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Rome in October: The Absolute Best Guide

What’s not to love about Rome in October? The Rome crowds are starting to shrink, the weather is neither too hot nor too cold, and it’s the perfect time to eat classic fall food in Rome.

TBH, I much prefer October in Rome to September in Rome since the weather is a bit cooler and the crowds are a bit less intense.

Plus, the skies start to clear up and fall foliage begins to spread across trees in the city.

In fact, Romans love October so much that they have special name for the beautiful days of this month, “Ottobrate Romane”.

It’s an awesome expression that refers to the crisp and mild days of October in Rome.

That being said, it’s still not off-season in Rome. So, always plan ahead and book things well in advance. You also can get random, SUPER hot weather.

Therefore, definitely be prepared for both of those things. But, if you can handle that then you will love visiting Rome at this time of year.

So, let’s swan dive into this expert guide. I have been to Rome many times and always love visiting at this time of year.

I’m gonna share all my fave expert tips so that you know exactly what to expect from an October trip to Rome.

Since I’m incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high chance that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Is October a Good Time to Visit Rome?

A view of fall foliage in Rome with the Vatican in the background in a sunny day.

Yes, October is a great time to visit Rome. During this month, the weather is pleasant and still awesome for walking around and enjoying outdoor activities.

Plus, you can dig into an array of awesome, fall-inspired foods before checking out some lovely foliage in one of Rome’s many parks.

Full disclosure? The beautiful weather means that it is PEAK travel season in Rome. So, don’t expect any mega epic discounts on flights or hotels until November in Rome.

Instead, book EVERYTHING in advance. That means hotels, attractions, and a table at that cool restaurant you just HAVE to try. Do this and you will enjoy your fall trip to Rome A LOT more.

Weather in Rome in October

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

Rome means the REAL start of Autumn. So, you can expect fairly long, sunny days with plenty of clear skies.

On average, expect daily highs of 22°C (72°F), daily lows of 12°C (54°F), and around seven days of rain throughout the month. It tends to be rainier at the end of the month. So, be prepared.

All in all, the weather is crisp but nice. It is the perfect time to go sightseeing during a glorious 2 days in Rome.

Just pack plenty of layers and an umbrella since it can feel warm enough to wear a t-shirt during the day and cool enough for a warm jacket on a cold, rainy night.

Basically, it’s warm enough to spend lots of time outside, but not so warm that you need A/C or can go swimming at a pool/beach.

Expert Tip: Always check the weather since days can sometimes be unseasonably hot due to climate change.

If this is the case then plan outdoor activities for the morning/night and spend the afternoon inside an A/C filled museum.

What to Eat in Rome in October?

A person using a fork and knife to cut into a personal Margharita pizza. The pizza ion a white paper table cloth with green letters and there are black sunglasses on the right. This pizza can be enjoyed during one of the best wine tours in Rome.

Some of the best foods to try in October in Rome are:

  • Pumpkin – Pumpkins come into season and I LOVE pumpkin ravioli with a little sage butter on top. So, stinking good.
  • Persimmons – This fruit is so good and it isn’t all that available in the US. I first had it in South Korea and it is so sweet and delicious. October is the start of Persimmon season, so be sure to try some.
  • Mushrooms – Porcini mushrooms are a very earthy, fall food. I like to eat mushrooms with everything but I particularly like mushroom risotto.
  • Fennel – I love eating freshly roasted potatoes with a little bit of fennel and a little bit of cheese. Super tasty. You could also check out a cool Rome food tour and try amazing foods that way.

October Events in Rome

Like in September, there are no public holidays in the city in October. However, there are some cool events for you to enjoy. These include:

  • Rome Film Festival – This event is usually held during the last two weeks of the month. It includes screenings, panels, special events, etc. You can check it out at Auditorium Parco della Musica and other places throughout the city.
  • RomaEuropa Festival – This massive event starts in September and lasts until November. It’s designed to help you understand the importance of Rome in European history. See everything from tech demos to fashion exhibits, dance shows, and concerts.
  • Halloween – Halloween isn’t a HUGE deal in Rome. However, local nightclubs will host special events at this time of year. You can also attend Halloween mass outside the St.Peter’s Basilica.
  • Rome Art Week – Visit Rome the third week of October and see the work of 350 artists and 49 curators at over 150 different galleries. The goal is to expose people to contemporary art and at no cost.

Best Things to do in Rome in October

Not sure what to do in Rome in October? Then check out my list of the all-time best things to do in the city at this time of year.

1. Explore the Colosseum

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

⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5.0 (42179 Reviews) Price: $60+ per person Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours 📍Meeting Point: Varies Operator: Crown Tours Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Everyone dreams of visiting the Colosseum, and it certainly lives up to hype, especially with an experienced guide who can recount tales of armored gladiators and fierce lions.

This tour is great because you’ll get priority access, avoid long lines, and you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

So, get ready to discover one of Rome’s most fascinating landmarks while taking in breathtaking views of the Emperor’s Palace with your enthusiastic guide.

“Our tour guide Matej was amazing! Really knowledgeable and funny. The tour was appropriately paced. Matej kept it interesting the whole time. Easy to find. When we arrived to the meeting point we were directed to their office to check in, this was visible from the meeting point.”

Paige (read more reviews now)

After all, this iconic amphitheater symbolizes the endurance of ancient Rome and remains a must-see in Rome.

Expert Tip: I prefer visiting the Colosseum at night because it’s less crowded and is beautifully illuminated at night.

You also won’t have to stand in the hot sun all day. TBH, it’s one of my fave night tours in Rome.

2. Check Out the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

A view of the ancient ruins and old columns of the Forum in Rome. Definitely visit when you solo travel Rome.

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The Roman Forum is an extensive and somewhat confusing array of ruins. It once served as the majestic heart of ancient Rome and is a remarkable area brimming with temples, basilicas, and public spaces.

“Our tour guide Matej was amazing! Really knowledgeable and funny. The tour was appropriately paced. Matej kept it interesting the whole time. Easy to find. When we arrived to the meeting point we were directed to their office to check in, this was visible from the meeting point.”

Paige (read more reviews now)

Although it can be challenging to visualize its former grandeur today, engaging your imagination can make the experience of walking where Julius Caesar once stood truly astounding.

Just don’t leave without visiting key highlights like the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Curia, the Temple of Saturn, and the Arch of Titus. You can also climb Palatine Hill and enjoy sweeping views of the city.

October is also a great time to visit since you can admire the lovely foliage taking over the area.

3. Explore Nero’s Domus Aurea

A view of the interior of the dome that forms the ruins of Domus Aurea. It is a circular, white brick building with a circular hole in the roof and four square doorways along the floor of the building

⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5.0 (595 Reviews) Price: $100+ per person Duration: 2 hours 📍Meeting Point: In front of Oppio Caffe Operator: Through Eternity Tours Details: Read More details on Get Your Guide Now!

Translating to “Golden House” in English, Domus Aurea was the residence of Emperor Nero.

So, this hidden gem in Rome offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the elite.

Conveniently located in Parco del Colle Oppio near the Colosseum, you can easily visit both attractions in a single day.

“Our guide Renata was EXCELLENT. Renata brings history to life with her mastery, expert knowledge and passion. It is an excellent and well-thought-out tour, that gives us a glimpse into Nero, the palace, and the innovation of man. The ancient remains, narrative, exploring the tunnels, and also added VR make for a compelling tour. Thank you for this experience.”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

I particularly enjoyed the tour since it includes an immersive virtual reality experience that helps you understand just how opulent the house was when it was originally built.

However, access to this underground site is limited. So, be sure to book your tour well in advance, especially if you’re visiting in October.

I like visiting at this time of year since the tour is inside and perfect for a rainy day. However, if you do get lucky with the weather, enjoy some vibrant foliage in the surrounding park after your visit.

4. Visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel

Interior staircase at the Vatican Museum

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The Vatican Museum was founded in the early 16th century by Pope Julius II and has been continually expanded by successive popes.

As a result, the museums now house one of the world’s most remarkable art collections.

Step inside and you’ll be mesmerized by the extensive array of stunning artifacts on display.

The collection ranges from Egyptian mummies and Etruscan bronzes to ancient busts, masterpieces from renowned artists, and contemporary pieces – all of which are spread out across four miles of galleries.

Given the vastness of this place, a tour with a guide is essential if you want to maximize your time without getting lost.

Be prepared for the crowds though. During my last visit, I felt like I was being herded around like cattle as we all made a giant push towards the Sistine Chapel.

​​“It was a great tour covering the must-see elements of the Vatican city. Elena, the tour guide, was so knowledgeable and friendly. She told us amazing stories about Vatican, its history, Michelangelo paintings and sculptures and lots of other great stuff.”

Pouira (read more reviews now)

Once there though, I got to stand in awe of Michelangelo’s iconic ceiling frescoes and his depiction of the Last Judgment.

So, the Sistine Chapel is an absolute must-see at the Vatican Museums and in Rome, attracting up to 2000 visitors at a time.

Expert Tip: if possible, visit the Vatican at night when it’s less crowded. This will make for a much more pleasant experience.

5. Vist the Borghese Gallery

View of a small Roman-style temple with four columns out front and a pointed roof. It sits in front of a pool of water at the Borghese Gardens. You must visit in September in Rome.

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One of the best places to visit in Rome in October is the Borghese Gallery since the surrounding park comes alive with beautiful fall colors.

This place is known as the “queen of all private art collections” since it was established by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who was one of the most dedicated art collectors of his time.

“My husband and I were blown away by this tour – our tour guide (I’m so sorry we didn’t catch her name) was absolutely phenomenal, and made this tour one of the highlights of our entire trip to Italy (5 cities). She enthrallingly made each work of art come to life, with the story behind it, the artist’s life and so many interesting facts. It was almost a performance vs a regular tour, but one we could not get over. Her knowledge and delivery were absolutely incredible, though I did have some trouble understanding her accent at times. That still wouldn’t take a star away from this being an outstanding tour, and each of the other people on our tour made sure to tell her how incredible a job she did before we left, with extra emphasis. We would highly recommend this tour!”

Kara (read more reviews now)

So, the gallery features masterpieces from renowned artists like Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titian, along with an impressive collection of Bernini sculptures.

This exquisite museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions. Therefore, there is always something new to see and do.

Expert Tips: You can save money in Rome by purchasing the last tickets of the day. They are usually cheaper than normal tickets.

6. Ostia Antica

View of ancient brick archways and old ruins of the Ostia Antica on a sunny day in Rome in October. You can see people walking around in the background.

⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5.0 (268 Reviews) Price: $55+ per person Duration: 4 hours 📍Meeting Point: Cafe Piramide opposite Piramide Metro Station Operator: City Wonders Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Located around an hour away from Rome by train, Ostia Antica is one of Lazio’s most important attractions.

These remarkably well-preserved ruins of ancient Roman seaport bare a striking similarity to Pompeii and are a must-see in Rome in October.

Highlights include the stunning mosaics of the Terme di Nettuno (Baths of Neptune), a giant amphitheatre, and an ancient café complete with traces of the original menu.

“If you want to be “in” ancient Rome this is a great option. The ruins are in various state of decay, but many of them look like with a small amount of work you could open your own little shop or host a play! Our guide, Angelina, was exceptional and went above and beyond to explain the site and various details. Note – this is outdoors and there is not much sun protection. Our group had an older couple who was not able to make the full tour. So, if you have issues with walking or being in the sun for hours (depending on weather) this may not be for you.”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

Given the size of the site, be prepared to spend at least a few hours here. I also recommend a guide if you are short on time so that you can quickly and easily see everything this amazing place to offer.

The site tends to be busier on weekends. So, try to stop by during the week to avoid the crowds.

7. Visit the Baths of Caracalla

View of large columns that make up the ruins on the Baths of Caracella. They are surrounded by tall trees with green leaves and this is one of the non-touristy things to do in Rome.

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The Baths of Caracalla is a fascinating historical site where Romans once enjoyed communal bathing in ancient times.

It was constructed in 216 AD, is remarkably well-preserved, and includes a frigidarium (cold water room), a caldarium (hot water bath), and a tepidarium (warm relaxation area) for you to explore.

“As I was the only person in the group the tour was not cancelled and became a private one for the same price. Samuele is extremely knowledgeable and willing to share his knowledge. The tour was supposed to last 1h30. It ended up lasting 2h30 (!) and was most informative. I definitely recommend this tour. Thank you Samuele!”

Caroline (read more reviews now)

Despite its grandeur, it remains less visited than other well-known attractions in the city. So, you won’t have to worry about insane crowds when visiting Rome in October.

To avoid a wait to get inside, book a guided tour that also covers Circus Maximus. This way you can visit two awesome sites at the same time.

8. Explore the Roman Catacombs

View of a ghoy that lines the catacombs of Rome with bones around it. This is oen of the best ghost tours in Rome.

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5 (3295 Reviews) Price: $54+ per person Duration: 3.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Center of Piazza Barberini Tour Operator: City Wonders Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

I was talking to my dad about my solo trip to Rome and said something along the lines of, “Dad, I even visited the catacombs there. I had no idea Rome had catacombs; I thought they were only in Paris.”

To which he replied, “Really? Doesn’t everyone know about the catacombs in Rome?”

Clearly, I know nothing. LOL. Anyway, unlike the ones in Paris, there isn’t much of an “ick” factor since most of the skulls have been removed.

Instead, the catacombs feature various statues, saints’ tombs, and mosaics that reflect Rome’s rich cultural history, sans the religious executions.

I visited the Catacombs of St. Callixtus since they are located just outside the city walls and dating back to the second century.

“Vanessa is a superb guide – she’s an excellent story-teller, connects amazingly well with her group and has the most positive attitude ever! She gave the backstory to the Roman crypts and catacombs in an enjoyable, engaging manner while taking the time to answer individual questions along the way. Couldn’t recommend a better tour guide than Vanessa!”

Mark (read more reviews now)

Back then these tunnels served as a burial ground for Christians in a predominantly pagan society.

All in all, I really loved my visit and would highly recommend a tour here.

Expert Tip: If you enjoy a good scare, check out some of the top ghost tours in Rome—they’re fun and entertaining. I basically do one every time I am in the city.

9. Visit Some of the Best Piazzas in the City

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

I love visiting some of the best piazzas in the city. Not only is this activity totally free, but the beautiful October weather makes it a great time to hang out outside.

I like to grab an aperitivo at a local cafe and just watch the people go by. I also love Roman piazzas because there is a ton of amazing art of display.

You can admire the gorgeous sculptures adorning piazza fountains and enjoy work from some of the most iconic artists in Roman history.

Some of my fave piazzas to hang out in include Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza San Pietro, Piazza Venezia, and Piazza Santa Maria, just to name a few.

10. Explore Trastevere

A view of the yellow buildings and cobblestone streets that fill the Trastevere neighborhood. You can see people walking down the street on a sunny day.

With its ancient cobblestone streets, ivy-covered golden-hued buildings, and bohemian atmosphere, the ever-vibrant Trastevere stands as one of Rome’s most lively neighborhoods in Rome.

The name itself, means ‘across the Tiber’ (tras tevere) and highlights both its location and unique character.

Picturesque and mostly free of cars, Trastevere’s network of narrow lanes buzzes with life after dark as people flock to trendy restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Overlooking this scene, Gianicolo Hill offers a refreshing escape and stunning panoramic views of Rome below.

11. Catch an Amazing Sunset

October in Rome means that you’ll get to enjoy some of the city’s best sunsets.

Some of my favorite places to watch the sunset in Rome are Piazza Navona, the Walk of the Janiculum, Terrazza del Pincio (near the Borghese Gallery), and the Zodiac (Monte Mario).

Honestly, there are a ton of great places to watch the sunset in the city, but these are just a few of my faves.

12. Visit Trajan’s Markets

View of Trajan's Forum in Rome.

The ‘Mercati di Traiano’ (aka Trajan’s Markets) includes 150 shops and offices constructed during the rule of Emperor Trajan.

Located on the slope of the Quirinal Hill in Rome (adjacent to the Trajan Forum), the complex comprised of five floors where spices, oil, and wine were traded.

Over time, the complex served many different functions. Today, this place is home to the Museum of the Imperial Forums.

This museum has sculptures, background information, and reconstructions of the Forum of Augustus, the Forum of Caesar, the Forum of Nerva, the Forum of Trajan, and the Temple of Peace.

Visitors can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the Trajan Forum from the panoramic terraces.

What to Pack for Rome in October

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

The key to being prepared for fall in Rome is layers. Throughout this month, you’ll experience warm temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures in the evening and early morning.

So, if you’re traveling to Rome in October, make sure to pack:

  • Comfortable sneakers (waterproof if possible)
  • Socks (skip the sandals)
  • Long pants (I prefer leggings because jeans are bulk and retain odors)
  • T-shirts (for the middle of the day)
  • A cardigan (in case you get chilly)
  • Light jacket (something waterproof that you’re okay getting wet)
  • Umbrella/ Raincoat.

Generally speaking, you probably won’t need a ton of warm-weather clothing, unless it’s abnormally warm. However, I always pack top-notch sunscreen since my skin is very sensitive to the sun.

In terms of outfits for October in Rome, lean into winter styles that include sweaters, long pants (chinos), ankle boots, and lots of fall colors (beige, brown, dark red, etc.)

Conclusion

I hope you are now fully prepared for the October season in Rome. I think my number one piece of advice would be took book things in advance.

This way you don’t have to spend your entire vacation waiting in line. I would also 100% check the weather RIGHT before you leave.

Yes, October is generally cold. However, the weather has been known to get unseasonably hot (thanks global warming).

Therefore, always check the forecast since you don’t want it to be boiling hot and you only have sweaters in your suitcase.

Typically, though, I would lean into winter fashion trends when packing for Rome in October. Otherwise, just enjoy all that Rome has to offer.

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