Rome

Visiting Rome in December – The Definitive Guide

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Close to 2700 years ago, Rome began its journey, thanks to Romulus. The city was there during the Etruscan Dominance and slowly emerged to become a global power under Caesar. If there is one place where Rome has a set up a permanent residence, it is in History. Rome has seen evolution and has aced the test of survival. Now, the Eternal City boasts to have one of the biggest tourist turn up in the world. It is a modern gastronomy hub, a social livewire, and the brightest example of a photogenic city. Why wouldn’t someone want to be here, even in December?

What makes Rome in December Special?


rome in december

Holiday Season: The festivities are what unite us all. Every December, Rome joins the entire world in end of the year revelry. A trip to Rome in December means marveling at the sight of the city of love dressed up in pretty lights and witnessing how enthusiastic Roma can be.

Less Crowded: Roma is a tourist hotspot. You’d be lucky to find your picture devoid of a photobomber in the city. We suggest you make good use of the off season and visit Rome in December. You can patiently absorb some of the perpetually busy attractions.

Cheaper Accommodations and Commute: Given it is the low season, many airlines drop airfare dramatically. The hotels and lodges follow suit. These low rates stick throughout December and most of January. If you are planning a budget trip, December might be your time to score.

Rome Weather in December


December in Rome is fairly cold with spurts of rain throughout the month. The average temperature starts off at 10°C and drops to 7°C by the end of the month. Rome in December experiences an average of 6 hours of sunshine, giving you ample time to explore the city when the sun is out.

rome weather

Visiting Rome in December: Things to do


1

St. Peter’s Basilica

rome in december - St. Peter’s Basilica


What comes to your mind when you think of Vatican City? The answer is, St. Peter’s Basilica. This colossal beaut assumes an aura of potency, given its religious importance till date. A capacity of 20,000 is enough to hold the art enthusiasts that pour in to see legendary works like St. Peter’s Baldachin, and The Pietà. A December trip to St. Peter's Basilica will ensure maximum time to absorb all that is going on inside.

December Timings
7:00 AM to 6:30 PM

Location

Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
Italy
Getting There ›

Free Cancellation
Dedicated Access: St. Peter's Basilica Self Guided Audio Tour
Dedicated Access: St. Peter's Basilica Self Guided...
from
€19.5
Free Cancellation
Exclusive St. Peter's Guided Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs
Exclusive St. Peter's Guided Tour with Dome Climb ...
from
€59
Best Safety
Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel...
from
€59
Best Safety
Entire Vatican City Guided Tour with St Peter's Basilica Dome Climb
Entire Vatican City Guided Tour with St Peter's Ba...
from
€94.95
Free Cancellation
Guided Tour Of St. Peter's Basilica With Fast Track Entrance
Guided Tour Of St. Peter's Basilica With Fast Trac...
from
€27
Best Safety
Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour
Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel...
from
€101
Free Cancellation
Fast Track: St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Necropolis - Guided Tour
Fast Track: St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Necro...
from
€59

2

Vatican Museums

rome in december - Vatican Museum


The city of Rome belongs to art and culture. And the Vatican Museums represent the the very core of this important aspect of Roma. You can explore the glorious art of Europe through the ages, or discover the timeless story behind Vatican City, without being bothered huge tour groups. That is why December might be the ideal time for you to take a Vatican Museums tour.

December Timings
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)
9:00 AM to 2:30 PM (last Sunday of the month);
Closed on all other Sundays, December 25 and 26
.

Location

Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma RM,
Italy
Getting There ›

Best Safety
Skip the Line Tickets - Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Skip the Line Tickets - Vatican Museums and Sistin...
from
€19.9
Best Safety
Escorted Exclusive Skip The Line Tickets to Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
Escorted Exclusive Skip The Line Tickets to Vatica...
from
€27
Best Safety
Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel...
from
€59
Best Safety
Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo & Pontifical Villas Gardens
Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo & Pontifical V...
from
€14.5
Best Safety
Skip the Line Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel
Skip the Line Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, ...
from
€51
Best Safety
Vatican Museums & Pontifical Villas By Train
Vatican Museums & Pontifical Villas By Train
from
€65
Best Safety
Exclusive Early Access Tickets - Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
Exclusive Early Access Tickets - Vatican Museum & ...
from
€53
Best Safety
Entire Vatican City Guided Tour with St Peter's Basilica Dome Climb
Entire Vatican City Guided Tour with St Peter's Ba...
from
€94.95
Best Safety
Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour
Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel...
from
€101
Best Safety
Semi Private Guided Tour - Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
Semi Private Guided Tour - Vatican Museums, Sistin...
from
€87

3

Sistine Chapel

rome in december - Sistine Chapel


This masterpiece by Michelangelo can be seen at the Vatican City, where it is treasured and spectated by millions every year. Its historical importance has not ceased to be, and currently popes are crowned inside this architectural marvel. Sistine Chapel immortalizes the works of Botticelli, Perugino, and Luca, apart from Michelangelo himself. Given its fame among the tourists, you’d be better advised to sneak in here in December.

December Timings
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Monday to Saturday);
9:00 AM to 2:30 PM (last Sunday of the month);
Closed on all other Sundays, December 8 and 26

Location

Viale Vaticano, 100, 00136 Roma RM
Italy
Getting There ›

Best Safety
Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel...
from
€59
Best Safety
Skip the Line Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel
Skip the Line Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, ...
from
€51
Best Safety
Exclusive Early Access Tickets - Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
Exclusive Early Access Tickets - Vatican Museum & ...
from
€53
Free Cancellation
Vatican Skip the Line & Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Vatican Skip the Line & Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off...
from
€58
Best Safety
Entire Vatican City Guided Tour with St Peter's Basilica Dome Climb
Entire Vatican City Guided Tour with St Peter's Ba...
from
€94.95
Best Safety
Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour
Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel...
from
€101
Best Safety
Semi Private Guided Tour - Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
Semi Private Guided Tour - Vatican Museums, Sistin...
from
€87
Best Safety
Small Group Tour of Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel
Small Group Tour of Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s B...
from
€52
Free Cancellation
Vatican & Papal Tombs: Treasures of the Sistine Chapel
Vatican & Papal Tombs: Treasures of the Sistine Ch...
from
€69
Best Safety
Vatican Museums & Pontifical Villas By Train
Vatican Museums & Pontifical Villas By Train
from
€65

4

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

rome in december


No matter what time of the year it is, if you are in Rome, you need to pay a visit to the Colosseum at least once. After a trip to the world’s largest amphitheatre, you visit the the home of native history, the Roman Forum. Here, you can sneak a peek into the Ancient Roman way. Finally, visit the Palatine Hill, the vantage point that witnessed the birth of Rome. Unlike rest of the year, in December these sites allow you to enjoy a calmer side of them.

December Timings
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (All three attractions)

Location

Piazza del Colosseo, 00184, Rome,
Italy
Getting There ›

Best Safety
Priority Entrance Tickets to Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Priority Entrance Tickets to Colosseum, Roman Foru...
from
€13
Best Safety
Escorted Priority Entry to Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Escorted Priority Entry to Colosseum, Roman Forum ...
from
€24
Best Safety
Skip-the-Line Tickets to Colosseum with Access to the Arena, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Skip-the-Line Tickets to Colosseum with Access to ...
from
€42
Best Safety
Skip-the-Line Colosseum Guided Tour with Access to Arena, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Skip-the-Line Colosseum Guided Tour with Access to...
from
€50.67
Best Safety
Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of Colosseum, Roman Foru...
from
€34.2
Best Safety
Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour
Rome in a Day: Colosseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel...
from
€101
Free Cancellation
City Sightseeing Rome Maxi-Combo: Vatican & Colosseum Skip the Line Tickets + 48hrs Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour
City Sightseeing Rome Maxi-Combo: Vatican & Coloss...
from
€88
Best Safety
Colosseum & Ancient Rome Tour with Forum & Palatine Hill
Colosseum & Ancient Rome Tour with Forum & Palatin...
from
€54
Free Cancellation
City Sightseeing Rome: Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour + Colosseum Skip The Line Tickets
City Sightseeing Rome: Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour + Colos...
from
€52
Best Safety
VIP Access Tickets: Vatican Museums & Colosseum with Arena Floor
VIP Access Tickets: Vatican Museums & Colosseum wi...
from
€82

5

Trastevere Neighbourhood Walk

rome in december-trastavere


A quaint medieval neighborhood just on the other side of the river Tiber awaits you in Rome. Trastevere neighborhood is known for its humble persona, gripping history, and little food stalls selling mouth watering delicacies. A walk through the neighborhood in December would allow you to breathe in the essence of the locale.

December Timings
Open all day

Location

Trastevere,Rome
Italy
Getting There ›

6

Galleria Borghese & Villa Borghese

rome in december-Borghese Gallery


The Galleria Borghese Museum flaunts a collection of sculptures, bas-reliefs, ancient mosaics, paintings and sculptures from the 15th to 19th century. Witness works by acclaimed Italian artisans like Caravaggio, Titian, Correggio and Giovanni Bellini here. Villa Borghese is a naturalistic landscape garden and the third largest public park in Rome. Attached to it is the Galleria Borghese, a treasure trove of art and history you just can’t afford to miss.

December Timings
Tuesday to Sunday 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM (Monday closed)

Location

Viale del Museo Borghese, 00197 Roma RM,
Italy
Getting There ›

Best Safety
Borghese Gallery Entrance Tickets
Borghese Gallery Entrance Tickets
from
€21
Best Safety
Villa Borghese Gallery and Gardens Skip The Line Guided Tour
Villa Borghese Gallery and Gardens Skip The Line G...
from
€54
Free Cancellation
Borghese Gallery & Colosseum Half Day Guided Tour with Roman Forum
Borghese Gallery & Colosseum Half Day Guided Tour ...
from
€102

7

Roman Catacombs

rome in december-Roman Catacombs


Burial of dead bodies within city limits were prohibited in Ancient Rome. Consequently, timbs had to erected beyond the cities. Also, underground tunnel systems were used to bury dead bodies. Explore centuries worth of history literally buried in the Catacombs. Opt for a guided tour to uncover the numerous mysteries. A tour of the Roman Catacombs in December tends to get a bit chillier than usual.

December Timings
9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
2:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Location

Via Salaria, 430, 00199 Roma RM,
Italy
Getting There ›

Best Safety
The Original Rome Capuchin Crypts and Catacombs Tour
The Original Rome Capuchin Crypts and Catacombs Tour
from
€69
Best Safety
Catacombs of Domitilla, Appian Way and Capuchin Crypts Tour
Catacombs of Domitilla, Appian Way and Capuchin Cr...
from
€70
Free Cancellation
Vatican & Papal Tombs: Treasures of the Sistine Chapel
Vatican & Papal Tombs: Treasures of the Sistine Ch...
from
€69

8

Legends and Ghosts Tour

rome in december-ghosts Tour


Roma has its dark side as well. A city as old as this can be expected to be a witness of unholy tales. A Legends and Ghosts Tour of Rome familiarize you with the sinister facet of the city of love. Know about the corrupt female Pope whose apparition is still said to be visible, and many other legends from an expert guide. Taking this tour in December will surely be a little scarier.

December Timings
8:00 PM and 9:15 PM everyday

Location

S. Andrea della Valle Church, Rome
Italy
Getting There ›

9

Rome Food Tour

rome in december-Food Tour


You may come to Rome especially to take its gustatory feel and still leave absolutely satisfied. Choose among the numerous options available, from wine tours, to countryside cruise, to cooking classes, Rome has it all. Tour groups usually reduce in size around December, which can only enhance your overall experience.

Location

Trastevere,Rome
Italy
Getting There ›

Rome in December — Events to look out for


Rome in December events

Lighting of the Menorah

21st December, 2020
This is possibly the first spectacle that Roma offers to a tourist in December. A giant Menoah is lit at Piazza Barberini as thousands come to witness that landmark event. This kickstarts Hanukkah in Rome.

Rome in December events

Hanukkah

10th December - 18th December, 2020
Rome has a rather large Jewish population, and therefore Hanukkah is a big deal in the city. Piazza Barberini becomes the focal point of celebrations, as candles are lit on all of the eight nights of the holiday.

Rome in December events

Immaculate Conception

8th December, 2020
On this Catholic holy day, the conception of Mother Mary is celebrated in Rome. A caravan is led by the Pope himself from Vatican to Piazza di Spagna, where he lays a wreath Colonna dell'Immacolata.

Rome in December events

Nativity Display

All of December
Throughout Rome, depictions of Nativity scenes are displayed during the festive season. The one that you must catch is at Sala del Bramante near Piazza del Popolo. This display remains up well into January.

Rome in December events

Urbi et Orbi

25th December, 2019
Thousands of devotees from around the world turn up at St. Peter’s Square on the day of Christmas to receive the Pope’s blessings. This is only one of the two occasions the Pope showers his blessings on a gathering.

Rome in December events

Giorno di Santo Stefano

26th December, 2019
Celebrated on the day after Christmas, on this day, the locals come out to view the nativity displays and visit the holiday markets. Santo Stefano Rotondo and other churches observe a feast day for St. Stephen on Giorno di Santo Stefano.

Rome in December : 5-day Itinerary


Need help planning your Rome vacation? Check out our detailed Rome itineraries here.

5 Days In Rome Itinerary

Day
1
Morning
Roman Colosseum Tour
Colosseum

€13

Afternoon
Roman Forum Palatine Hill
Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Free Entry

Late Evening
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain

Free Entry

Day
2
Morning
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica & Vatican Necropolis

€19.5

Noon
Vatican Museums
Vatican Museums

Afternoon
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel

€5

Day
3
Morning
Borghese Gallery
Borghese Gallery

€54

Afternoon
Roman Catacombs
Roman Catacombs

€69

Late Evening
Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano
Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano

€10

Day
4
Day Trip Option #1
Rome to Naples
Rome to Naples

Day Trip Option #2
Rome to Pompeii
Rome to Pompeii

€139

Day Trip Option #3
Rome to Amalfi Coast
Rome to Amalfi Coast

€179

Day
5
Morning
Trastevere
Trastevere

Free Entry

Afternoon
Roman Ghetto
Roman Ghetto

€82

Evening
Appian Way
Appian Way

€70

What to eat in Rome in December?


rome in december
Ribollita

This soup is native to the Tuscany region, but has a Roman twist. It is made from cannellini beans, seasonal vegetables, and the mixed with bread. It is said that the soup tastes better with stale bread. The simplicity and warmth of Ribollita will surely take to your heart. Try this soup at Vineria Il Chianti.

rome in december
Pasta Alla Carbonara

Winters are the ideal time to gorge on this signature Roman heavy pasta dish. Pasta Alla Carbonara consists of eggs and cheese in a sinful proportion to make it a delight on one of your December outings. Given its traditional value, Pasta Alla Carbonara is available at almost all renowned restaurants around Rome.

rome in december
Tagliolini al Tartufo Nero

December lies in the middle of black truffle season in Roma. The prices are the lowest during this time and pasta dishes are available in abundance in restaurants throughout Rome. While taking a stroll through the Piazza Navona or Pantheon, you may drop into Osteria del Sostegno to have their speciality Tagliolini al Tartufo Nero.

rome in december
Supplì

Trastevere is known for its food carts and makeshift food stalls. On one of your mandatory walks around Trastevere, try this crumbled risotto ball filled with tomato ragu. You may opt for the mozzarella variation of Supplì to enjoy your wintry outing better. I Supplì is known for its absolutely lip smacking version of this street food.

rome in december
Pangiallo Romano

Rome in December is specifically incomplete without trying Pangiallo Romano. This cake with an ancient origin pops up only around Christmas. A generous helping of almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, raisins and pistachios are added to the dough, and after baking, it is glazed in saffron. Try it from Pangiallo Romano or Pasticceria Regoli.

Rome December Essentials


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LanguageItalian

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Time zoneGMT+2

☎

Country Code+39

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Socket Type C, L, F

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CurrencyEuros €

Rome Weather in December

December is the second coldest month of the year in Rome. The lowest temperature can be around 4°C/39°F while the highest is about 15°C/59°F. Rains are rare with mostly clear skies and crisp days. Snows are not uncommon.

Where to Stay in Rome during December

Since December is in the off season, this might be the right time save up on accommodations. Several hotels slash their rates and offer lucrative deals to attract what’s left of the tourist crowd. However, if you want to hole up indoors, Roma offers quite a few luxurious options.

  • Luxury Hotels: J.K. Place Roma, Hotel Hassler, Hotel De Russie
  • Mid-Range: Boutique Hotel Campo de Fiori, Barocco Hotel, Kolbe Hotel Rome
  • Budget : Nerva Accomodation, Palm Gallery Hotel, Hotel Santa Maria

What to Pack for Visiting Rome in December

Considering the rising winter chills, it is absolutely essential to have warm woollen jackets and thicker clothes handy during your trip. Make it a point to carry a scarf and gloves with you at all times. A rain-hat, umbrella or a raincoat is also a must as it tends to rain erratically during November. If you’re planning to go out on an excursion, it is best to have comfortable leggings and durable shoes to last you throughout your trip.

Getting Around Rome in December

Public transport in Rome is sprawling. Metro routes Linea A and Linea B can be used to get to most of the attractions around the Vatican City and Colosseum. The bus network can take you to the other spots in the city. Tram lines are also widespread throughout the city and run almost all day. There is a network of night buses the make the late tours convenient. For the overtly independent ones, there are bike and scooter rentals available.

Tips for Visiting Rome in December


  • Enquire about the night tours of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
  • Remember that the entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel is sealed two hours before closing time.
  • Climb to the top of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica and enjoy a mesmerizing view of Roma.
  • Beware of the overwhelming crowd at St. Peter’s Square during the Christmas period.
  • Check out the winter market at Piazza Navona if you are in Rome in December.
  • Enjoy the Vatican Museums free of cost on Boxing Day

Explore Rome By Months


Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Rome in Oct
Oct
Nov
Dec

Ready to Visit Rome in December?


Here are some quick links to articles that will make your Roma vacation all the more special !

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