Less than one month left to Christmas, but some shop windows and streets in Rome are already dressed up with the typical Christmas decorations. The Eternal City has indeed a magical atmosphere over Christmas and definitely this is one of the best periods of the year to spend a holiday there. Deciding to pass your Christmas holiday in Rome means you will have the chance to visit the city at its best and to take a stroll along some of the main historic areas beautifully illuminated by magnificent lights, while local people are busy shopping for their Christmas presents.
Living outdoors is a natural thing for Roman people, thanks to the mild climate that they have. But in winter too, when temperatures are lower, the social life takes place mostly outside, along the streets and in the squares. Try to imagine Campo dei Fiori or Piazza Navona with no crowds: it is hard, isn’t it? The most suggestive rioni (city quarters) of the city, for example Trastevere, Parione and Regola, turn into lively open-air parties and exhibitions with great local food, shows, artistic installations, video projections, performances by street artists, jugglers and acrobats plus lots of beautiful markets.
Food at Christmas
Precisely Piazza Navona is home to one of the most appreciated Christmas markets in Europe. From the end of November up to January 6th, the square gets crowded with the traditional stands selling almost everything, while tourists and curious shoppers assault the many stalls looking for the best bargain. Although very touristy, the Christmas market in Piazza Navona is worth a visit if you happen to be in Rome over Christmas or for New Year’s eve.
If you travel with children, don’t forget that in Italy they celebrate the so-called Befana, an old woman riding a broomstick who leaves only for the well behaved children a stocking filled with sweets on the night of January 5, the Epiphany Eve. On January 6th, Piazza Navona and its market becomes a huge stage for games, carousel and carnival costumes: an unforgettable open-air party for your kids!
Less than 2 kilometres from this sublime square, there is another famous Roman rione: Prati. Originally, namely before approving the master plan of 1883, this area, stretching from the Vatican to the Tiber river, was a vast meadow rich in vineyards, orchards and reeds, often subject to the river’s floods. Being so close to the Vatican, this rione is the ideal part of Rome to look for an accommodation. Hotels near Prati in Rome are, in most cases, the best option as they offer a good compromise between location (very central), quality (high standards of comfort) and prices (very convenient).
Another picturesque street market is the one taking place in Piazza dei Re di Roma, a Christmas event entirely dedicated to the typical local food products. It opens at the beginning of December and goes on until Christmas Eve: so if you are a foodie and find yourself in Rome in that period, please go there and get some delicious stuff to bring back home.
For music lovers, Rome is absolutely the place to be during Christmas: jazz, rock, pop, classical music, funky… You will find all sorts of music concerts. Talking about music gigs, every year since 1993 an epic musical kermesse takes place in the eternal city: it is a huge concert involving a large number of artists from all over the world and belonging to different religions or cultures. This year the event will be reaching its 21st edition and will host the performance of some great international artists such as Patty Smith, Giovanni Allevi, Asaf Avidan, Anggun and many others.
To tell the truth, the reasons to be in Rome at Christmas are many more: it is for you to find them out.
Want to spend your Christmas abroad this year? Find the perfect location on the Loot Travel section.