When to fly
Rome’s peak tourist season begins just before Easter (when the greatest number of visitors fly to Rome) and runs through October. June to the beginning of September is usually the most expensive and crowded time to travel to Rome. Many visitors come in the summer despite the warmer weather. August is the most crowded month as most of the population is on holiday, especially in the last two weeks of August. Even hotels, restaurants, and shops are closed as all the Romans go on holiday.
Every May, Rome plays host to some of the best tennis players in the world, at none other than the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the Italian Open. Although this is one of the most important European clay-court competitions, it is much more than just tennis. Fine food, luxurious shopping, high fashion and performances from famous musicians makes this event one of the most glamorous on the ATP World Tour.
If you're in Rome in May, don't miss La Notte Bianca ("the white night") when all of Rome stays open until dawn. Most of the museums and galleries have free entry all night long and there are special performances, concerts and museum tours.
Welcome the start of the New Year with the breathtaking backdrop of iconic historic monuments, such as the Roman Colosseum, Piazza Del Popolo and the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, where you can witness a spectacular fireworks display. Listen to live music and enjoy traditional Italian food with the crowds of visitors and locals.
Most attractions either operate during shorter winter hours or close for renovations from late October to Easter. Some hotels and restaurants are closed for a month or two between November and February. However, during the winter months, especially January through March, you can often get into the open attractions and sights without having to wait in line. This can make it a good time to look for cheap flights to Rome.
Why visit Rome?
Travellers booking a flight to Rome will discover that a lifetime is not enough to enjoy everything that the Italian capital has to offer. The Ancient Rome buildings in the city combine with Renaissance art and structures and mix serenely into a modern Mediterranean way of life. It is where the gladiators fought in the Colosseum, where the devout prayed in the Pantheon, where Michaelangelo painted the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel and where millions of visitors have tossed a coin or two into the Trevi Fountain in hopes of their wishes coming true.
The devout flock to Rome to visit the Vatican City, the residence of the Pope and a city-state of enormous cultural importance. The Basilica of St. Peter and the Vatican Museums draw millions of tourists each year. Michelangelo designed the basilica's dome (you can climb the 323 steps to the top to enjoy sumptuous views of Rome) and, famously, painted the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
A walk through the streets is like walking through a grand museum so soak up the atmosphere - Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the most theatrical of the piazzas, or Trastevere, bohemian and with a young vibe - and sample the hearty Italian fare.
The city of Rome is a mix of large avenues with architecturally grand building combined with beautiful small piazzas and tiny cobbled alleyways. Known to be one of the most photogenic cities, ancient churches, artistic fountains and history are around every corner. Art appears everywhere in every form. Statues adorn the streets and building tops. Spectacular paintings found on ceilings and in many of the museums.
It is also a shopping haven. Rome is one of the fashion capitals of the world and is the oldest producer of Italian jewellery. Leather bags and designer goods in abundance make for a great bout of window shopping.
Rome also provides for the food lovers with its meats, artichoke, cheeses and very fine wines. Whatever type of food your taste buds fancy you will never go wrong in Rome. With regular flights to Rome from the UK, the history, culture and cuisine are closer than you think. You can also find cheap flights to Rome too.
Winter is typically cool with December and January temperatures in the single digits and low teens and most of the yearly rainfall. Spring and autumn are Rome’s best weather seasons. April usually starts in the teens and temperatures reach the mid-20s in June. Summer can be very hot and dry with July and August temperatures in the high-20s.
Getting around Rome
Don’t try driving a car or motorbike in Rome. The historic centre of the city is easily managed on foot and many streets don’t allow cars. Where the streets are open, traffic is heavy and congested and local drivers have little patience. You’ll enjoy the city on foot, especially if you have some comfy walking shoes to make your way over the cobblestones. For longer distances, take advantage of the public transport system, the Metrebus or Metro. You can find subway entrances by looking for a big red “M.” Most of the popular attractions have subway stops nearby and trains run from early morning until late evenings.
For after-hours travel, hop on a night bus. Look for stops marked with an owl. The daytime buses and trams start running in the early morning. You won’t get anywhere fast, but at least you can soak up some of the city’s atmosphere while you get around. You’ll need to buy bus and metro tickets before you board.
Getting from the Airport to the City
Fiumicino airport (FCO) is located 19 miles from Rome’s main rail station - Termini. The airport is well connected by public transport with trains taking just over 30 minutes, as well as buses, shuttles, taxis and private cars. The cheapest way to get to the city is by local buses.
Rome insider information
- On the last Sunday of every month the Vatican Museums have free admission.
- And if you're there just to see the Sistine Chapel make sure to get there and join the queue early - at least an hour before the museums open. Once you're inside, sprint all the way to the Sistine Chapel. (To walk round and look at all the other works of art would take at least a couple of hours.) If you're lucky, and quick enough, you might get to see it on your own.
- Rome is the place for shopping. If you're on the hunt for bargains, steer clear of the Via dei Condotti and visit Via del Governo Vechhio and Porta Portese, the weekend market in the Trastevere district. Both are boutiquey and trendy and have second-hand clothes, knick-knacks and junk at reasonable prices.
- If you want to look Italian, don't order a cappuccino after your meal. Despite being one of Italy's most famous exports, a cappuccino would only be drunk by the Romans at breakfast and never at any other time of the day. No matter how well you speak the language, ordering a cappuccino after supper is a giveaway sign that you're a tourist.