Rome in December: best attractions and things to do

Rome in December: best attractions and things to do Rome in December: best attractions and things to do

Tourist information

04 Nov 2022

Rome in December has an indescribable charm and magic. The streets are filled with lights and Christmas decorations, in the air you can breathe the scent of roast chestnuts and everywhere there are Christmas markets with traditional items.

In short, in the month of December, there is a lot to do in Rome. What are you waiting for to book a fantastic Rome Tour? In addition to visiting the city without stress and long queues, visiting Rome during the Christmas holidays will allow you to spend more time to what you would like to do, enjoying a unique Christmas atmosphere, shopping along the streets of the center, Take the opportunity to discover every corner of the city.
Ice rinks, musicals, exhibitions, museums are just some of the activities and things to do in December in Rome, follow our tips to spend the Christmas holidays in the Eternal City.

The best things to do in Rome in December

Rome in Winter

The two unmissable events of 8 December
On December 8, for the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Piazza di Spagna, the firefighters place a wreath on the arm of the statue of the Madonna.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception also marks the beginning of the Christmas period in Italy, which will end on January 6 with the Feast of the Epiphany.

On December 8, houses and streets are decorated with lights and Christmas decorations, there is also the custom of making the Christmas tree and setting up the crib.

Admire the nativity scenes and the Christmas tree
In Rome, precisely in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, there is one of the oldest cribs in the history of art: the crib wanted by Pope Nicholas IV and made in 1291 by Arnolfo di Cambio.
The crib is composed of 8 stone statuettes: Mary, Joseph, the Child, the ox, the donkey and the three Magi.
Another crib to admire, is that of the Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian along Via dei Fori Imperiali. It is a huge Neapolitan crib dating back to the '700, donated in 1939 by Cataldo Perricelli (citizen of Neapolitan origin).
Among the unmissable Christmas trees in Rome, however, there are definitely Piazza Venezia and Piazza San Pietro.

Where are the most beautiful Christmas trees in Rome?
Among the most famous Christmas trees in Rome, there are certainly the one of St Peter’s Square and the one in Piazza Venezia that place in the center of the square seems to greet tourists who walk along Via del Corso and the Imperial Forums, beautiful to admire on the background of the Altar of the Homeland and from the top of our panoramic buses, with a Hop-On Hop-off Tour. To accompany the tour, also the lights that decorate the historic center, such as those of Via del Corso, Via Cola di Rienzo, the Vatican and Santa Maria Maggiore.

And if you still have some time, do not miss the Christmas tree that overlooks Piazza del Popolo and next to the Colosseum, whose solemnity of the place gives and this decoration a unique Christmas magic.

Ice skating is always a beautiful activity, with a purely Christmas flavor and that every year in Rome hosts a wonderful ice rink set in a unique location: Castel Sant'Angelo in a wonderful atmosphere overlooking the Tiber.

Also the ICE Park, the ice rink in the heart of the Eur, offers to adults and children a wonderful ice rink in which to skate and experience many events.

Another option is the ice rink of the Auditorium Parco della Musica, installed outside the modern building of Renzo Piano.

Visit exhibitions or museums
Given the lower number of tourists compared to the spring and summer months, traveling to Rome in December allows you to visit exhibitions and museums without endless queues.

During the Christmas holidays you can visit the main museums of the Eternal City such as the Ara Pacis Museum, the Museum of the Imperial Forums, the Vatican Museums and all the other wonders of Rome.
Or visit the various exhibitions held between November and January, such as the exhibition "Pier Paolo Pasolini. Everything is holy. The political body" at the MAXXI National Museum of Arts of the 21st century and the exhibition on Van Gogh at Palazzo Bonaparte in Piazza Venezia 5.

Visiting the Christmas markets
Despite the tradition of the markets is more properly Nordic, even in Rome during the Christmas holidays there are many and evocative Christmas markets.
These are pretty stalls where you can find sweets and traditional gifts of the Christmas period, all wrapped in a magical festive atmosphere with soft lights and decorations of various kinds.

And then there are the various Christmas markets scattered around the city:  just to name a few, that of Piazza di Spagna, dei Parioli and Piazza Navona.

From 12 November 2022 to 8 January 2023, Cinecittà World, the amusement park of cinema and TV, will celebrate the Christmas period with a huge Christmas Village. There will be the Christmas markets, the Santa Claus House and Stardust (the path of the illuminations).

Visiting the Light Show at the Botanical Garden of Rome
From 19 November to 08 January 2023 at the Botanical Garden of Rome will be held the event "Enchantment of lights", the festival of light and colors low impact (use of LED bulbs, protection of greenery and wildlife).

The magical journey will come alive thanks to the works of light designer Andreas Boehlkee to the melodies of composer and sound designer Burkhard Fincke.

Visit the Luminaries of the Castelli Romani
At the Castelli Romani, a small town on the outskirts of Rome, during the Christmas period you can visit until the beginning of January, the Enchanted Fairytale Park in the garden of Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia.

In the Park there are beautiful Disney-themed lights, symbolic Christmas installations such as Santa Claus, reindeer and sleds and you can watch musical performances designed for children.

→ Discover our panoramic tour of the Castelli Romani

Weather in December in Rome

Weather in December in Rome

The weather of December in Rome are generally mild and range from 15 to 15 at maximum and 4 at minimum. in December.
There are no frosts, in the morning the air is cold but with the sun it is pleasant, while in the evening the temperatures can drop sometimes even below 2 %.

Our advice to you:
To visit the city I recommend you to bring with you in your suitcase a long-sleeved shirt and a beautiful wool top, so you are warm outside and comfortable at the same time to move around the city. And for the evening, we recommend not to forget also a sparkling top or shoes other than sneakers, for a Christmas theme evening and for the most exclusive hotels and the coolest restaurants in the city center. Do not forget, however, also a scarf and an umbrella, for rainy days.