Rome is a great place to visit at Christmas. Unlike New York where it is full of glitz and glamour, Christmas time in Rome, focuses on the religious festivities and the real meaning behind Christmas.
Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful squares in Rome and Christmas is no exception. It becomes a big Christmas market during the holiday season until the 6th of January. A large Christmas with different stalls selling sweets, Italian foods and traditional ornaments too is set up during Christmas. There are also many Christmas markets in Rome and local parishes host the nativity plays
St Peter’s Square
There is a beautiful nativity scene at St Peter’s Square. The nativity scene called “gargantuan presepe” is built in the centre of the square and is free to visit night and day. For those who want to experience Papal Midnight Mass at the Vatican, send a request via the Vatican’s website.
Piazza Venezia has a 23 foot Christmas tree in the centre of the square. There are 15,000 lights, making it one of the mot well lit trees in all of Rome. At the Vatican, there is a large Christmas tree in Piazza San Pietro and the traditional nativity scene.
Although it is winter in Rome, the lowest the temperatures drop to is to 4 degrees Celsius and the highest is13 or 14 degrees which is relatively warm compared to other parts of Europe. Unlike the UK where it rains a lot in winter, the air in Rome is relatively dry. It makes visiting outdoor attractions possible such as the Colosseum.
Spring, summer and autumn are the most popular times to visit Rome. Winter is the quieter time of year. There are less queues, restaurants and bars are less busy. There are still a lot of tours to around the city but as there are not as many tourists, there will be less advanced booking needed.
Visiting either side of Christmas, November or January, is much cheaper then during the summer months for flights and accommodation. When travelling with a family, it may be an idea to investigate some of the Rome apartments for rent for the holiday season. It allows you to have a home away from home, relaxing in comfortable surroundings. Another bonus visiting in January is that there are many sales as in the rest of Europe. Although with the credit crunch, it may begin just before Christmas. The high street shops on Via del Corso. There are also many small boutique shops in Trastevere and Monti.