Rome summer · The best travel time
Rome summer. Many say that summer in Rome is too hot. May be. But it is worth to visit Rome in the summer. Already with the beginning of the school holidays in the middle of June the traffic decreases noticeably and many Romans leave the city.
In August, the city will be even quieter, because many companies and offices are closed for at least two weeks. During this time there is little traffic and the attractions are more accessible. In August, for example, you do not need a pre-order for the pope audiences.
In summer, the maximum temperatures in Rome are regularly above 86° F and the minimum temperatures rarely below 36° F. Grasses and meadows turn brown. When choosing the accommodation air conditioned rooms are recommended. In the city is a constant airflow and the temperatures are not unpleasant in the shade. Nevertheless, you should have a sun hat or umbrella for protection.
Please be aware that shoulder and knees must be covered when visiting the sacred sites, also the catacombs and the Papal audiences, even if it’s hot.
In the early morning the city is quiet and empty. The sunrise offers wonderful pictures and you may even meet a wedding couple at the photo shoot. The early morning is also the best time for jogging. When planning your day, remember to avoid walking in the heat of the afternoon. Plan rest periods or the visit of a park, a swimming pool or a drive to the sea. On two wheels, the best way to get around is by e-bike or Vespa, on four-wheeled by golf carts, hop on hop off buses and public transport, or you can take a tour by an air-conditioned luxury sedan.
After sunset, a lively and colorful nightlife develops. Traditional festivals and events along the banks of the Tiber provide variety.
In July 2019 there will be no general audiences. General Audiences will be held in August except Wednesday, August 14th. In September 2019, the audiences will be held every Wednesday with the exception of 4 September. The audiences in August are usually held in the air-conditioned Audience Hall and there is no need for reserved tickets. For more information about the Papal Audiences, see my papal audiences article.
The Angelus Prayer with Pope Francis takes place during summer every Sunday in summer and on 15 August at 12 noon. On Sunday, September 8, the Angelus prayer does not take place.
The Vatican Museums are closed on 14th and 15th August. Normal opening hours are Monday to Saturday 9 am-6 pm with last admission at 4 pm. On the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are open from 9am to 2pm and admission is free – last admission is at 12:30.
For the Vatican Museums I recommend the special early entry so that you can be among the first who visit the Sistine Chapel.
Special early entrance with breakfast buffet is at 7 o’clock.
Special early entrance without breakfast is at 8 o’clock.
Until October each Friday in the Vatican Museums additional opening from 6 pm to 11 pm, last admission 9:30. Availabilities for this exclusive event you can book here also at short notice, the booking period is usually 60 days:
The national museums and museums of the municipality of Rome are also open on the 15th August.
The moon above the Colosseum: In the summer, the Coliseum is also open from 8 pm to midnight.
Rome offers a comprehensive program during the summer to enjoy the long evenings outdoors. During the Roman summer, the Estate Romana, there are numerous free concerts and film screenings.
On a summer evening on the banks of the Tiber you can experience Rome from a special side.
From June until the first decade of September stalls and tents are built on the banks of the Tiber. Associations inform about their work, you can buy clothes and objects and there are bars, restaurants and pizzerias.
One area is located below the Castel Sant’Angelo, a second larger area goes from the Sixtus Bridge and across the Tiber Island to Porta Portese.
In addition to the mostly culinary offer you’ll find entertainment games, events and an open-air cinema.
The best time for your visit on the banks of the Tiber River is between 8 pm and midnight.
The most important events can be found here:
On hot summer days, you might not want to have a hearty lunch. Often a nice salad plate, a sandwich, fresh fruit or a sundae is enough. Many bars offer small meals for lunch. Roman office workers go to lunch around 1pm. Follow them and you will find good places for a light lunch. For a good ice cream, read my report on ice cream parlors in Rome.
For dinner, the Romans take more time. It can take several hours between appetizer and dessert. There is a lot of fish and grilled. The heavy Roman cuisine is rather less suitable for the summer. Artichokes are winter vegetables, in summer they come from remote countries.
On beautiful summer evenings you can eat well on the banks of the Tiber. It is also a good idea to take the train from the pyramid to Ostia and have a nice dinner by the sea there.