Planning on a white (or rather Italian) Christmas in Rome? Lucky you! With Italy being an epicenter for the Catholic church, you couldn’t be in a more festive location for the holiday. Rome especially is brimming with lighting decorations, decked out Christmas trees, holiday bazaar markets, street food vendors roasting chestnuts and other holiday goodies, choir orchestras, open churches and cathedrals- the eternal city is your oyster for the Christmas season! Not only have these accoutrements made Christmas in Rome an ideal destination for a holiday getaway, but December is a magical period to be in Rome! Why? A few reasons: Christmas in Rome can be enjoyed with less tourists, a chance of snow to make a stunning city even more gorgeous with beautiful sunsets with vivid, colorful skylines.
If you are lucky enough to spend Christmas in Rome, there are a good handful of things to do on such the occasion that we feel are too good to miss.
1. Go to the holiday market in Piazza Navona!
This market runs daily and is complete with gift stalls, arcade games similar to American country fairs, food vendors roasting fresh chestnuts and making hot sandwiches, Christmas lights, live music and more!
You can find the pope at midnight mass termed “Urbi et Orbi” (the Papal Blessing) and this event is free to the public if you can get your hands on a ticket. Info here: http://saintpetersbasilica.org/touristinfo.htm#tickets
3. Go Ice Skating!
There a few locations open to the public for ice skating like Castel Sant’Angelo, Tor di Quinto, Piazza San Giovanni Battista de la Salle (in the Aurelio district) and Euroma 2 (a major shopping center). Visit the Rome Tourism website for more information for ice skating in Rome.
Or just visit any church if you have nothing to confess. Churches will be open for midnight mass and for various other activities throughout the Christmas period. At midnight mass, if it is your first time, don’t be surprised to see a queue lining up to kiss a baby doll- this doll represents Baby Jesus and it’s tradition to kiss the birthday boy!
Nativity scenes in Italy date back to the early 1200’s when St. Francis ofAssisi depicted his own crib for the world to see! Several centuries later in Rome, you can find museums which host over 200 artists and some several thousand nativity scenes! These installments are temporary for the Christmas period, to find out where you can view them visit the official Presepi website.
While Rome may not have Christmas treats of fame like Milan with Panettone, Rome is home to some of the best bakers on earth and whip up the best holiday goodies like Panettone, cream puffs, torrone, pandoro, biscotti and more! Visit Biscottificio Innocenti or Regoli for some comforting holiday sweets with a Roman soul.
7. Visit the Trevi fountain!
Okay, you can do this all year long, but how cool would it be to visit one of the most iconic fountains in Rome when I bet there will be very few people in sight PLUS all the amazing lighting decorations which makes the monument an even holier sight to behold!
Interested in a guided tour of Rome while in town this Christmas season and any season? Don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Italy Segway Tours! We are here for all of your travel needs and guidance. In addition to guided tours on Segway, we offer walking food tours, wine tours and tours on BICYCLE in Rome, Milan and Florence. We look forward to your visit to the best place on Earth- Italy! 🙂