Things to do in Rome

Celebrate Christmas in Rome, Roman style!

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Christmas is a special time of the year, and spending it in Rome will make it a cherished memory for you and your loved ones. With its ancient streets adorned in festive splendor, Rome offers a unique blend of cultural heritage and Christmas magic. Most people celebrate Christmas in Rome by attending mass at one of the many churches around the city. After mass, they often go to a friend or family member's house for dinner. The meal usually consists of pasta, meat, and dessert along with treats such as panettone, pandoro, and torrone. One of the most popular desserts during Christmastime is struffoli, which is made from deep-fried dough balls coated in honey and sprinkles. We've put together a listicle for you of the top 6 ways to celebrate Christmas in Rome and make it a holiday to remember! Let the festive spirit sink in as we jump straight to it!

6 Things To Do During Christmas In Rome

To make things easier for you to celebrate the festive day, whether you are a local or a tourist, here are 6 things to do during Christmas in Rome.


Shopping at the Christmas Markets in Rome

Christmas in Rome
Ice Skating Shopping GiftingFamily-Friendly

The first Christmas market that comes to mind when thinking about Christmas shopping is Piazza Navona. The renowned Pinellian nativity scene is at the Spanish Steps, and the official Christmas Tree of the city stands tall in Piazza Venezia. At the market, you'll find stalls with expertly delicate glass ornaments, homemade treats such as pangiallo (a Roman Christmas cake) and the classic Italian panettone. Enjoy the sounds of street musicians playing traditional Italian Christmas carols while sipping on a warm cup of vin brulé, Italy's rendition of mulled wine. Be sure not to miss the artisan ice rink which will be located just outside Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of Four Rivers).

Dates: 30th November, 2023 to 5th of January, 2024
Time: 11 AM to 7 PM


Attend A Christmas Mass In Vatican City

Christmas in Rome
Christmas Mass Vatican CityReligious

The Vatican City has a lot going on during the Christmas season. The most important event is, of course, Mass in St Peter's Basilica with Pope Francis and all those who wish to attend. You can get a ticket from any local Catholic church - they are free but limited in number. People begin lining up at around midnight for tickets that will only allow them into the first section of pews. It is recommended for people attending this mass to arrive early if they want to grab the best seats.

Dates: December 24th
Time: 7:30 PM


Attend a Christmas Concert In Rome

Christmas in Rome
Live Entertainment Christmas ConcertTicketed Events

Several Christmas concerts take place in Rome in December. Among the most renowned concerts is "The Three Tenors" performance held at St. Paul's Within the Walls Church on Via Nazionale. Additional concerts include the "Opera Christmas Concerts" at St. Andrew's Church of Scotland on Via Venti Settembre, the "Baroque Christmas Concert" at the Capuchin Crypt on Via Vittorio Veneto, and the "Love Cello Duet" at Piazza Navona. These musical events offer a wonderful way to embrace the festive ambiance of the season.

Dates: All around christmas
Time: Evenings


A Gastronomic Tour Of Traditional Christmas Food In Rome

Christmas in Rome
Dine & Wine Christmas BrunchRoman Delicacies

Traditional Christmas food in Rome varies greatly from region to region within the metropolis. One of the most famous and beloved courses during the traditional Christmas meal is a dish called caponata (prepared like a salad). It consists of eggplant, peppers, celery, carrots, olives, and tomatoes seasoned with garlic and parsley. Another popular Christmas dish is the porchetta. Christmas pudding, also known as panettone, is a type of sweet cake that is typically eaten during the holiday season. It is made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter, raisins, and candied orange peel.

Dates: Throughout December
Time: Afternoons and evenings

Rome Guided Tours

Read More About the Best Food Tours in Rome

Embark on a gastronomic adventure in Rome with our expert-led food tours. Know more about them here!

A Christmas Getaway From Rome

Christmas in Rome
Christmas Getaway Rome Day TripsFamily-Friendly

A Christmas getaway is the perfect way to spend the holidays! Rome, being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, offers a wealth of Christmas getaways to get you into the holiday spirit. You can go to Rome to Amalfi Coast or Rome to Venice and enjoy the seaside views and fine weather to make this a Christmas to remember.

Check out the top day trips from Rome to make your Christmas getaway special!

Dates: Throughout December
Time: All-day


Go on a dusk or night walking tour of Rome

Christmas in Rome
Christmas Sightseeing Must DoLocal's Favourite

Exploring Rome on a dusk or night walking tour during Christmas time is a magical experience. As the sun sets, the Eternal City transforms into a glittering wonderland, with its historic sites adorned in festive lights and decorations. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, passing by iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, all bathed in a warm, enchanting glow. The aroma of roasted chestnuts fills the air, and the sound of carolers serenading the night creates a memorable holiday atmosphere.

Dates: Throughout December
Time: Daily 5:30 PM and 8 PM

Best European Cities for Chirstmas Markets

Best European Cities for Christmas Markets

If you're planning a trip to Europe in winter, make sure to add these cities to your itinerary and experience the festive atmosphere of their Christmas markets.

Tips to Celebrate Christmas in Rome

  • Make sure you book your flight and hotel well in advance. Hotels in Rome tend to fill up quickly during the Christmas season. We recommmend booking atleast 2 months in advance for great deals.
  • Once you're in Rome, be sure to check out the city's many Christmas markets. These markets are usually located in popular tourist areas such as the Vatican City and Piazza Navona. You'll find a variety of items for sale, from traditional Christmas decorations and ornaments to wine and food.
  • Another popular activity during Christmas in Rome is attending church services. There are many beautiful churches throughout the city that can be explored on foot. Make sure you record such special moments!
  • Rome is usually quite cold during December, so make sure you pack your best jackets and bombers. Thermalware is a great option to keep, especially when travelling with senior citizens and babies.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Christmas in Rome