Rome in November (weather + tips): all you need to know

by marta

All you need to know for a trip to Rome in November. What to expect from the weather, what to pack and what to do in Rome in the fall.

November in Rome is a special month.

November is almost the only time of the year when Rome experiences a low tourism season and this means you see the city at its most authentic.

Locals work, queues fade and prices tend to be a little lower, meaning you may even be able to stretch your time in Rome to a few more days!

In terms of crowds, November is the best month to visit Rome!

November is a wonderful time to see Rome’s best piazzas without fighting for space.

Low season however means the weather is not always at its best: Rome in November takes a wintery aspect.

Outside of Roman Colosseum and Arch of Titus in the autumn

As you progress towards the end of the month, the daylight hours diminish, the temperatures fall and you get rainy days.

Overall, however, November in Rome can be a great idea for a trip and in this article, I share what you can do in the city to make that time even more special.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission.

The Weather in Rome in November: what to expect

The weather in Rome in NovemberHistorical data
Max temperature18C/64F
Min temperature8C/46F
Rainy days8

One of the biggest worries for people planning on visiting Rome in November is the weather.

As winter approaches, people worry Rome in November may be cold or very rainy. However, the weather in Rome in November tends to be much better than you may expect!

Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome

The weather in Rome in November is the typical autumn weather, with the leaves falling from the trees and daylight hours slowly diminishing as you get close to the end of the month.

During the day, temperatures tend to me mild and you will mid season jacket and runners/ ankle boots to be cozy.

However, the evening and when it rains, temperatures drop, so having layers is a must.

The average temperature in Rome in November is 13C/55F with a range from 18C/64F to 8C/46F degrees.

Usually, you have about 8 days of rain in Rome in November although recent weather patterns are making this a lot harder to predict. Overall, however, being ready for rainy days is important.

Official weather reading aside, November in Rome feels mild with the occasional tinge of cold in the air.

Good to know: last November Rome was unusually hot. We were in short sleeves in the middle of the day and the sky was summer-blue. It is hard to know if it was a one off or a change here to stay. However, having spent over 40 months of November Rome, I can tell you it was unusual and coming prepared with layers is best!

What to wear in Rome in November

The key to dressing in Rome in the fall is layers.

During the day, you are likely to be ok with a light, mid-season jacket but early morning and evenings can be cold and, depending on what type of climate you are used to, may call for scarves.

If you are traveling to Rome in November, it is important to pack:

  • Good walking shoes, closed toe and water proof. I recommend two pairs should one get soaked and not dry overnight: sneakers and ankle boots work well in this season
  • Socks
  • Long pants/trousers
  • Short sleeve tops (for layering)
  • Long sleeve tops
  • Cardigan / light woolen sweater
  • Light jacket /light puffy jacket
  • Rain mac or poncho
  • Small umbrella

You can read my full, detailed packing list for Rome in November here.

Piazza Navona Rome with greenery in the foreground

November in Rome: need to know

The 1st of November is National holiday in Rome and this affects the opening hours of museums and businesses.

It is not a day when everything shuts down but you will need to double-check if the attraction you want to visit on that day is affected.

Sunday the 1st of November 2023 is the first Sunday of the month and this means many of Rome’s museums and attractions are free!

This can be a great opportunity to visit some of Rome’s museal gems but do check booking and entrance requirements.

The best way to do that is to check on the website of the relevant attractions as it is the most likely to have reliable information.

We include official sources and tickets in this guide, whenever possible.

Child at the Colosseum in Rome using the Trova Trails App
My daughter in front of the Colosseum in November

The best things to do in Rome in November – special events

November in Rome is an ok time for sightseeing but changeable weather will call for a mix of outdoor and indoor attractions.

Go to a free museum on the 1st Sunday in November

Rome municipal museums offer free access on the first Sunday of every month and this happens also on the first Sunday in November.

The free entrance initiative applies to several museums and attractions in the capital and includes major sites including the Colosseum, the Forum and Museo Nazionale Romano, which has several seats and hosts some of the most beautiful ancient art collections you can find in Rome and the world.

Need to know: attractions manage the free entrance day in different ways. The Colosseum doesn’t allow booking / tours on this day, so you need to queue at the door to gain entry. The Borghese Gallery on the other hand requires online booking. It is important to know that the Vatican Museums do not participate in this event.

Visit the Vatican Museums for free on Sunday 26 November

The Vatican Museums allow free access on the last Sunday of the month, which in November 2023 falls on November 26th.

On this day, the Vatican Museums have a shorter opening hours and only operate 09.00 a.m. – 02.00 p.m. (final entry 12.30 p.m.)
Entry is free and not bookable. However, you can book an official guided tour with the museum directly >>  Vatican Museum direct booking link

Colonnade of Piazza San Pietro by Bernini

More things to do in Rome in November

Visit the Colosseum

If you get a sunny day, a visit to the Colosseum in November can be a lovely idea.

With fewer people fighting for the same ticket, you will get more choice when it comes to the time of your visit (the Colosseum has a timed entrance system) and a much more pleasant experience once inside.

I have a complete guide to the best tickets for the Colosseum but, at a glance, those I recommend are:

Value Option: Colosseum and Roman Forum Tickets by Coopculture: this is the best value option as the tickets are sold by the Colosseum concession (no middle man).

They are excellent; hovewever, they do not offer flexibility and they sold out fast. Only book them once you are sure you of your plan.

Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Entry ticket (recommended): sold by GetYourGuide, these tickets offer good value for money yet good cancellation policies, for flexibility.

If you wish to have a guided tour, my favourite area:

>>> Colosseum Tour with Arena Access by Livtours (this tours allows access to the arena where the Gladiators fought!)

>>> Colosseum Tour for families by LivTours

>>> Colosseum Tour for kids by Mariaclaudia Tours

Tip for visiting the Colosseum sun November: If visiting the Colosseum in late November, wrap up as it can get chilly, especially if you go early in the morning or late in the afternoon/night.

You can find all my tips for visiting the Colosseum here.

The Colosseum ticket included access also to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.

I highly recommend you visit them if you get a mild day but especially the Palatine can get very cold.

I would reserve a visit to this part of ancient Rome to the first part of the month and only go later in the season if you are lucky with the weather.

Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

The Vatican museums can be visited all year round but they get so crowded you really want to think twice before going at a busy time.

This is why November is such a good month for a visit to Vatican City: you may actually see the Sistine Chapel without feeling like a sardine in a can!

With the exception of the 1st of November (All Saints Day, a religious holiday), usually this is the time of the year with the lowest number of people.

Make sure you get tickets in advance as there is no such thing as a truly slow day there!

Good ones with a generous cancellation policy are here

Rome in November

Visit the Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the most peculiar churches in Rome.

Born as a Roman temple to all deities and then turned into a Christian Church, the Pantheon is known as the best preserved ancient building in tome and attracts people from all over the world, curious to see its peculiar round shape and oculus, the round aperture on its roof.

The Pantheon is always worth seeing but there is a special reason why I recommend to visit the Pantheon specifically if in Rome in November: to check what happens when rains inside!

the web is full of nonsense about rain in the Pantheon so there is no better what to learn the truth than to go see for yourself!

You can learn here >>> how to book tickets to the Pantheon.

Go to church

You don’t need to be religious to pay a visit to Rome’s churches.

Some of them, as well as religious sites, are decorated with works of art so priceless, you can visit them like a museum (please always be respectful of the spiritual nature of the place).

Depending on what you like, you can seek out Caravaggio in San Luigi dei Francesi, admire the mastery of Michelangelo in Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, see the relics of the chains that kept St Peter captive in St Peter’s in chains or admire the work of Bernini and Borromini in Santa Maria della Vittoria or Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza – and there are only some of the best known of them!

You will come across churches simply walking around Rome: I recommend you peek into all of them but if you want a starting point, I recommend you have a look at this post about the most beautiful churches in Rome.

inside of Rome church dome

See the Borghese Gallery

The Borghese Gallery is one of the most beautiful art galleries in the world.

It hosts masterpieces by painters and sculptures of the caliber of Botticelli, Bernini and Canova and it a feast for the eye.

Each room is decorated with exquisite attention to maximize the visual effect of the artwork and the gardens you can see from the windows add to the magic of the place.

You can read here >> how to book tickets for the Borghese Gallery

Borghese Gallery front entrance

The Gallery is stunning and absolutely worth a visit but tickets go fast and advance booking is a must.

My favorite way to enjoy this incredible museum is to go in the afternoon and then complete my visit with a stroll around the Borghese Gardens and a stop at the Pincio Terrace for sunset views over Rome.

The Gallery and the Terrace are at the two ends of the garden but the walk is easy and the views spectacular.

You can find official tickets here

Visit Nero’s Domus Aurea

If you love history, then you will love visiting the Domus Aurea, the once lavishly decorates palace that Emperor Nero built as his imperial residence in Rome.

ancient columns inside the Domus Aurea in Rome

The Domus Aurea has been described as the ‘Versailles of Ancient Rome’ however, it is not a shiny palace you now visit but rather an underground site that you can only visit with the aid of a trou guide (read why in my review of the Domus Aurea tour here.)

The visit to the Domus is unique and well worth the cost of the ticket: the guided tour leads you into what used to be the most extravagant palace Rome had ever seen and shows not only what remains of its beautiful decorations, but also shines a light on the work of the archaeologist that brought this place back to life.

A Rome must see (and a great place to escape the rain!).

Warm-up in a Rome enoteca (wine bar)

Rome may conjure up ideas of apertitivo in the piazza but in November, this is hardly ever a reality.

In Rome in November what you really want to do is warm up in a cozy interior and this happens nowhere better than in a local enoteca, Rome’s wine bars.

Enoteche in Rome come in all shapes and sized and usually are small establishments with small tables, dark wood decor and warming food. There are many I love but if you are up for a recommendation, I have three I can recommend and that I love most of all: Cul de Sac (near Piazza Navona), 313 (Via Cavour) and La Ciambella (near the Pantheon).

All of them offer amazing food and wine and the last one is also pretty romantic, perfect for a date night.

Warm up with a decadent hot chocolate

Chocolate lovers will love to learn that you can escape the November rain in a chocolate paradise: Rome’s chocolate factory in San Lorenzo. Welcoming, historical and delicious!

Visit Rome’s Catacombs

A visit to Rome catacombs will not keep you warm (quite the opposite!) but it will keep you safe from the rain and also provide you with one of the most unique experiences you can have in Rome.

The catacombs are underground early christian cemeteries that form a complex network of underground tunnels that stretch under the modern city.

They are only accessible any guided tour and they are fantastic in terms of beauty and historical significance.

The most famous catacombs in Rome are the Catacombs of San Callisto, on ancient Via Appia, the catacombs of San Sebastiano nearby and those of Priscilla, close to Villa Ada.

You can find tickets and see what the tour involves here.

Seek out mosaics

Rome is home to stunning mosaic, which decorate the inside of churches, ancient homes and museums.

If you love this very special art, seeking them out is a fantastic way to spend a day: you can find the best places to see mosaics in Rome here.

mosaic in Santa Prassede Church Rome

Visit stunning Thermal Baths of Diocletian

The Thermal Baths of Diocletian’s are the largest thermal bath complex of the ancient world and a pleasure to visit.

Located just beside Rome Termini station, right in the city center, the baths have both outdoor and indoor areas that are easy to enjoy in all weather condition, even wet November days!

Inside, you can admire what used to be the swimming area of the bathhouse, beautiful ancient halls, two stunning renaissance patios, and an interesting epigraphic museum.

beside it, it is also worth seeing the beautiful church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, part of the ancient baths turned church by Michelangelo!

You can read my review of our visit to the thermal baths of Diocletian here.

Go to the opera or a concert

Rome has a good opera and ballet program that is in full swing in this season.

Music lovers should also check out the program at Auditorium Parco della Musica, the wonderful Rome’s concert hall

Go on a food tour of Testaccio or Trastevere

Rome’s tasty and earthy food goes exceptionally well with the change of season.

This is a wonderful time of year to take a food tour and taste it all!

Two of the most favour areas for food in Rome are Trastevere and Testaccio and food tours in the city tend to focus on one or the other.

A wonderful food tour that will make you taste Rome’s best food in 3 hours and with a fabulous guide is >>> this one by LivTours

You can find all my favorite food finds and tips in my guide to Rome for foodies.

Go to an exhibition

Rome always has many exhibitions going on at any given time and November, especially later in the second part of the month when the weather turns colder, is a great time for museum going.

You can find here an up to date calendar of Rome events in November (In Italian, but the names and location are reasonably universal)

real carbonara pasta in Rome

Other food tours worth considering:

What to eat in Rome in November

Glorious traditional food in season in Rome in November includes:

  • Carbonara: warming and tasting and perfect for the slightly cooler weather of this season
  • Amatriciana: warming and delicious pasta dish from the Rome region
  • Cacio e Pepe: simple yet delicious pasta for cheese lovers
  • Trippa, warming dish for the adventurous
  • Suppli, fried balls of rice with a melting mozzarella heart, delicious Rome appetizer
  • Mushrooms: while not typically roman, this is the time of the year to order scrumptious mushrooms risotto or tagliatelle ai funghi. Delicious!
  • Pumpkin risotto: again, not the most traditional Roman of dishes but one you do get in November dues to the seasonality of the produce
  • Tiramisu: always a good dessert, its creamy richness make it easier to digest if you tale long brisk walks, which you will at this time in Rome.
  • Cachi (persimmon) fruit
  • And what if you want gelato? You still can! While you want to tuck in a little less than in summer, gelato is available all year round and you won’t stand out if you order one!

November in Rome with kids

November is not great to visit Rome with kids.

The colder temperature and the rain are likely to rob them of precious time outside and the city is not overly equipped with indoor entertainment options.

However, there are some child-friendly things to do in Rome in November, even if the weather decides not to cooperate.

Top tip! See also our family travel guide to Rome and our complete list of things to do in Rome with kids.

Close up of hands of a child making pizza dough on floured surface
Close-up of children’s hands preparing dough for pizza. Pizza, children and the concept of cooking – children make pizza.

Take a pizza class

A fun, hands-on activity for this that keeps you inside, entertained and well-fed is a family pizza class.

We took one with our kids one cold day in the winter and it was lots of fun: it kept us busy for a morning, provided us with a lovely meal and we still now use the technique we learned to make pizza at home every Friday! Fun family time and a useful skill to have!

You can find info and book the same experience here

Go to Explora Children Museum

Explora is Rome’s children museum and it is a wonderful place to explore with kids.

In November, this is an exceptionally handy place to know for a rainy day or any time the weather doesn’t seem suitable for extended hours in the park.

The museum has an area for under 3s that is great to give them some floor time and school age kids have plenty to do.

The museum develops over 2 floors and has several role-play areas (kitchen, supermarket, etc), interactive science installations and even a cool simulator that puts your child in the driving seat of the Freccia Rossa, Italy’s high speed train!

Take a mosaic class

A fabulous class I took with my daughter taught us to make mosaics.

The class took place in a mosaic lab and was led by a local mosaic artisan, who told us the history of the mosaic and showed us step by step how to make out own: it is a stimulating, fun class in a beautiful and immensely creative environment, one of my favorite family experiences in the Rome!

You can read all about our experience here.

Visit Ikono Roma

Ikono Roma is an interactive space that is fab for kids of all ages. little ones will love the pool filled with translucent balls and tweens and teens will love the may social media friendly backdrops the place offers!

Mom and daughter in ball pool in Ikono Rome

Visit the Museum of Illusions

Another cool museum for kids that is perfect for the moody November weather is the museum of illusion.

The Museum has fun and interactive installation that tricks your eyes into seeing the ‘impossible’.

Great fun, you can see out photos and read our review >>> here <<<

Go to a child-friendly museum

While Rome only has one museum that is just for children, it also has several art museums that are children friendly. You can find a selection of those we enjoy the most as a family here but those I like most are:

Centrale Montemartini, a wonderful museum hosted in an old power plant, with gorgeous mosaics and ancient statues (cool for kids because of the unusual machines acting as a backdrop to the artifacts)

Museum of Leonardo’s Machines, a fantastic place with the reconstruction of Leonardo’s creations, many of which the kids can touch and experiment with.

Welcome to Rome, a small permanent exhibition with 3D light- reconstruction of some of Rome’s famous landmarks and a wonderful short movie about the history of the city (good for primary school age kids and up)

The Domus Aurea, the Catacombs, the Colosseum and the Pantheon are all easy to visit with kids and a good option for a rainy day.

I hope you enjoyed this overview of Rome in November. Safe travels! 

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