Rome's ancient Colosseum against a vibrant blue sky

Best Time to go to Rome

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Rome – the ultimate historic, foodie, cultural – and of course romantic – destination. Before you start reading that Rome travel guide to plan your trip, though, it’s worth giving some thought to this question. When is the best time to go to Rome in Italy?

There is no straightforward answer to this.

You might want to know what is the hottest month in Rome, when is the cheapest time to travel to Rome, or what is the best month to go to Italy so you can explore the entire country in four weeks.

Perhaps you also want to find out how many days you need to see Rome, so you see when you could take that much time off. 

White stone and marble building (the Altar of the Fatherland) with many columns at the corner of Piazza Venezia in Rome
Piazza Venezia and the Altar of the Fatherland

Best Time to go to Rome

The best time to go to Rome depends on what you want to see and do while you’re there. You may want to time your visit according to the weather, or an event you want to attend, for example. The most popular tourist times are July and August. Between April and June or September and early November is shoulder season when you can expect pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

If you’re wondering what month is best to go to Rome, then this guide will tell you all you need to know to plan your trip.

Covered is the weather, what’s going on in Rome month by month, when it’s busiest and what Rome’s like during each season. 

Whether you want to know what average temperature to expect during any given month, when you can experience thinner crowds or what festivals in Rome you need to know about, read on so you can decide when the ideal time is to visit the Italian capital and Vatican City. 

Want to know what there is to do in Rome? Then check out our recommended four-day Rome itinerary here.  

Bridge in Rome lined with statues of Angels
Visit Rome’s Bridge of Angels

Rome in Spring

April and May are pleasant months to be in Rome. So is March a good time to go to Rome? It’s warmer than winter and quieter, but the average high temperatures in April and May are more pleasant. 

Spring weather in Rome

Rome in March
  • Average high: 60°F (16°C)
  • Average low: 43°F (6°C)
  • Average days of rain: 7

March isn’t a bad time to go to Rome, but expect rain every three days on average plus cooler temperatures.

On the plus side, there may be less crowds, though do note that if Easter week falls early then Rome may be more crowded than usual for March. 

Rome in April
  • Average high: 66°F (19°C)
  • Average low: 48°F (9°C)
  • Average days of rain: 8

April in Rome can indeed be characterized by April showers – this is one of the three wettest months of the year. The others being November and December.

April is a little warmer than those months, though, so it’s one of the best months to go.

Keep in mind, though, that many Italian schools close for much of April, so it can get busy due to that, holy week and Easter. 

Rome in May
  • Average high: 75°F (24°C)
  • Average low: 55°F (13°C)
  • Average days of rain: 5

Rome in May is starting to warm up – and the Easter and school holiday crowds have dispersed.

If you’re wondering when is the best month to go to Rome, May is a real contender due to dry, warm weather and fewer tourists.

Spring events in Rome

  • La Festa della Donna: March 8th for International Women’s Day
  • Ides of March: March 15th to mark Julius Caesar’s death
  • Natale di Roma: April 21st for Rome’s ‘birthday’ celebrations
  • Festival del Verde e del Paesaggio: mid May for this garden festival
  • Open House Roma: late May at 200+ historic and modern buildings
  • Citta della Pizza: late May for this Roman pizza festival

Popular tourist time?

April and May are pretty popular months to go to Rome. This especially applies around Easter and the Italian and European school holidays.

March is more peaceful but colder. Spring is less busy than the peak summer months.  

Cobblestone street with outside restaurants in Rome makes spring and summer one of the best times to go to Rome.
Enjoy dining al fresco in the warmer months of Rome

Rome in Summer

If you’re wondering when is the cheapest time to go to Rome, then you might want to avoid visiting during summer which is high season.

The streets and sites of Rome and Vatican City reach their summer peak in July and August, so everywhere is thronged with tourists and long lines.

Roman weather is also at its hottest in the summer months. Hotels tend to have air conditioning, so it’s no problem indoors, but expect high temperatures in July and August which can be exacerbated by the crowds. 

If you love the sunshine, though, this may be the best time of year for you!

Whether you come from the likes of New York City, London, Hong Kong, LA or Sydney will obviously affect what kind of weather you’re used to coping with. 

Summer weather in Rome

Rome in June
  • Average high: 82°F (28°C)
  • Average low: 63°F (17°C)
  • Average days of rain: 3

Is June a good time to go to Rome? If you can travel in June rather than July and August, then the city will be a little cooler during June. With only three days of rain on average – just one day more than the next two months – it’s also a good time for dry weather.

To avoid the crowds caused by the summer holiday closure of Italian schools, we recommend visiting Rome in early June if you have a choice.

Most school summer holidays start around June 10th, so the first third of the month is quieter with the main attractions not yet drawing huge crowds. 

Don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll and visit the famous fountains in Rome.

A fountain in Rome in Piazza Navona
See the famous fountains in Rome at Piazza Navona
Rome in July
  • Average high: 88°F (31°C)
  • Average low: 66°F (19°C)
  • Average days of rain: 2

The average highs and lows in July and August are the same.

It’s hot, by the standards of many Americans and Europeans at least. Only two days of rain per month can be expected, so wet weather is unlikely to put a dampener on your plans when in Rome during July. 

Italian school summer holidays take place through the whole of July and August, as they tend to finish in early to mid-June and return to school during the middle of September. 

Rome in August
  • Average high: 88°F (31°C)
  • Average low: 66°F (19°C)
  • Average days of rain: 2

Is August the best time of the year to visit Rome? If you don’t mind crowds and can take the heat, you can expect dry, sunny days. The city looks beautiful in the sunshine, so visitor numbers understandably peak in July and August.

Schools in Italy are closed during August, so you can expect to see more Italian tourists than during various other months.

Many European schools, such as those in the UK, are also on their summer break for the whole of August. 

Summer events in Rome

  • Festa della Repubblica: June 2nd for Italian National/Republic Day
  • Just Music Festival: early June at the Auditorium Parco della Musica
  • VinòForum: mid June to celebrate Italian wine
  • Taste of Roma: early July for this Roman food festival
  • Festa de’ Noantri: mid July to celebrate the Madonna of Mount Carmel
  • La Madonna della Neve: August 5th for Our Lady of the Snow

Popular tourist time?

Yes – very. If you like hot weather and don’t mind crowds then it’s fine, but July and August are the busiest months in Rome. Early June in particular can be a bit quieter, and slightly cooler. 

Views of the Roman Forum's remnants
See the Roman Forum

Rome in Fall

If you can free up time just after the peak summer season or a little later in the year before the Christmas holiday period, then fall (or autumn) is a great time to come to Rome. The weather is cooler and the crowds are thinner. 

This is still a busy time in one of the most popular cities on earth, so everything should be open. 

Fall weather in Rome

Rome in September
  • Average high: 80°F (27°C)
  • Average low: 60°F (16°C)
  • Average days of rain: 5

Is September a good time to go to Rome? It’s a little quieter and cooler than in August.

By around mid-September Italian kids will be back in school, so this means less crowding. With rain expected on only five days out of 30, it’s a fairly dry month too. 

Rome's ancient Colosseum against a vibrant blue sky
Take in the Roman Colosseum on a beautiful fall day
Rome in October
  • Average high: 72°F (22°C)
  • Average low: 54°F (12°C)
  • Average days of rain: 7

Is October a good time to go to Rome? It rains about once every four to five days in Rome during October, so it shouldn’t be too wet. 

Temperatures are a little lower than in September but aren’t yet chilly as compared to many places in Europe and North America, where winter is on the way.

There generally aren’t any Italian school holidays during October. 

Rome in November
  • Average high: 63°F (17°C)
  • Average low: 46°F (8°C)
  • Average days of rain: 9

November is the wettest month in Rome, with about nine rainy days. This is more than in April and December when you can expect eight days of rain on average. Temperatures are starting to drop, too, but it’s still pleasant earlier in the month. 

Is November a good time to go to Rome? With no school holidays on the calendar for November and warmer temperatures earlier on, this is definitely a good month. It is a good idea to carry a poncho, umbrella or waterproof jacket!

Fall events in Rome

  • Estate Romane: June to September for the Roman Summer Festival 
  • International Film Festival: mid to late October at the Auditorium Parco della Musica
  • Roma Jazz Festival: mid to late November at the Auditorium Parco della Musica

Popular tourist time?

The crowds start to thin out in fall, especially from mid-September onwards when Italian children return to school. Later in autumn is quieter, but it’s also colder and wetter. It’s warmer than winter though!

Long hallway of one of the Vatican museums with murals and artwork on the ceiling and the walls
Explore one of Rome’s many fabulous museums

Rome in Winter

Rome in winter is the most mixed bag of all. It’s quiet after the Christmas and New Year rush but can get very busy in the run-up to December 25th. Italian schools tend to take a break between Christmas Eve or the 23rd until around the start of the second week of January. 

Rome is great for shoppers in December, and also for those who want to attend Midnight Mass on 24th or Christmas Day services.

In January and February, it’s more peaceful but bear in mind that some businesses such as hotels or restaurants may close for the winter months.

Winter weather in Rome

Rome in December
  • Average high: 55°F (13°C)
  • Average low: 41°F (5°C) 
  • Average days of rain: 8

Is December a good time to go to Rome? For those who love the festive season, absolutely. But it is getting cold now and there are about eight days of rainfall per month. Italian kids don’t tend to finish school for Christmas until a day or two before. 

Christmas tree and nativity at the Vatican is one of the best times to go to Rome.
Christmas at the Vatican City
Rome in January
  • Average high: 54°F (12°C)
  • Average low: 39°F (4°C)
  • Average days of rain: 7

Is January a good time to go to Rome? Rome in January is quiet, after the first week when the Christmas period is over and the children have gone back to school.

This is the chilliest month, so pack warm clothing and plenty of layers if you travel then. Some businesses may close in January for refurbishments, or to take their own vacation.

Rome in February
  • Average high: 57°F (14°C)
  • Average low: 39°F (4°C)
  • Average days of rain: 7

Overall, February is often the quietest month in Rome – though expect a rush around Valentine’s Day in the Eternal City of romance! It’s also one of the colder months – second only to January and only just. Again some hotels and cafes may close for a break in winter. 

Winter events in Rome

  • Festa La Befana: January 6th for Epiphany Day
  • Christmas in Rome: from early December including Christmas market and Mass

Popular tourist time?

Yes – when it comes to advent. Christmas markets, events and religious gatherings mean Rome can get busy in December.

Italian schools also close between just before Christmas and around the second week of January. 

So is February a good time to go to Rome? January and February can be quiet. If you plan to travel then, you may benefit from cheaper prices, but some places may be closed. January is the coldest month of all, but there’s not a lot in it. It can also rain more than in summer.

View of the earth and an airplane wing taken from inside an airplane as you are wondering when is the best time to go to Rome
Just hop on a plane and go – anytime is really a good time for Rome.

Best Time to Go to Rome | FAQs

When is the best time to go to Rome?

Tourists are very well catered to in summer, but July and August are also the busiest and hottest months in Rome. June is a little cooler and quieter. April, May, September and early November are good times to travel as it’s not too cold and everything’s likely to be open. 

What is the best time to travel to Rome if you want peace and quiet? If you want to pay less and avoid the crowds, the ideal time to go to Rome is between October and April. But avoid the Christmas and Easter periods, when Italian kids are taking a break from school. 

When is the worst time to visit Rome?

What is the worst time depends a lot on your tolerance for crowds and hot weather. The city is sunniest in July and August, but can also get stiflingly hot for those who aren’t used to the heat. These are also the busiest months in terms of visitor numbers. 

April, November and December are the wettest months in Rome, and January and February the coldest. If you want to experience warmer weather and not so many crowds, visit in May, early June, late September or October. 

When is the cheapest time to go to Rome?

January and February are often the cheapest months to fly to Rome from other destinations. Accommodation may also be cheaper at this time, but some hotels and restaurants might be closed as they undertake maintenance work or have a break. 

Between October and April, Rome is generally less crowded and room rates may thus be lower. Expect crowds and higher prices at Christmas and Easter though. 

How many days do you need to see Rome?

Four days is a decent length of time to spend in the Italian capital. You can see all the main sights and uncover a few lesser-known ones too in this timeframe. Longer is great if you can spare the time – there’s a lot to see and do!

Best Time to Go to Rome Summary

So what is the best time of year to go to Rome, Italy? It really depends on your preferences. Tourist sites like the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum and Piazza Navona are busy all year round. 

Peak season is in July and August, and it’s also the hottest then. Low season is during early spring, late fall and winter, with the exception of the ever-popular Easter and Christmas holidays. 

What month is the best time to go to Rome, Italy depends on three main things. What your budget is, what you want to see and do and the sort of weather you’d like – or can at least tolerate. 

Of course, such travel tips don’t take into account when you can actually spare the time to see Rome, so that can be another key factor too! A festival that takes place when you visit might also hold additional appeal. 

Whatever you do in Rome and whenever you go, we’re sure you’ll adore exploring the Eternal City every bit as much as we did. 

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