It’s a wonderful time of the year to visit Rome, and we think you will love it! There are many perks to visiting Rome between November and March, including fewer tourists and lower lodging prices.
What is the off-season for Rome? Mid-November through Easter, excluding Christmas Eve and New Year’s.
What you can expect in the off-season: Crowd-wise, expect to see more calm than usual. There will be tourist crowds in certain areas of the city. Even in winter, expect a line of at least one hour at the Colosseum. If you arrive at 3:00 a.m., there won’t be anyone at the Trevi fountain for more than a few minutes.
These crowds are still much smaller than normal. You might find some breathing space in the Sistine Chapel, instead of being shoulder-to-shoulder packed as you would in summer. There might be no line at all to enter the Vatican museums or St. Peter’s Basilica. You might even be the only person in the room at the lesser-known attractions.
The winter in Rome has another perk: the lower prices. You can save some money by booking in the off-season at hotels, B&Bs, and apartments.
It gets closer to Christmas and New Year, while the city is bustling with people (both tourists and locals who are visiting Rome for their holiday shopping )…) and it also feels more festive! The Christmas lights are spectacular in Rome. There are many holiday opportunities to visit the Pope. You can also find many Christmas markets at Piazza Navona which runs until January 6th (the Day of the Epifania).
The weather is what you could lose for all those perks. The climate in Rome is milder than in the northeastern United States. However, it can get cold so make sure you have your winter layers on and your hats. It is rare to see snow in Rome. Last winter it did snow once, which was quite a feat. Depending on your luck, you might have more beautiful, crisp days than rainy ones. So keep your fingers crossed.
Bring layers if you’re visiting Rome during the low season. If you want to look as if you are a tourist in Florence, make sure to wear leather shoes and boots for men and wool button-up jackets for women.