All you need to know to plan a trip to Rome in the fall: autumn weather in Rome, best things to do, accommodation tips, day trip ideas and packing tips.
Autumn / Fall is wonderful in Rome and one of the best seasons to visit the Eternal City.
After shedding the scorching hot days of the summer, Rome in the falls turns again into a living and breathing city.
Locals and tourists fill the city streets and attractions, the autumn harvest brings to the Roman tables seasonal delicacies and mild temperatures and clear sky offer a fantastic backdrop to sightseeing and city exploring.
If you are looking for the best time to visit Rome, autumn/ fall has our vote!
Despite this stellar introduction, there are a few things to know, before you rush and book your ticket.
This is all you need to know to plan an autumn trip to Rome.
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When is fall in Rome?
In Rome, the autumn/fall season officially starts on the 21st of September and ends on the 20th of December, when the Northern Hemisphere enters into the winter.
Over the course of these months, temperatures slowly decrease and Rome slowly dresses up in autumn colors, dark yellow leaves making their appearance beside the dark green hues of Rome’s umbrella pines.
How cold is Rome in the fall?
Rome in the falls has mild weather, with significant variations between the start/end of the season and between morning and evening on the same day.
September in Rome feels likes summer, even during the last two weeks of the month which technically fall into astronomical autumn. Temperatures are usually in the mid-20sC / 77F and rain is possible.
You can read Here >>> our complete guide to Rome in September.
October is a mild and usually dry month in Rome, blessed with blue sky and beautiful crisp light.
Traditionally, the city knows stretches of good weather in October, the so-called ‘Ottobrate Romane’, popular for day trips as well as sightseeing.
You can find here >>> our complete guide to Rome in October
November is when temperatures start to drop in Rome. The days get shorter, the number of tourists starts to fade and Rome indoor attractions and restaurants come into their own. Rain is possible.
You can find here >>> our complete guide to Rome in November.
December is a fun month in Rome, a time when the city dresses up with Christmas decorations and a proper winter appearance.
Temperatures are colder in Rome in December and you will want to wear a proper winter coat, scarf and gloves however, blu sky is common and you are likely to get many bright days. Crowds, however, are at a peak.
You can find here >>> our complete guide to Rome in December
|Month||Max / Min Temp.||N. of rainy days (average)|
|October||22C/71F – 12C/53F||7|
|November||17C/62F – 8C/46F||9|
|December||13C/57F – 5C/41F||8|
What to pack for autumn in Rome
Fall is a transition season in Rome and layers are your best friends.
Essentials will be:
Good walking shoes – opt for waterproof shoes that can take the occasional shower of rain and bring two pairs, should you get caught in one of Rome’s torrential downpours!
A midseason jacket – faux-leather works well for dry days but I recommend you bring a packable waterproof layer in case of rain
A scarf – in Rome we were scarves, a lot! They are perfect for fall as you can quickly put them on or fit in your day bag and they are a fashion statement that will make you fit in style-wise!
You usually do not need sandals in Rome in the autumns nor thermal layers. Short sleeves, jeans or long pants, a cardigan and a light jacket are usually all you need.
You can find here >>> my complete packing list for Rome in the autumn
Where to stay in Rome in autumn
The best area to stay in Rome in the fall is the city center, especially the area near the Pantheon and Piazza Navona or that close to the Colosseum.
Staying in Rome City center will allow you to walk to most attractions and skip having to catch the bus, not a pleasant experience on a rainy day, when everyone gets packed in like in a can of sardines!
Hotels I recommend in Rome City center are:
Palazzo Manfredi – beautiful luxury hotel in front of the Colosseum with an elegant terrace restaurant with breathtaking views of the Colosseum
Otivm hotel – top pick! A beautiful boutique-style hotel with romantic rooms and a fantastic rooftop bar with views over the Capitoline Hill
Hotel Kolbe – 4-star family friendly hotel in a convenient location close to the Colosseum and Roman Forum
Fifteen Keys Hotel – lovely boutique hotel in the fabulous Monti District, romantic and central
The best things to do in Rome in the fall
The best way to Enjoy Rome in the fall is by mixing indoor and outdoor attractions.
Top things we recommend in this season are:
The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
The fall is one of the best times to visit Ancient Rome.
Since most of the attractions are outdoors, you will need a dry day to visit but you will be spared the excessively hot and cold temperatures this area experiences in the peak of summer and winter.
Resources to plan your visit to Ancient Rome are:
Colosseum ticket by Coopculture – budget option: these are the official Colosseum tickets and come with a guided tour of the amphitheater and access to the Roman Forum.
They are an excellent value option but come with the downside or poor cancellation policies.
Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine tickets by GetYourGuide – good value ticket with a good cancellation policy. Read the small print for full details. An excellent alternative to the tickets above, at a good price point.
Colosseum and Roman Forum Tour by GreyLine – a good tour by a well established tour company
Colosseum and Ancient Rome Tour for families by Raphael Tours – a specialized tour for families with small kids, with particular attention for young visitors.
Good to know! We have several free guides to help you find your way through Ancient Rome. Find them at the following links: Tips for visiting the Colosseum, How to visit the Roman Forum, Guide to the Palatine Hill.
Visiting the Vatican in the fall
The Vatican is wonderful in any season but visiting in the fall is special, if you add to the Museums a visit to the Vatican Gardens, wonderful in the autumn.
The Vatican is home to many different attractions including the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica with Michelangelo’s Pieta’, Piazza San Pietro and the Vatican Gardens.
Planning a visit takes time and patience: you can find here >>> my full guide to visiting Vatican City, with all the practical tips you need for an easy and straightforward visit.
Visit the Pantheon
The Pantheon is one of the most famous monuments in Rome and a fantastic one to visit in the fall, especially on a rainy day!
Now a church, the Pantheon used to be a temple to all Roman Gods and has, in its roof, a round opening that has puzzled visitors and historians for centuries. The main question here is: what happens in the Pantheon when it rains?
You can find read our complete guide to visiting Rome Pantheon and see for yourself!
Visit Rome’s beautiful piazzas
The fall is a fantastic time to visit Rome’s most beautiful piazzas.
Depending on the temperature each day, you may be able to sit and relax for aperitivo or opt for a walk but either way, you will quickly see why we say Rome is an open-air museum.
Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Piazza Fontana di Trevi and the Trevi fountains are all wonderful in this season and are perfect photo spots too!
Visit Rome’s many museums
There is nothing better than visiting a museum when the rain comes to Rome.
Depending on what you enjoy the most, you can visit ancient art museums, such as the Capitoline Museums or Palazzo Massimo, or off for more eclectic collections such as the one in Galleria Borghese, one of the most beautiful art collections in the world.
Discover Rome’s mosaics
Rome has fantastic mosaics, many of which are in beautiful churches that you can visit rain or shine.
I adore those in Santa Prassede most of all. You can find here >>> the best places to see mosaics in Rome.
Explore Rome churches
Rome has hundreds of churches, some from ancient Christian times and some from the Renaissance and Baroque era.
Some are intimate and romantic, some are large and grand, most hide beautiful masterpieces: some of the best paintings and the best statues in Rome are in churches.
You can find here >>> a shortlists of fantastic churches in Rome worth seeing.
There are many layers of history in Rome and I mean this in a literal sense.
Several beautiful historical attractions in Rome are now underground!
Rome underground attractions are perfect in the fall, when you may be looking for something to keep you away from the rain.
Walk, walk, walk
One of my favorite things to do in Rome in the fall is simply walk!
The mild temperatures are perfect to take in the beauty scattered in Rome’s most scenic neighborhoods. Trastevere, Monti, the Aventine are all guaranteed to make you fall in love with the most romantic side of Rome.
Enjoy Rome parks and gardens
Rome doesn’t have great foliage locations however, it has several beautiful parks that are wonderful for a walk on a crisp afternoon.
I am partial to Villa Borghese, which is stunning, central and has one of the best panoramic terraces in Rome however, there are plenty to choose from.
Find here >>> My guide to the best gardens in Rome
Get off the beaten track
Rome can be very busy in the fall so it is helpful to have addresses of lesser-known areas to escape the crowds.
You can find some of our favorites in this guide to off the beaten path places in Rome.
What to eat in Rome in the fall
Traditional Rome food is warming and filling, perfect for the autumn!
Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, saltimbocca and pizza will keep you satisfied on the chiller days but real gelato and coffee will give you the kick you need on the warmer days.
Learn where to taste the best food in Rome in our guide to Rome for foodies, packed with great addresses!
I hope you enjoyed this quick guide to Rome in the fall and it helped you plan your trip!