WHAT TO DO IN ROME, CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR.
- The first thing I will say is that although the weather can be a bit seasonal Rome is a magical place over the festive season.
- If you are fortunate you will have warm sunny mid-days where you can sit out in the sun for lunch. When the sun sets put on your winter warmers and stroll around to see beautiful christmas light displays all around the city.
Rome is open all through the winter time but be aware that The Vatican and Sistine Chapel cannot be accessed on 25-26 December and January 1st these days are apart from their usual opening and closed days. The Vatican is also closed 6 Jan.
Apart from all you would normally expect in summertime Rome you will also find that some of the better (and I mean more adventurous and diverse, not more expensive) restaurants will add to there normal menus and offer more heartening and extremely tasty Italian winter foods, plates that will offer central heating of the delicious kind for your whole body. My favourite is Stinco di Maiale, ham hocks slow cooked with herbs absolutely mouth-wateringly wonderful.
Also do not be afraid to ask if the restaurant has any winter specialities.
During the winter season Rome has many exhibitions that are definately worth visiting.
My favourite is at the Coliseum. An Icona. Colosseo.
Another wonderful display is Picasso, Between Cubism and Classicism at the Scuderie del Quirinale.
There are too many to list them all but here is a link with many more, something for all tastes I am sure. www.romeing.it/exhibitions-in-rome
The night life in Rome is very vibrant particularly over the Christmas and New Year. Bars, clubs, cafes and restaurants are full of people having a great time and one thing that you will probably notice, very little drunkenness so consequently a great atmosphere surrounded by happy friendly people.
Something totally free to see in Rome at Christmas are the Christmas Crib displays in most of the churches, many of which are an artistic masterpiece of their own.
You can also celebrate Midnight Mass with The Pope on Christmas Eve. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket you can enter the Church of St Peters. If not do not despair you can celebrate the Mass in St Peters Square with possibly 100000 other people. Wrap up warmly for what I can guarantee will be one of your most memorable experiences in Rome. People of all religions and cultures come together to hear The Popes messages of peace at this special time.
Check the time when you are in Rome so you will not be late.
On New years Eve in Rome it is traditional to have a family meal together at home or in a restaurant. It is certainly advisable to book a restaurant to not be disappointed. The sky’s above Rome are amass with firework displays and it is a spectacular sight. If you can get up to one of the high points in the city you will see many displays all at the same time. Possibly the best view point is Gianicolo Hill From there you have a view of all Rome.
Piazza del Popolo in the centre of Rome is where many Romans will go to celebrate. A word of caution though. They will use their own fireworks with little regard to peoples safety. Every year there are injuries. If you go there try to find a seat at a bar or cafe and sit back and enjoy the madness... sorry I mean the atmosphere. It really is great but be careful of hot flying objects!!
May I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.