

Parco dei Daini, Loggia dei Vini, vor Casina della Meridiana, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Museo Pietro Canonica.

Villa Borghese Metro A Spagna, Bus 61, 89, 160, 490, 495, 590

Per Giocountil January 10th, 2021 Per Gioco

The toy collection of the Sovrintendenza Capitolina in the Museo di Roma

Piazza Navona

Il tempo di Caravaggiountil January 11th, 2021 Il tempo di Caravaggio

Exhibition in the Capitoline Museums of the works of the world-famous painter

Capitol Hill

Tour of the Capitoline Museums in a small group

I Marmi Torloniauntil June 27th, 2021 I Marmi Torlonia. Collezionare Capolavori
The legendary marble collection of the Torlonia family, exhibition in the Capitoline Museums, Villa Caffarelli

Capitol Hill

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

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 Experience – near St. Peter’s Square

Via della Conciliazione 19 Leonardo da Vinci Experience

Tickets

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

Piazza del Colosseo Metro B Colosseo Tickets

Fuori Quadriennale d'Arte 2020FUORI – Quadriennale d’Arte

Contemporary Italian art in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni

Via Nazionale 194 Bus 64, 70, 71, 117, 170, H Palazzo delle Esposizioni

Banksy a visual project rom tickets

Banksy A Visual Protest

Over 90 works tell the world of Banksy. See the works of the unknown artist Banksy, who conquered the world with irony and sharpness, in the monastery built by the Italian architect Bramante in the 16th century.

In the Chiostro del Bramante (Zone Piazza Navona) Via Arco della Pace 5 Google Maps

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 December St. Peter's Square early morningOf 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 7:19 and 7:38.

The early morning is also the best time to jog.

Christmas Shopping

Italian fashion is known worldwide and everyone will envy you for your purchases.

Rome December Galleria ColonnaIn 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.

Eating

Rome December Cucina Romana arrosto mistoThe heavy Roman cuisine goes perfectly with the cold season. In our Food category you will find tips on street food, pizza, the best ice cream parlors that offer creations to match the winter, but also on very elegant restaurants.

Excursions​ around Rome

Rome December Da Pancrazio Restaurant in the Teatro di PompeoRome has beautiful surroundings. The Romans go to the sea or the mountains for a good meal on weekends.

The seafood restaurants by the sea are also well attended in December. There can be snow in the mountains and there is a rustic kitchen that goes well with the cold temperatures.

You can reach many destinations by public transport. It is of course more convenient to rent a car. Rental cars in Rome often do not have winter tires and you have to book snow chains if you want to drive into the mountains.

Excursions to the sea

Getting to Ostia Lido is very easy. A ticket for city traffic is sufficient for the journey and on the way you can visit the excavations of the old port city of Ostia Antica.

Excursions in the mountains

The most famous summer residence of the Romans in Castel Gandolfo. The popes spent the summer here at an altitude of around 400 m. Pope Francis, however, remains in Rome and the palace and gardens at Castel Gandolfo can be visited.

You can get to Castel Gandolfo by train from Roma Termini or from Ciampino with a 3-zone ticket. The train station is on the volcanic hill between Lake Albano and the village.

The trip to Umbria, for example to Assisi or Orvieto, is also nice.

You can also take a day tour to Naples, Florence, Milan or Venice with the high-speed trains.

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