Through four seasons of the year, Rome is a truly stunning city. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some times of the year that are better for visiting Rome than others – something that’s made abundantly clear to those braving the peak-season crowds. As far as determining the very best time to visit Rome, it all comes down to who you are, what you are expecting and what you would like to get from your trip. Work this out and you can then work out the ideal time to plan your visit.
Consider the Weather in Rome
Perhaps the most pivotal factor of all for visitors to Rome is the weather, which can of course make or break your stay as a whole. While the middle of the summer is always the busiest time in Rome, the weather is actually at its best from September to October and between April and June. During these times, the days are usually wonderfully sunny without ever becoming overbearing. What’s more, the chances of experiencing afternoon rain showers are also much lower during these times of year. In the peak of the summer, you can expect temperatures in the 90s, though these slip to a much more pleasant 75 or so in the months before and after the summer.
Winter in Rome can be somewhat on the unpleasant side from weather perspective as things get very grey, very wet and rather cold. It’s also very rare for a great deal of snow to fall on Rome, though it is quite stunning when this happens.
Visit Rome in High Season
Each year without fail, the biggest tourist population make their way to Rome in July and August. This is also the time of year during which the weather is at its hottest, with temperatures in the mid-90s not being uncommon in the average afternoon. As such, the high season is the best time to visit Rome if you like cities to be alive with people and are partial to spending as much time as possible outside. The high season does represent the best season for strolling around Rome’s famous sites in the sunshine, though it can get a little too hot from time to time.
Plan a Visit to Rome in Shoulder Season
Ask any seasoned traveller when the best time to visit Rome is and they will surely advise shoulder season. These are the months that bridge the gaps between the low and high seasons, which in Rome’s case fall around September to October and April to June. At this time, the weather is usually fantastic but the place itself is nowhere near as crowded. Nights tend to be cooler and there may be certain amenities that have shut up shop after the season, but in terms of getting the best of all worlds, shoulder season takes some beating. It also tends to be a hugely affordable season, if travelling outside the kids’ school holidays.
Explore Rome in Natural Beauty in Off-Season
As for Rome’s off-season, the charms may not be as obvious on the surface but are abundant nonetheless. Yes the weather may be gloomy, but the reward for this will be a Rome with almost empty streets, lower prices and an indescribable sense of calm. And it’s not as if the winters in Rome are nearly as unbearable as they can be further north across Europe, so you might argue that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks making it the best time to visit Rome. To admire Rome in its abandoned winter glory really is an experience you’ll hold onto for life.
Key Events in Rome
Events is also one of the factors to consider when choosing the best time to visit Rome. If you can time your trip to Rome to coincide with any of the year’s biggest and most popular events, you’ll be in for a treat to say the very least. And with stunning spectacles going on for much of the year, chances are there will be something happening around the time of your stay.
Rome Marathon (March)
Holy Week and Easter (April)
International Horse Show (May)
International Literature Festival (May-June)
Festa di Noantri (July)
Rock in Roma (July)
The White Night of Rome (September)
Piazza Navona Christmas Market (November-January)
Christmas Blessing of the Pope (December)
Monthly Tips for Rome Tour
January – A very busy month in Rome to begin with as there are still the Christmas and New Year crowds. By the end of the month, however, the city is practically deserted.
March – The most unpredictable weather of the year where you may end up either skidding on the ice or sitting outdoors in shorts and a T-Shirt.
Easter Week – One of the busiest weeks of the whole year when tourists and pilgrims alike descend on the Italian capital…it can get a bit on the overbearing side.
May – Arguably the best month to visit Rome for anyone looking to make the very best of the city and enjoy great weather without the crowds.
June – Things are now starting to get a little busier before the summer rush and prices are on their way up. Still, June can be a lovely time to visit.
July and August – Very busy, very hot and very humid, also the highest prices of the whole year. Nevertheless, great time to visit for amazing festivals and events, not to mention a wonderful outdoor living atmosphere.
September – All the wonderful weather of the summer without the tourist crowds make September a pretty wonderful time to visit Rome
October – Some argue that October is Rome’s best month due to the lower prices, quiet streets, perfect weather and low rainfall.
November – More rain falls on Rome than any other time of year.
December – Rome can once again get enormously busy for the whole of the festive season and prices skyrocket.