I don’t know why it took me so long to visit Rome despite being to Europe on countless occasions, but the moment we entered the city, I felt that I made a big mistake not coming here sooner. Despite the hectic driving, which is probably the first thing you will notice, Rome is simply jaw dropping. If you think about it, you are walking among monuments that have been there for hundreds and even thousands of years, and it doesn’t take a lot for you to space out and imagine how it was back then.
After cancelling my initial plan of visiting Rome, Florence, and Bologna over the course of a few days, I decided to use Rome as a base to visit Florence and the Amalfi Coast on day trips, which proved to be a better choice than cramming three beautiful cities in one week which wouldn’t have done them justice.
For this post, I wanted to write a list of reasons why you should go to Rome but let us face it, you don’t NEED a reason to go to Rome because, well, it’s ROME! So instead, I will be listing reasons to visit Rome (and Italy) in the winter.
You can see more pictures of my Italy trip on my Instagram account @gmr83.
1. Less tourists: There will always be tourists in Rome but instead of wrestling to take a picture at the Trevi Fountain or a selfie at the Colosseum, you will have a lot more space to move in the winter. If you want an extra layer of exclusivity, book Walks of Italy’s Pristine Sistine tour, which takes you inside what is basically an empty Vatican so you could admire the majestic chapel in solitude, almost. An added bonus is being able to take pictures like this of the famous Vatican spiral staircase with no one on it!
2. The weather: This is honestly more about luck. When I was there, it rained just once and while it was cold on some days, we always had blue, clear skies. If you have been to Italy in the summer, you know it can get stifling hot, and not all hotels and places have air conditioners. So if you abhor hot weather as much as I do, plan your Italy trip for the winter, which is usually relatively mild in Rome. On the upside, rain makes for great puddlegrams 🙂
3. Better prices: Prices for hotel nights in Italy go up as the temperatures rise which makes it almost impossible to get a decent room in a good location for an ok price. In the winter, many hotels slash their prices and you would be more likely to get a better deal like the one I got on my hotel below, which directly overlooks the Trevi Fountain.
4. Winter comfort food: Every culture has its comfort food that it turns to when the weather gets cold, and Rome is no exception. Two Roman winter specialties are the pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpeas) and minestra (vegetable and pasta soup). Or how about some carciofi alla giudia (deep fried artichokes)?!
5. Shopping: Avid shoppers would be happy to know that many shops are on sale in the winter time and you are bound to get some great deals on known clothing brands around the city.
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6. Explore: With less tourists and less crowded trains, winter is a great time to explore the rest of Italy. I took a great tour to the Amalfi Coast and Positano with Walks of Italy, and not only was the coast virtually void of tourists, we also got to try and buy some of the best lemons and citrus products that I have ever seen in my life! Another day trip idea is gorgeous Florence which is an hour and a half away from Rome, and if you plan properly, you can cover the main sites in a day.