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7 things to do in Rome for Christmas

Christmas is definitely one of the most interesting times of year to visit Rome. The Eternal City truly comes alive with light shows, religious traditions, great food and many fun activities.

Christmas is definitely one of the most interesting times of year to visit Rome. The Eternal City truly comes alive with light shows, religious traditions, great food and many fun activities.

If you’re visiting Rome during the Christmas holidays and are looking for ways to celebrate the magical Christmas time, you’re in the right place; here are the 7 best things to do in Rome for Christmas!

Things to do in Rome for Christmas

  1. Explore the Christmas Markets in Rome

    Even though the tradition of Christmas Markets is usually associated with Northern Europe, Mercatini di Natale are actually quite popular in Italy as well.
    In Rome in particular, the Christmas Market in Piazza Navona, usually starting from the beginning of December to the 6th of January, fills up the square with vibrant stalls where you can buy all kinds of things; handmade jewelry or magnets, toys, books and even traditional food!

    Walking through Piazza Navona during this time makes for an incredible experience and a great opportunity to spend some time surrounded by locals.
    It’s also a great place to buy original souvenirs for your loved ones!

  2. Go Ice skating

    Ice skating is definitely a fun activity for people of all ages and luckily, each winter, the city of Rome sets up many ice skating rinks where you can enjoy a pleasant evening with your friends and family and fully get into the Christmas spirit!

    Here is a list of places where you can go and show off your skills!

    Auditorium Parco della Musica
    Located in Viale Pietro De Coubertin 30, Auditorium Parco della Musica is a magical place usually known for its concerts but, during the holidays, they usually set up the Ice Park Auditorium, an outdoor ice rink with some very fun activities. It’s especially recommended if you have kids!

    Christmas Wonderland
    Inside the PratiBus District in Rome (Viale Angelico 52), from the 20th of December to the 6th of January, you will be able to find an ice skating rink filled with amazing decorations!

    Luneur Park
    In Via Delle Tre Fontane, Luneur Park offers the chance to ice skate on a rink made with ecological ice and is filled with activities for kids!

  3. Enjoy the Christmas Tree and lights

    The Christmas Tree is a worldwide core element of Christmas. In Rome, there are two major Christmas Trees: one in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican and the other in Piazza Venezia.

    The St. Peter’s Square Christmas tree was first set up in 1982. The idea to build a tree in the piazza came from Pope John Paul II and it quickly became an annual tradition. The tree gets built early in December.
    The Piazza Venezia Christmas tree is also usually lit at the beginning of December with a sustainable lighting system to help the environmental crisis.

    Witnessing the trees being lit is an experience that will surely leave you speechless!

  4. The 100 Presepi in Vatican

    Every year in Rome it’s possible to go see an exhibition of the Nativity scene made by very talented artisans and artists coming from different parts of the world such as Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, the USA, Indonesia and many more!
    This year it will take place from the 8th of December to the 8th of January in St. Peter’s Square.

  5. Attend the Christmas Eve mass at the Pantheon

    Attending the mass at the Pantheon is already a magnificent experience but taking part in the Christmas Eve mass is even more magical!
    Every year, the night before Christmas, people gather at the Pantheon to witness the Holy mass at midnight. Since the Pantheon fills up pretty quickly, it’s recommended to get there at least one hour early to get a seat.

  6. Eat traditional Christmas food in Rome

    Food is one of the biggest parts of Italian culture and Christmas food is no exception! The traditional Christmas dishes vary from every region…
    Here’s an example of a typical Christmas Day menu in Rome:
    - Stracciatella, an egg soup seasoned with salt, pepper and parmigiano reggiano;
    - Fettuccine all’uovo, usually served with ragù;
    - Abbacchio, a baby lamb seasoned with rosemary and fried or baked in the oven with potatoes or the popular roman artichoke;
    - Panettone and Pandoro, two traditional leavened desserts;

  7. Go Christmas shopping in Via Condotti

    Via Dei Condotti is Rome’s fashion district, full of very important stores such as: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari, Prada and many more. It’s also one of the streets of Rome that features the best lighting during Christmas time, with lights made in famous cartoon character shapes like Scooby Doo, Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry and more!
    Taking a walk through Via Dei Condotti during the Holidays will surely give you a relaxing and pleasant day!

15th Dec 2022