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Rome in Autumn: Everything You Need to Know

If you WANT to visit Rome in Autumn then I am SO excited because you are gonna absolutely love it.

Yeah, Rome is WAY better in the fall than it is in the Autumn. Sure, there are too many holidays in the city.

You will also still deal with hordes of tourists invading the Colosseum. However, you won’t have to deal with summer’s excessive heat and humidity.

In fact, the God-awful temperatures force many local Romans to flee the city in August.

Thankfully, once September/October rolls around, you’ll be treated to lots of sunshine and lovely daytime temperatures, even if there is a higher chance of rain.

You also won’t have to pay like €80.00 for a bed in the dorm of a hostel. Yeah, I saw that price the last time I was in Rome in summer and I nearly choked.

Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about this type of stuff when spending fall in Rome. But, I will help you figure out what to expect. I have been to Rome many times and love this city at that time of year.

So, use expert guide is designed to help you understand the weather in the fall in Rome, what to wear the in the fall in Rome, and what to do in the fall in Rome.

This way you don’t have to worry about any crazy (aka stressful) surprises and can just enjoy a mega epic trip to Rome this fall season.

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Is Autumn a Good Time to Visit Rome?

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In case you’re unsure, autumn is an AMAZING time to visit Rome. In fact, I think it’s probably the best time of year to visit Rome.

It’s warm and pleasant, but you won’t be sweating to death like you would during the summer. You also get to enjoy beautiful fall colors in Rome that you won’t see at any other time of year.

Yes, there are still lots of people in the city though. So, always pre-book your tickets in advance for places like the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum.

Other reasons to visit Rome in the fall are that you can get better prices on airfare and accommodations since Autumn is technically “shoulder season” and not “peak season” like summer.

So, the city will be a lot less crowded. Sure, there will be tons of tourists and Romans will have returned to the city after their August vacation. But, the city isn’t heaving with tourists like it is in the summer.

You can also head to nearby Soriano nel Cimino and check out the Sagra della Castagna (aka chestnut festival).

Alternatively, stop by Via dei Coronari in October to see the awesome antique market here or attend the famous Rome Film Festival that is held in the city in October.

Important Holidays in Rome in Autumn

I’m the WORST when it comes to researching local holidays before I travel abroad. I usually just show up and am unpleasantly surprised when EVERYTHING is closed.

So, don’t be like me. Check out the most popular fall holidays in Rome (and Italy) so you know what to expect during your visit.

  • All Saints Day (November 1st) – All you need to know is that this is an official holiday in Italy and everything will be closed on this day in Rome in November. I am talking banks, schools, public offices, etc. All public transportation will also be operating on a holiday schedule. Therefore, expect fewer transportation options.
  • Day of the Dead (November 2nd) – Don’t worry too much about the day of the dead since it’s not an official holiday in Rome. Schools may sometimes be closed if All Saints Day falls on a weekend.
  • The Immaculate Conception (December 8th) – This is another official holiday in Italy. So, expect public transportation to run on a holiday schedule and for banks, schools, and public offices to be closed.

Expert Tip: Many things will still be open on these days. Generally, religious sites will tend to be closed whole iconic Rome landmarks, like the Colosseum, will be open.

Just do a bit of research, plan ahead, and figure out what will and will not be open. You can also check out some of the unique things to do in Rome too.

Weather in Rome in Autumn

View of the Vatican and the Rome skyline.

Autumn in Rome is a transitional season where the city moves from summer to winter. So, temperatures can vary pretty significantly and include a lot of rain.

In general, September and October are still pretty warm while November and December are when you might want to break out the winter jacket.

Weather in Rome in September

Autumn officially starts on September 21st. So, only the last ten days of the month are technically considered fall. Therefore, it should come as no surpirse that the weather is still rather hot.

Sure, temperatures won’t be as high as they are in July, but you can still expect a lot of warm and sunny days.

Late September typically sees temperatures from a minimum of in the early mornings to a maximum of

Generally, average daily highs are 27°C (81°F), average daily lows are 15°C (59°F), and you can expect five days of rain throughout the month.

Weather in Rome in October

October is probably my favorite month in Rome. The weather is warm, not hot. So, you can still wear and T-shirt and pants while walking around the city.

The city also starts to feel a bit less crowded since it is now off-season. It’s a great time to explore ancient ruins, even if the month has around seven days of rain.

Expect average daily highs of 22°C (72°F) and average daily lows of 12°C (53°F). So, pack accordinfly.

Weather in Rome in November

I am not huge into visiting Rome in November since this is one of the rainiest months in the city. The rain is also very unpredictable and the weather can get a bit cold.

So, be sure to pack an umbrella or rain jacket and have a list of indoor activities handy. This way you’ll always have something to do when it rains for nine days out of the month.

Generally, average daily lows are 7°C (45°F) in the evening while average daily highs get up to 20°C (68°F).

Rome’s Weather in December

December is not my favorite time in Rome. Yes, you start to see all the holiday lights come out throughout the month, culminating with the celebration of Christmas on December 25th.

However, the weather is cold, the month is rainy (average of eight days of rain), and the city is packed with tourists who want to see the holiday light and attend holiday mass at the Vatican.

It’s also pretty cold since average daily highs only get to around 15°C (59°F) while daily lows plummet to 4°C (39°F) in the evening.

Best Things to do in Rome in the Fall

1. See Fall Foliage

View of the Vatican in Rome in the background with fall foliage in the foreground in this panoramic shot of Rome in Autumn.

The first thing you need to know is that you are not going to find the BRILLANT fall foliage that you would when visiting New York in the fall and Vermont in the fall.

Sorry, it’s just not going to happen. The trees in Rome (and Italy) are just different. So, you’ll find lots of oak trees with leaves that kind of just turn a gross brown color.

However, you can still see a but of fall foliage in Rome, but it really doesn’t peak until late October or early November. It largely depends on the season and weather conditions.

My favorite places to see fall foliage in Rome include the Botanical Garden in Trastevere, Villa Borghese, Villa Torlonia, and the park around the EUR lake.

2. Go the Beach

A view of a man walking his dog on Osita Lido beach while the sun is setting in the background. You can only see the dog and men in the shadows.

I know this is a bit of a weird thing to do in Rome in the fall. But, hear me out. See, Rome is still pretty warm in September.

So, if you didn’t get the chance to hit the beach in the summer then make the most of your Rome weekend itinerary and visit Osita Lido.

TBH, this one is the closest to the city and pretty easy to access via public transportation. However. you could also visit the coast of Ciceo Park (near Naples) or Santa Severa.

3. Visit a Church

View of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Peopel sit on the stairs with a shite church in the background on a sunny day.

Spend just five minutes in Rome and you’ll quickly feel like there is a church on almost every block. I am guessing that probably has something to do with the fact that the Vatican is here.

Regardless, there are tons of churches for you to visit in Rome. Many of them are free, so churches are great if are visiting Rome on a budget.

Plus, they have tons of amazing art. So, it’s kind of like visiting a super cool museum but without the high price tag.

Some of my personal faves include Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura (this one is just outside of Rome but it’s still pretty), San Giovanni in Laterano (this is the official Cathedral of Rome), Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, etc.

4. Visit a Museum

Interior staircase at the Vatican Museum

One of the downsides of visiting Rome in fall is that it can get a bit rainy, especially in November and December. Thankfully, Rome has hundreds of museums for you to explore.

So, skip the rain and check out some of the best museums in Rome. If you want, you can even beat the crowds by visiting the Vatican at night.

Personally, I love the Terme Diocleziano (ancient baths), the Capitoline Museums, MAXXI (if you like more modern art), Galleria Borghese (love the park and the museum), Palazzo Barberini, and Mattatoio Testaccio.

Expert Tip: For any mildly famous site in Rome you should 100% make reservations in advance. Fall in Rome is still busy and you do not want to spend your trip waiting in line.

5. Relax in One of Rome’s Many Squares

A view of Piazza Navona surrounded by historic, yellow buildings in Rome.

Because of the awesome weather, autumn is a perfect time to sit outside with an espresso and people-watch at one of the most famous squares in Rome.

Not only is this activity totally free, but it’s a great way to get a feel for the overall “vibe” of Rome and to see amazing local monuments/art.

After all, many of the coolest squares in the city feature fountains, sculptures, and art from renowned masters like Borromini, Bernini, and Giacomo della Porta.

In particular, Piazza del Popolo, the Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona are all great places to go in Rome in the fall.

Afterward, be sure to explore the many buildings that surround local squares since they can be famous churches, cool museums, or ancient ruins.

6. Visit the Pantheon

View of the Pantheon In Rome during one of many rome at night tours.

This incredible 2000-year-old temple was originally built to honor the seven planetary deities. It was then converted into a church and is now the best-preserved ancient monument in Rome.

Initially, Emperor Hadrian commissioned the building of the Pantheon to replace Marcus Agrippa’s earlier temple. So, it has sat at the very heart of Rome since about 125 CE.

Despite its weathered exterior, stepping through the bronze doors and gazing up at through the 9-meter-wide (29.5 feet) oculus is a truly unique experience.

Adding to the grandeur are shafts of light that stream in through the central oculus, illuminating royal tombs set inside the marble walls.

Just don’t leave without seeing where Renaissance painter Raphael was buried.

Expert Tip: Visitors are not allowed in the Pantheon during mass. The Pantheon also used to be free but it now costs €5.00 to visit (as of July 2023).

If you can, visit on Pentecost since tens of thousands of red petals rain down through the oculus, creating a spectacular sight.

It’s a tradition that is meant to represent the Holy Spirit coming down to Earth.

7. Explore Ancient Rome

View of the Colosseum and one of the best rome at night tours.

Outdoor attractions like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Baths of Caracalla, Trajan’s Markets, and Ostia Antica are all excellent places to visit in Rome in autumn.

The weather is a lot less hot and humid at this time of year. So, it’s the perfect time to explore some of Rome’s amazing outdoor ruins.

Just be sure to check the weather first since outdoor spaces can be kind of miserable when it’s pissing rain.

Expert Tip: I love visiting the Colosseum at night since it is a lot less crowded, you don’t have to worry about the sun, and the structure is beautifully lit up in the evening.

If you have a bit of extra cash then you could also stay at a hotel with an epic view of the Colosseum.

8. Go on a Ghost Tour

A view of Castel Sant’Angelo. The castle has a bridge with statues coming out of it that lead to the building. It is glowing with a golden hue as the sun sets and you see a blue sky in the background.

Love Halloween and want to do something a little bit spooky? Then try one of the coolest ghost tours in Rome.

I do one almost every time I am in the city and I love it. An evening tour through Rome a great way to avoid the crowds.

Plus, ghost tours introduce you to a unique part of Roman history, and culture, that you probably wouldn’t otherwise learn about.

I am also just a true crime fiend and love hearing about the more macabre side of the city. It’s also a great way to get into the Halloween spirit since Halloween isn’t as big of a deal in Rome as it is in the US.

Expert Tip: Another great place to go if you want to get creeped out is the Capuchin crypt on Via Veneto’s since you’ll see entire chapels made out of human bones.

You can also attend a wide variety of music events/parties, go pumpkin picking at Fattoria della Zucca, or attend a special showing of scary films at Cinema Troisi in Trastevere.

9. Go on a Wine Tour

girl friends toasting with wine glasses during a wine tasting in venice.

Do you love wine? If so then you’ll love Autumn in Rome since this is the start of grape harvesting season.

So, enjoy some stunning vineyards near Rome and indulge in a Rome wine tasting. Some of my fave vineyards in and around Rome include Cantina Castello di Torre in Pietra, Poggio Cagnano, and Tili Vini.

Honestly, these vineyards are stunning and you can sample amazing local wines while you’re there.

Yeah, don’t think you HAVE to rent a car in Tuscany or go all the way to Florence to do a Tuscany wine tour.

Don’t get me wrong, Florence and Tuscany are awesome. But, there are also some great wines in Rome.

Another option for all the wine lovers out there is to go on a trip to Umbria. It’s just two hours away from Rome and features beautiful vineyards, vast forests, and charming medieval hill towns.

If you really want to get into the spirit of the season then pair your wine with a local truffle since winter black and white truffle season coincides with the end of fall.

10. Attend the Rome Jazz Festival

If you happen to be in Rome in November then try attending a jazz concert at the Auditorium Parco della Musica.

It’s a totally unique activity and is a great way to get in touch with the local music scene. Plus, the city hosts the annual Rome Jazz Festival all November long.

The event has been around for 40+ years and is easily one of the best things to do in Rome in the fall.

So, join other travelers as they celebrate jazz music. Just remember to book your tickets well in advance since they do tend to sell out.

What to Eat in Rome in Fall

A plate of paste with red sauce on. a fancy white plate with a bit of greenery on top.

The food in Rome is ALWAYS delicious. However, certain foods come into season and are well worth trying at this time of year. These include:

  • Pumpkin – Try pumpkin-based dishes at local restaurants in Rome.
  • Mushrooms – I LOVE LOVE LOVE mushrooms and fall means mushrooms season. So, go crazy and order ALL the mushrooms.
  • Cauliflower – Cauliflower also comes into season and you can try local varieties like Sicilian broccoli, Tuscan cavolo nero, and Roman broccoli.
  • Coda alla Vaccinara – This iconic dish in Rome is an oxtail stew that is made with celery. It is heavy and delicious, making it perfect for the fall.
  • Chestnut and Chickpea Soup – Chestnut season means that you can try a special chestnut and chickpea soup that is prepared with rosemary. It’s a great fall comfort food in Rome.
  • Hearty Pasta Dishes – When the weather cools down, I love digging into a hearty bowl of pasta. Some of my faves at this time of year include amatriciana, carbonara, cacio e pepe, and gricia.

What to Wear in Rome in the Fall

Vuew of Castel di St. Angelo and the bridge taking people over the Tiber River in Rome.

Not sure what to wear in Rome in the fall? Well, I have some snazzy expert tips for you so that you can stay warm and well-dressed when visiting Rome in the autumn.

Some of my fall Rome must-haves include:

  • Sweaters/Sweatshirts – I like a warm shirt since it can keep you warm in the morning and in the evening. It’s also a great way to keep warm from November onward.
  • Long-Sleeve Shirts – Perfect for layering since the weather can be very unpredictable.
  • T-shirts – I would only pack t-shirts if you’re traveling to Rome at the beginning of the fall, since they can be worn up until October. They can also be handy if you like to layer your clothes.
  • Comfy Pants – I like to wear a nice pair of fitted jeans or a nice set of pants so that I look stylish. Just be sure your pants are comfy since you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Good Shoes – Try to wear comfortable walking shoes (I like fashionable sneakers) or ankle boots since they will keep your feet warm in the fall. Boots are also great if it starts to rain.
  • Jacket – It can be a light jacket in September and October. However, I would wear a heavier jacket in November and December. You also might want a rainproof jacket in November/December since it can get quite rainy.
  • Scarf/Shawl/Hat/Gloves – These are all great accessories that you’ll need to help you stay warm in November and December.
  • Umbrella/Raincoat – The weather is very rainy in the fall so be sure to pack some raingear.
  • Reusable Water Bottle – There are a ton of water fountains all over Rome. So, be sure to pack a water bottle. This way you can save the planet (and save money in Rome) by filling up when needed. I like a collapsible water bottle to save room when I’m packing.
  • Sunscreen – Really only essential in September and October.
  • Warm PJs – It gets cold in the evening so pack something warm to sleep in.
  • Something to Take Photos – Compact camera, DSLR, or smartphone.
  • Day Bag – I always carry a day bag where I can store all my daily essentials. Personally, I like this Pacsafe backpack since pickpockets are a HUGE problem for solo travelers in Rome. It is made with slash-proof material, has special locking zippers, and is RFID-blocking. My bag has also lasted me for years.

Conclusion

There are so many amazing reasons to visit Rome in the fall. Not only is the weather great, but you can also avoid the heat and the crowds of summer.

You also won’t have to worry about insanely high prices either.

Personally, my favorite month in Rome is October. It is the perfect time to visit a lot of the city’s major outdoor sites and ancient ruins since the weather is great and the crowds aren’t as intense.

You can also do some cool ghost tours and learn about a side of Rome that most people don’t talk about.

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