Best Time to Visit Rome: Month-by-Month Guide (+Photos)

One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rome is a must-visit for many with astounding monuments and ancient ruins lying around almost every corner. Each year, untold millions pour into Italy’s capital to see the Colosseum, Vatican Museums and much, much more.

While winters in the ‘Eternal City’ are quite mild, the vast majority of visitors arrive between April and October. Their sunny, warm days are great for sightseeing but expect to pay more for accommodation and queue for ages at many of its main attractions.

To help you make the most of your time in Rome, let’s take a look month-by-month at what the city is like in terms of its climate, crowds and cultural events.

In this post, we’ll cover:

What’s the Weather Like in Rome?

Set along the Tiber River in the Lazio region of central Italy, the large metropolis has a lovely Mediterranean climate. Its summers are increasingly hot and humid while winters are mild but wet and get chilly at night.

July and August are the hottest months of the year when temperatures average 30°C (86°F) and the sun is scorching. As the weather is cooler but there are still lots of clear blue skies, many prefer visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.

In winter, temperatures drop to 12 or 13°C (53 to 55°F) with the skies being more overcast. It also rains at least a bit for 14 or 15 days on average from November through January.

Best months to visit Rome

Best Time to Visit Rome

As people have holidays, the sun is shining and the weather is warmest, the summer months are some of the most popular to visit Rome. While the huge crowds and high temperatures can get a bit much, there is an infectious energy about the city.

May, September and October also see large numbers of visitors milling about its monuments and museums. Prices are still expensive though averages of 22 to 27°C (71 to 80°F) are more enjoyable for strolling about the center.

Outside of this very busy period, accommodation and flights are generally more affordable except from around Easter and Christmas. If you don’t mind the cooler weather, this can be a great time to live in La Dolce Vita without having to jostle for space and queue all the time.

Rome in January

Rome January

Once the Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve celebrations are over, January is very quiet in Rome. As well as being the least popular month to visit, it is also the coldest with half its days being overcast and the others partly sunny. On the very rare occasions that it snows, the Colosseum looks absolutely magical all covered in white.

After the Feast of the Epiphany comes around on the 6th, all its decorations are taken down and the Christmas market at Piazza Navona finally closes up. Prices drop as the kids go back to school and most people are put off by the weather. As there are very few crowds around, you can enjoy places like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in peace and quiet.

Rome in February

Rome in Winter

As the weather remains roughly the same in February, there is not much change in terms of tourist numbers. Hotel prices are greatly reduced and airfares are much more affordable than in Easter or summer. If you’re looking to live like a local, it’s not a bad time to visit and experience Rome before it gets overwhelmed later in the year.

During February, you can expect a mix of both sunny and grey days with it being a bit drier than the winter months. Other than seeing the sights and wandering about scenic streets and squares, you can take part in fun carnival festivities. Numerous concerts and parties take place with colourful floats, dancers and musicians all parading along Via del Corso.

Rome in March

Rome March

With average temperatures rising to 16°C (61°F), tourists slowly start to return to Rome. As it is still the off-season though, hotels are cheaper and there are no crowds at its attractions and museums. To welcome the spring, loads of food fairs, concerts and sports events are held all around the city for its Festa di Primavera.

While its flowers and trees are beginning to blossom, the days are still a bit damp and chilly so you’ll want to layer up. The capital starts to feel livelier again as people spend more time outside. Things really pick up around the middle of March as Rome readies itself for both the Holy Week and Easter.

Rome in April

Rome Queue

April is arguably the best month of the year to visit as averages of 18°C (64°F) are ideal for sightseeing but the city is not yet too crowded. The days are also slightly longer and sunnier with spring and all the blossoming flowers having arrived. This is a wonderful time to walk about the pretty parks or the Villa Borghese gardens.

Throughout Easter and Holy Week, the Vatican City is very busy as pilgrims attend the papal masses at St. Peter’s Basilica. While you can try plenty of traditional treats, some shops and restaurants shut around this time. Although prices are higher, April is the last ‘quiet’ month until November so it’s worth taking trips to Tivoli or Castelli Romani before they’re overrun.

Rome in May

Rome Spring

Very warm and sunny with bright blue skies, May is even better weatherwise than April. The crowds do start to get a bit much though with queues forming outside of its main attractions and most popular museums. Prices for hotels and flights are also more expensive but not as bad as in summer.

With 9 hours of sunshine a day, you have loads of time to visit iconic sites such as the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Averages of 23°C (73°F) are also lovely for al fresco dining and aperitivi. You’ll want to take a jacket though for later in the evening. Apart from Labour Day when many things are closed, there are still exhibitions and events to attend for the Festa di Primavera. You can also watch top tennis players at the Italian Open.

Rome in June

Rome in June

June is the start of the peak season in Rome when the hotels, restaurants and tourist sights are absolutely rammed. Very dry and sunny, its long days are ideal for ambling about slowly or stopping for a gelato. Many businesses shut for Republic Day when grand ceremonies and military parades take place in front of the Victor Emmanuel II National Monument.

While averages of 27°C (80°F) can get a bit much with all the crowds, there is a very lively feel about town. Although prices are high and there are queues outside the Colosseum and Vatican Museums, tons of fun events are held. These include processions for Corpus Christi and fireworks displays for Saints Peter and Paul Day. Countless concerts are also put on for the hugely popular Roma Summer Fest.

Rome in July

Rome in July

The busiest month of the year, July is when all the capital’s streets and squares start to feel overcrowded. Finding decent accommodation for a fair price is tough with airfares also being way more expensive. As the temperature rises to 30°C (so 86°F) and the humidity kicks in, wandering about is a tiring, sticky affair. Make sure to take breaks and hydrate often.

In addition to the Roma Summer Fest’s packed schedule of shows, dance performances and plays are held by the river for the ‘Along the Tiber’ festival. Open-air concerts and street art exhibits also take over trendy Trastevere during its Festival of Noantri. The Isola del Cinema has plenty of film screenings to attend if you just want to relax after a hot day sightseeing.

Rome in August

Rome August

While August is just as hot, sunny and humid as July, the crowds feel way more manageable as many locals leave the city on holiday. You’ll still have to queue at many of its main sights though and pay higher hotel prices and airfares. Many shops and restaurants also close for a couple of weeks.

Around the middle of the month, lots of concerts and events are organized along the banks of the Tiber to celebrate the assumption of the Virgin Mary. Aside from Ferragosto, there are operas, ballets and jazz performances to catch at the ancient Baths of Caracalla. If you take day trips in August, be aware that some towns may also be quieter as people are on holiday.

Rome in September

Spanish Steps

Although the kids are back at school, September is actually slightly busier than August as all the Romans return from their holidays. While flights are cheaper, hotels are expensive with large crowds still milling about Saint Peter’s Square and the Roman Forum. Despite being a bit rainier, its long, sunny days are great for sightseeing though are slightly too hot at times.

Other than attending the Isola del Cinema and Roma Summer Fest which are still ongoing, a whole host of events are held for White Night or Notte Bianca. The capital has a very vibrant ambience as churches, museums and art galleries put on exhibitions and everyone stays up and parties until the early morning.

Rome in October

Rome Autumn

October is just as busy as people make the most of the good weather before both the rain and greyer days of November set in. While it does usually rain for around 12 days, averages of 22°C (71°F) and 6 hours of sunshine are still very comfortable for al fresco dining and spending time outdoors. This is also a good time to take day trips to Florence or Naples.

Not noticeably cheaper or less crowded, the autumn months do at least have loads of tasty seasonal products to try. Besides fresh truffles and foraged mushrooms, there is the famous Sagra dell’Uva wine festival to experience in the nearby town of Marino. Its parks also look very picturesque with all the changing colors of the trees. There are tons of terrific dance, theater and music shows to enjoy too at the Romaeuropa Festival.

Rome in November

Rome Rain

The wettest month of the year, November sees tourist numbers drop considerably as half its days are rainy with thunderstorms sometimes striking down. Averages of 17°C (62°F) aren’t bad but there is less sunshine and daylight hours in which to walk about. You’ll also want to take an umbrella around with you!

Airfares and accommodation are very affordable with there barely being any crowds at most of its main sights. Aside from the Romaeuropa Festival and All Saints Day, there are both the international film and jazz festivals going on.

Rome in December

Rome Christmas

December is also a quiet month in Rome though some do head here to celebrate Christmas and the New Year’s. The days are darker with around 4 hours of sunshine so you’ll have less time to stroll about and snap photos of the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo. Make sure to layer up and take a jacket as temperatures average 13°C (55°F) and it does rain quite a bit.

Prices do rise around the holidays though most of its museums and tourist attractions won’t be too busy. There is a very festive feel about the city with Piazza Navona hosting a magical Christmas market. Villa Borghese also has Christmas World for you to wander around while epic performances of The Nutcracker delight audiences at its ornate opera house. Fireworks displays, concerts and parties are held in iconic locations around Rome for New Year’s Eve.

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