Visiting Rome in September 2023 – All You Need to Know

Are you a fan of mild weather but scared of stifling hot temperatures? Do you want to avoid big crowds at the main landmarks? Planning your trip to Rome in September might be your best bet.

September in Rome is when the new working year kicks off, Romans come back from the holidays, and the city comes back to life after the summer slump. So even though also the summer is full of events of all kinds, this is the month when everything reopens and Rome comes back to be the lively city we all know and love.

Our guide to visiting Rome in September will help you plan your trip and navigate the city while here with a knowledge of what to expect and what things you can do.

Image: The Vatican to visit in Rome in September.

Weather in Rome in September

The temperatures in September in Rome are fantastic and range between a maximum of 27°C/80°F and a minimum of 15°C/59°F in the early morning.

September is not a very rainy month. We expect around a week or less of showers in the whole month and it doesn’t usually last long. This is why planning your Rome trip in September sounds perfect, whether it’s for three days or a whole week.

Check out our top tips to help you decide how many days you should stay in Rome!

Is September a good time to go to Rome?

September is a fantastic time to travel to Rome. Think about warm yet balmy weather, not the suffocating summer heat, and not the crazy summer crowds.

Even though you won’t find Rome in September as crowded as in August, there will still be a fair amount of tourists, and prices won’t be much down from the summer months.

In fact, most of September in Italy still is and feels like summer and fall starts only on the 21st. This is why in Rome in September you can expect mostly sunny and warm weather and only some showers.

This is also why, however, prices in September in Rome can still be high, especially the hotel rates. Not as high as in April and May, but not as cheap as in February either.

Is it better to visit Rome in September or October?

Weather-wise, September and October in Rome are quite similar. Both months are pleasantly warm. With the summer heat gone, walking is definitely more enjoyable and you can easily opt for longer strolls without using buses and public transport.

As September can still have some pretty warm days, I would probably opt for October for a trip to Rome, but if you don’t have the liberty to choose, don’t worry because the experience will be quite similar.

Image: Ancient sites are perfect to explore in September in Rome.

What to do in September in Rome – An easy guide

Explore Ancient Rome

The end of summer and the beginning of fall is the perfect time to visit Roman archaeological sites like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill. These are very large open-air ruins so when it’s too hot or raining, they are hardly ideal to visit.

Since September offers fantastic weather, you can plan half a day to explore the ruins of Ancient Rome by booking your tickets online or joining a guided Colosseum tour to skip the queue that, even if smaller than the previous summer months, still exists.

See the Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are one of the most visited landmarks of the Vatican so whenever the queues start to fade away, it’s a good time to plan your visit. If the forecasts announce some rainy days during your trip, you can leave the museums for that time.

However, I would strongly suggest you book your ticket in advance because even if September starts seeing fewer crowds, the Vatican Museums never stop being a huge magnet.

Duck into Saint Peter’s Basilica

Since you are touring the Vatican, if you have never been inside Saint Peter’s Basilica, I suggest you carve out an hour for that, too. The entrance is free of charge and the queue goes quite fast. Inside, you will be able to admire important artwork such as Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture and Bernini‘s canopy in the middle of the huge church.

If you are in for a full immersion in Roman and Christian history, go down to visit the archaeological site of the ancient Roman cemetery where the tomb of Saint Peter has been kept for almost 2000 years. To visit these important excavations, though, you will need to have a reservation. Check out our full guide to the necropolis under the Vatican Basilica to know how to do that.

Image: Walk around Trastevere in Rome in September.

Explore Trastevere neighborhood

A maze of quaint alleys, old churches, and a never-ending choice of restaurants and cafes are only some of the ingredients that make this gentrified traditional neighborhood a magnet for tourists and also for locals on the lookout for a relaxing stroll or a cool night out.

Walk around Trastevere for some local shopping, for a delicious gelato, for a traditional meal, or just to soak in Roman history.

Visit a museum

As I mentioned earlier, September in Rome can give us also some rain. Thankfully, there are plenty of things to do in Rome when it rains, and one of my favorites is to visit a museum. From notable palaces like Palazzo Barberini to themed exhibitions, Rome boasts many interesting museums you can add to your itinerary.

Whether you are into ancient classic culture or contemporary art, the several Roman museums are likely to host galleries and collections for you to enjoy for a couple of hours.

Image: The Pantheon to visit in Rome in September.

Enter the Pantheon

Even though since July 2023 to enter the Pantheon visitors need to purchase a ticket of 5€, this marvelous ancient temple didn’t show any sign of cooling. September, however, sees fewer tourists queuing in front of Rome’s most famous landmarks and the Pantheon is no exception.

Duck into the Pantheon to see the ancient temple built during Augustus’ rule and devoted to all gods, admire the Roman architecture, and see how it has been adapted and turned into a Catholic church that houses the tombs of some of the members of the former Italian royal family and the grave of famous Italian painter Raffaello Sanzio.

Image: Piazza Navona to visit in Rome in September.

Enjoy Piazza Navona

This huge elliptical piazza is one of the most famous and visited squares in Rome. Literally packed with artwork, from its gorgeous fountains, including Bernini’s Four Rivers Fountain, to the stunning Baroque-style church of Sant’Agnese in Agone built from a project by Francesco Borromini, Piazza Navona is always included in Rome’s classic tours.

History buffs can’t miss the Stadium of Domitian in the undergrounds of Piazza Navona, a testimony to the ancient history of the area.

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Whichever the season, the Trevi Fountain is very unlikely to be empty. This is why, even though the crowds in Rome are fewer in September, if you want to take really good pictures, I suggest you go as early as you can. Easier if you are staying in the Trevi area but possible also if you booked your hotel near any metro station since the fountain is close to Barberini, a stop of the metro line A.

Being one of the most famous fountains in Rome, Fontana di Trevi is close to many other landmarks and allows for a wide range of experiences, including the underground visit of parts of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct and the cistern of the same water system in the wonderful Vicus Caprarius site.

In the area for lunch or dinner? Check out our guide to where to eat near the Trevi Fountain!

Climb the Spanish Steps

It’s not too hot anymore so you have no excuse: you can totally climb the 135 stairs that compose the monumental Trinità dei Monti staircase, commonly known as the Spanish Steps.

Apart from the many artwork pieces to see, the luxury shopping you can treat yourself to, and the elegant Babingtons Tea Rooms for a proper English tea experience, from Piazza di Spagna you can easily reach other landmarks as well as the nearby Villa Borghese public gardens.

Attend a local event

September in Rome is a month truly rich with events able to please every taste and preference. Here are some you can choose from:

  • Romaeuropa Festival 2023. A huge kermess of events that starts on September 6th and 7th at the Auditorium Parco della Musica and carries on for two months in different venues. Check out here the full program.
  • Roma Diffusa. This is a cool series of events running from September 28th to October 1st and focusing on the contemporary aspect of the city by introducing local projects, businesses, and activities. It’s the second edition of this cool festival and it takes place around the alleys of the Renaissance and Baroque Centro Storico. More info on the website.
  • CEV EuroVolley 2023 ROMA. This is the Men’s Volleyball European Championship, a competition for European national teams, organized every two years by the CEV, La Confédération Européenne de Volleyball. It takes place between the 14th and the 16th of September at Palazzo dello Sport. Click here to buy the tickets.
  • Longines Global Champions Tour 2023. The most prestigious equestrian show jumping for horse lovers will take place in the Circus Maximus in Rome between September 15th and 17th. Check out the official website for info and updates.
  • Second Historic Grand Prix of Rome 2023. This is the Grand Prix of prestigious vintage racing cars including Ferrari 312B and the cars of Ayrton Senna and Elio de Angelis. It will take place between September 18th and 24th from Via dei Fori Imperiali to the EUR neighborhood. For updates on the final program, check out the official website (in Italian).
  • Serata Coreografi Contemporanei. Beautiful contemporary dance shows happening between the 19th and 24th of September at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Check their website for more info and to purchase the tickets.
  • La Conserva della Neve 2023. This is a 3-day event happening in the Orto Botanico in Trastevere where about a hundred experts will show and explain to visitors what plants better adapt to climate change. Check out their official website for more info.

Stroll around Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is stunning all year round, but spring and the end of the summer are some of my favorite times. From landmarks to museums to romantic spots and cafes, the park is the most famous in Rome and September is a fantastic time for a stroll.

Image: Piazza del Popolo from the Pincio terrace one of the best places to propose in Rome. Photo credit of Rome Actually

Enjoy the view from the Pincio Terrace

The Pincio Terrace is the most famous viewpoint of Villa Borghese leaning right on the gorgeous Piazza del Popolo. Here, the view never ceases to be spectacular but since Rome in September gifts us with fantastic and romantic light, this panorama of the city center and the Tridente roads becomes unmissable.

Plus, if you are deciding to visit Villa Borghese Park, you are likely to either start or end your visit from the Pincio Terrace. Whichever time of the day it is, make sure you don’t miss the view because whether it’s daylight or the sunset, you won’t regret it.

Stroll along the Tiber River

Walking along the Tiber in Rome is always an enchanting experience of romantic views, important landmarks, stunning domes, and traveling between historical Roman rioni.

September in Rome is a great month to explore the life and history around the river by visiting Tiber Island, crossing the stunning Roman bridges, and joining a boat tour or even an exciting urban rafting tour when the weather allows.

Attend Nero exhibition Domus Aurea

This is a wonderful and fascinating temporary exhibition taking place in Nero’s Domus Aurea that I absolutely suggest attending. It started in July 2023 and it will go on until the 14th of January 2024.

The exhibition explores the fascinating connection between Nero and the Egyptian culture that finally inspired him to build his famous and magnificent Domus Aurea. Check out the official website for more info.

Image: Papal gardens in Castel Gandolfo to visit during a September trip to Rome.

Take a day trip

With such balmy weather and very little rain prospect, taking a day trip is definitely one of the experiences I suggest planning if you are visiting Rome in September. Whether you enjoy exploring smaller towns like Viterbo or Bracciano, touring luxury papal villas, or more exciting outdoor activities like kayaking in the Albano lake, there are plenty of places you can visit near Rome.

What to wear in Rome in September

September in Rome is a transition month so the clothes you should pack might slightly change depending on when you travel, whether it’s the beginning or the end of the month. Even if you come the last week or so, you won’t find cold weather, so consider mixing a bit of summer clothes and light fall items.

  • T-shirts. Even if September is the month when fall starts, you will have plenty of occasions to wear T-shirts both during the day and sometimes even in the evening. So pack some sporty and some more elegant for a nice dinner out.
  • Cotton/linen trousers. Light trousers are perfect for sightseeing in September in Rome. I always prefer natural material so either cotton or linen and even better if loose and comfy.
  • Denim trousers. When the temperatures start falling, jeans are among my favorite options.
  • Walking shoes. A pair of comfortable walking shoes is the first thing you should pack for Rome no matter the season. Up to you what model you feel more at ease with, sneakers or open sandals. Usually, I recommend a pair of both so that you can adapt to changing temperatures.
  • Spring jacket. I love my denim jacket, I wear it both in spring and in fall on top of a T-shirt or a blouse. Otherwise, you can opt for a fancier and extremely versatile black blazer or a Barbour-style jacket.
  • Blouses/buttoned-down shirts. Just like spring, also in fall blouses all the way. They are extremely versatile and you can pack some casual for the day and a few fancier for the evening.

What to pack for September in Rome

  • Umbrella. In September in Rome, it doesn’t rain much, but carrying a light, foldable umbrella comes in definitely handy when an unexpected shower hits in the middle of the day.
  • Water travel bottle. Like in every season, being Rome so packed with nasoni small fountains pouring drinkable water 24/7, it’s incredibly handy to have your own bottle to refill along the way.
  • Sling bag/backpack. Instead of a bulky backpack, to get around Rome, I recommend a slim sling bag or backpack as it’s more likely that you can keep it with you when you visit places like the Colosseum or the Vatican Museums where large backpacks are not allowed.
  • Shawl. For the evenings out, especially if you are enjoying the view from one of the many terraces and rooftop bars, a shawl is necessary for me
Photo of author

About The Author: Angela Corrias

Hi, my name is Angela Corrias! I am an Italian journalist, photographer, and blogger living in Rome. After over ten years of living abroad, I finally came to the conclusion that in order to better organize my future adventures, I needed a base. Since I know and love Rome so much, I moved back to the Eternal City. This is how Rome Actually was born. Here, I cover everything about Rome, from the local food to the culture to Roman history.

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