There is always a lot to see and do in Rome, and during the winter months you get to enjoy the eternal city without the hassle of too many tourists. Below I have listed some of my favourite things to do in Rome. Just wrap up warm and get walking.
1 Enjoy hot chocolate
Italians love their thick and heavy hot chocolates, which are available in most cafés and bars. Visit Rivendita Libri Ciccolata e Vini in Trastevere. They also serve liqueurs, rum and other spirits from chocolate cups, together with whipped cream.
2 Go shopping
Go crazy at the sales or explore the many vintage shops around the Monti district. There’s also a craft and vintage market in Monti on most weekends (Mercato Monti on Via Leonina).
3 Explore many beautiful piazzas
Rome is a wonderful city to walk around – there is so much to see, and you might just stumble on a stunning church or a great side street with a market happening.
During the busier months the piazzas are always jam-packed. In the winter you can really see all the squares in their full glory, admire the details of the statues and fountains or simply order a Spritz and get the best seat in one of the many restaurants on the piazza.
There is a Christmas market on Piazza Navona, but unfortunately I found it rather disappointing. It might still be worth the visit if you’re walking around the area anyway.
4 Drink wine
After you’ve had enough of the squares, head over to Cul de Sac wine bar just around the corner from Piazza Navona. It’s been open since 1977 and boasts 1,500 wines.
If you are looking for something cosier or somewhere to warm up (Cul de Sac is more pleasant when you sit outside), head over to Etablí. Located in a 15th-century building just off Piazza Navona, this café/restaurant/wine/cocktail bar is a perfect cosy venue to visit during winter months.
If you have been shopping around the Via del Corso area, visit VyTA Enoteca Regionale del Lazio for lunch or a glass of wine. It’s a stylish restaurant and wine bar, which is not spoilt by high prices even if it is amongst many designer shops.
Ai Tre Scalini in Monti is a buzzing bar with great wine selection. Sit at the bar and order a cheese platter to accompany your wine.
5 Listen to some live music (and sip scotch)
Big Mama in Trastevere hosts anything from jazz to blues and r’n’b bands. Just make sure you book ahead.
Gregory’s Jazz Club, not far from the Spanish Steps, has hosted some legendary jazz names. Book a dinner and jazz or simply choose a whisky from their award-winning whisky bar whilst enjoying the live music. Their whisky bar boasts around 150 scotches and many whiskies from Ireland, Japan and the US.
6 Ice skating
Get your skates on at Parco della Musica during December and January.
7 Enjoy art
Frida Khalo is on until march 2020 at Spazio Eventi Tirso.
The Ara as it was is a 3D exhibition where characters, gestures, gods, animals and colours come to life to illustrate the origins of Rome and the family of Augustus. It’s an immersive journey between computer graphics, virtual and augmented reality. Open until December 2019 at Ara Pacis Museum.
Michelangelo in colour is on until 6th January 2020 at Palazzo Barberini.
Carthago. Carthago, the immortal myth of Colosseum and Roman Forum. The Exhibition is on until 29th March 2020 at Colosseum.
There are many more exhibitions and events in Rome during the winter months, so just check online for more. Romeing is a great website to keep up to date on any happenings in the area.
You can also visit Colosseum by night Mon to Sat in October, Thu to Sat in Nov-Dec and daily during 2nd-6th January. Tickets should be booked in advance.
8 Drink gin
Visit The Gin Corner at Hotel Adriano. It is the first gin bar in Italy. Open every day from 6pm till midnight.
9 Visit the famous cats
Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary is open all year round and is home to 150 cats. Volunteers look after the cats and rely on donations. It is up to you whether you’d like to buy one of the souvenirs or simply leave a small donation after all the cat cuddles.
10 Eat and drink at Mercato Centrale
Mercato Centrale is an indoor food court at the back of Termini station. The location is not ideal and I don’t recommend hanging around the station at night, but once you get to the Mercato you will be glad you went. There is a wide selection of foods, anything from gelato to steaks to ramen. Just order food from your chosen stall, find a place to sit and someone will come and take your drink orders. There is also a separate wine bar, but you will need to order at the counter.
The venue also offers live music and they have big screens that often show sports. Perfect venue to visit in winter.
Open daily 08:00-24:00
Mercato Centrale Roma, Via Giovanni Giolitti 36, 00185
Have you been to Rome during winter? Do you have a favourite winter city?