Rome in spring sees its highest tourist season. This is because it’s a fantastic period to be in the city thanks to the lovely weather and the longer days.
This is also probably why it becomes so important to plan in advance in order to avoid being stuck in the lines for hours on end or to find all booked.
Our guide aims at making it easier to plan your trip to Rome in spring despite the crowds that fill the city, especially in the historic center.
Table of Contents
- 1 Weather in spring in Rome
- 2 Is Rome better in spring or fall?
- 3 Is spring a good time to visit Rome?
- 4 Pros and cons of visiting Rome in spring
- 5 Important dates in Rome in spring
- 6 What to do in Rome in spring
- 7 Tips to survive in Rome in spring
- 8 What to eat in Rome in spring
- 9 What to pack for Rome in spring
- 10 What to wear in spring in Rome
Weather in spring in Rome
Spanning over three months, Rome in spring offers pretty diverse weather conditions. Even though it starts in March, it covers only the last ten days, so we are going to go through the weather of the last three months of spring.
March, in general, is quite unstable, cold-ish, and can give quite some showers. Check out our detailed guide for more tips on what you should and shouldn’t do in March in Rome.
Weather in April in Rome
The average temperatures in Rome in April range between 19°C/66°F, the highest in the afternoon, and 9°C/48°F the lowest in the night and early morning.
While it doesn’t rain much, you can expect some showers for an average of around a week of rain. This, however, doesn’t happen altogether. April, in fact, is more of a sunny than a wet month.
April is more of a transition month between the cold of March and the warmth of May. This makes it very pleasant because you can walk all day without feeling the heat of the summer sun.
Don’t miss our guide to visiting Rome in April.
Weather in May in Rome
The temperatures in Rome in May are definitely warmer than in April ranging between 13°C/55°F the lowest and 24°C/75°F the highest. It rains even less than in April with an average of around 5 days.
With May, the heat that reminds you of summer starts. Like April, May is also one of the busiest months in Rome, and the weather is a big reason for it.
Don’t miss our guide to visiting Rome in May
Weather in June in Rome
June marks the beginning of summer heat and when it gets to the hottest hours of the day, sometimes it might be hard to walk around. This is when you won’t wear anything but T-shirts and shorts.
Temperatures in Rome in June range between 17°C/63°F the lowest to peaks of 28°C/82°F the highest. While on average there are some three days of rain, I hardly remember any showers in Rome in June.
Is Rome better in spring or fall?
The temperatures of spring and fall in Rome are quite similar so in both seasons it’s pleasant to walk around the city. The light in the fall is very romantic with the yellow and orange colors given by the falling leaves, while spring is more of a bright season with the vibrant hues of blossoming flowers that range from red to purple-pink.
In fall, you might find more rain than in spring, especially in the months of November and December which also introduce visitors to Rome’s winter.
Fall in Rome is quieter than spring tourist-wise. You are going to find more traffic and crowds in December, especially around Christmas, but October and November are definitely less busy. Like in many other Italian regions, spring and especially Easter in Italy marks the start of the tourist season.
Is spring a good time to visit Rome?
Spring is a fantastic time to visit Rome. The weather is lovely, warm enough to make you want to enjoy your time outdoors but not stifling hot like the following summer season. Apart from strolling around, spring temperatures will make it a pleasure to have lunch or dine al fresco in Rome, or plan a picnic in one of the city’s parks.
The only con for visiting Rome in spring is the huge crowds at every landmark and teeming in the streets of the Centro Storico. There is really no way around this, apart from some ruse to avoid standing in line for too long and have a better experience of the attraction you are visiting.
Pros and cons of visiting Rome in spring
- Local festivals. Between Easter celebrations and the initiatives for the birthday of Rome that last for a couple of days, to the huge concert of May 1st, there is a myriad of events you can join in Rome in spring.
- Weather. The weather is probably the biggest reason why Rome is so popular in spring. Balmy and pleasant, it’s still not too hot so walking around is a pleasure.
- Photography. The longer days of spring offer great photo opportunities and the flowers blossoming in parks and gardens will add beautiful colors to your pictures.
- Light and colors. The light in Rome in spring is beautiful. Bright and crisp like its weather, it adds beauty to the already stunning landmarks, buildings, churches, and palaces.
- Big crowds. Spring is the best time to visit Rome and somehow everyone knows that. All major landmarks will have big crowds so you will need to adopt some ruse to avoid long lines and to hope in a better experience inside.
- More expensive. This is the highest season, so from April through June, expect higher hotel and flight rates.
Important dates in Rome in spring
- April 9th – Easter. This doesn’t take place every year on the same day, but it’s usually in April and of course always in spring. The only holidays are on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday and this year they took place on April 9th and 10th. Offices close on these two days while schools close from Maundy Thursday to the following Tuesday. Restaurants are open all over the city while shops are mainly open in the city center around the tourist landmarks.
- April 21st – The birthday of Rome. This is the occasion for big celebrations and events in Rome but schools and offices remain open.
- April 25th – Liberation Day. This is a holiday and schools and offices are closed. If you are staying in the city center, though, you will find shops, museums, and landmarks open. The public transport won’t stop running but probably it will slow down and adopt holiday schedules.
- May 1st – Labour Day. This is just a week after Liberation Day and is also a holiday. Museums and landmarks will be open but many gather in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano for the annual concert that takes place from the early afternoon through the night.
- May 28th – Pentecost. Pentecost is a religious anniversary. While it doesn’t fall every year on the same day, it’s always on a Sunday.
What to do in Rome in spring
Attend Easter celebrations
If you are visiting Rome during Easter, you can take part in some of the local celebrations. Starting from Palm Sunday, the Holy Week is packed with religious appointments in both the Vatican and other churches.
On Palm Sunday, you can see a forest of decorated palm and olive branches in Saint Peter’s Square for the Mass celebrated by the pope, while on Holy Friday, you can join the celebrations of the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) in the Colosseum.
This is also a great opportunity to visit the Vatican and its main highlights like the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Gardens, the wonderful Saint Peter’s Basilica, and the ancient Roman necropolis underneath.
Check out our complete guide to spending Easter in Rome.
See the birthday of Rome
Known as “Natale di Roma”, every 21st of April in Rome is a big event. Usually celebrated between Aventine Hill, the Circus Maximus, and the Centro Storico, you can see historical re-enactments, and local theater plays, and visit the museums of Roma Capitale for free.
Check out our complete guide to the birthday of Rome.
Go to the Pantheon
Any season is a good season to visit the Pantheon in Rome, but on the day of Pentecost, thousands of rose petals are let fall from the hole (oculus) of the Pantheon’s ceiling. It’s not on the same day every year, but like Easter, it’s always on a Sunday and this year is on May 28th. The event takes place in the morning around 10 am.
If you are not in Rome for Pentecost, no problem, the Pantheon is one of the Rome’s most important and famous temples that has never shown any sign of cooling, making it a must to visit for anyone on their first trip to the city.
Visit the Colosseum
Visiting the Colosseum is a top priority whether it’s your first time in Rome or if in your previous trips you didn’t manage to see it inside. A masterpiece of architecture and engineering, the Flavian Amphitheater is an important piece of history that cn be visited in multiple levels depending on the ticket you buy and whether you join a tour.
The ticket to the Colosseum is valid for two days and includes also entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, other two important archaeological sites in Rome worth a visit and great to walk around this time of the year.
When the weather starts to become too warm, I suggest visiting these sites quite early in the morning, especially in June, otherwise inside it becomes hard to walk around.
Walk around the city center
Strolling the streets and alleys of Rome’s Centro Storico is always a wonderful experience and with the spring weather you can enjoy your time more than in summer. When the weather allows you are more inspired to spend more time outdoors and since Rome’s historic center is packed with palaces, churches, bridges, fountains, statues, and so much beauty open-air, it’s a good idea to see as much as you can.
Having a mindful walk will take you throughout history, art, and architecture without the need to queue and enter anywhere. This is also great for those who are traveling on a budget because this is one of the coolest free things you can do in Rome.
Visit the Baths of Caracalla
The marvelous Baths of Caracalla are not that far from the Colosseum but the queue is not even comparable. Everyone visits the Colosseum but much fewer people choose to devote an hour to see this ancient spa complex. And it’s a pity because it was the most important of such structures in Ancient Rome and there are several sections that you can visit.
Inside the Baths of Caracalla, shortly after the entrance, you will see areas like the gym, the changing rooms, the baths sectors such as calidarium, tepidarium, and frigidarium, and decorative elements like mosaics and statues.
Going underground, you can see the largest Mithra temple found so far in Rome, the library, and where the slaves were located to feed the furnaces to keep the water upstairs always warm. You are not going to stand much in line to enter and they are fantastic ancient Roman ruins to visit.
Go to the park
Thanks to its large urban parks, Rome has been named one of the greenest cities in Europe. Spring is the season for a stroll in the park, a nice picnic, and relaxing in general.
Rome’s parks are large villas built and formerly belonging to noble families like the Pamphilj clan, the Borghese, and the Savoys royal dynasty. Some of the most famous parks include the wonderful Villa Borghese, Villa Pamphilj, Villa Ada, and also smaller gardens like Giardino Botanico in Trastevere.
The weather in spring in Rome is so lovely that often you will be able to eat al fresco. Whenever a restaurant offers this opportunity, I say take it because you will love it. Whether it’s lunch, dinner, or coffee, having an al fresco experience surrounded by Rome’s beauty is unbeatable.
With the rain always less frequent and the sun warming up the streets, more restaurants put their tables outside in the city center but also in more offbeat neighborhoods such as Testaccio or Nomentano. In fact, even the popular Felice a Testaccio restaurant has a pleasant outdoor space while in the Nomentano/Salario residential area, you can enjoy a pizza out at Berberè, one of our favorite pizzas in Rome.
Don’t miss our guide to the best restaurants in Rome.
Spring is the busiest tourist season in Rome, so it goes without saying that you are going to find endless crowds, especially in April and May. One of the best ways to enjoy some silence in Rome in spring is to head to some off-the-beaten-path landmarks. Even though there are so many extremely interesting sites, I assure you that as soon as you stray further away from the strict historic center, you won’t find many people queueing in front of the entrance.
For instance, the Nomentano/Trieste area, north of Termini train station, is home to a wealthy array of ancient and modern landmarks that are too often left out of classic Rome tours. One of the attractions you can visit in this neighborhood is the complex of Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura inclusive of a medieval church, early-Christian catacombs, and the 4th-century mausoleum of Santa Costanza decorated with beautiful mosaics.
Not far is also the fantastic Villa Torlonia park that hosts the Casino Nobile, former house of Mussolini in Rome, the quirky Casina delle Civette, and the Serra Moresca Moorish greenhouse.
Take a day trip
Spring in Rome is all about nature and days out. With Easter Monday kicking off the season for outings and excursions, there are plenty of day trips from Rome that you can take this time of the year to both add value to your knowledge of the region and take a break from the hustle and traffic of the big city.
Some of the places that you can easily reach by public transport include Viterbo and Bracciano medieval towns, Tivoli south of Rome for its wonderful villas declared UNESCO heritage sites, and Ostia Antica ancient city and port.
If you are driving your own car, you can reach fantastic places like the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia and Cerveteri, Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo known for its monster-shaped sculptures, or the town of Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce, perfect for families because all its walls are decorated with murals of fairy tales.
Check out our full guide to driving in Rome.
Go to the beach
Starting from May, if you fancy taking a break from the city, you can also head to some of the beaches near Rome. Coastal towns like Ostia Lido, Santa Severa, Santa Marinella, Fregene, or even the beaches of the Circeo slightly further away are fairly easy to reach and perfect for a regenerating day out swimming and sunbathing.
All around the main beaches you are also going to find restaurants and all the services you need so you can stay out all day and enjoy lunch and dinner with a view.
Tips to survive in Rome in spring
- Book in advance. This is much necessary in Rome in spring and more so if the landmarks you want to visit are in the city center.
- Join a tour. It might sound costly, but booking a private tour is one of your best options to save time when Rome is packed with tourists. Not only they always include a fast-track entrance, but they also allow you to proceed faster because a local expert will take you to the main sights inside each landmark. This is especially helpful when it comes to tours of the Colosseum and Vatican guided tours.
- Book your ticket online. If you are not much into joining a group tour or prefer saving some money, you can book also landmarks’ tickets online. This will save you the time of the queue because they include skip-the-line entrances. You can buy fast-track entrance tickets for the Colosseum and for the Vatican Museums.
- Start bright and early. You have more chances to find fewer crowds if you start your sightseeing early in the morning. Obviously, museums and landmarks are not going to be open at 6 am, but if you are there half an hour before opening time, there will be fewer people waiting. On the other hand, if you want to take better pictures of landmarks like Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish Steps, or Piazza Navona, since they are not ticketed attractions, you can get there as early as the sun rises.
What to eat in Rome in spring
- Artichokes. Very popular in Rome, when you see them on the menu, don’t forget to order them either made Roman style “alla romana” or Kosher style “alla giudìa“.
- Puntarelle. Crunchy and delicious salad that in Rome is served marinated in oil, vinegar, and anchovies.
- Vignarola pasta. This is a pasta dish typical of spring because it’s made with all the produce of this season from fava beans to green peas.
- Abbacchio con patate. This is the lamb baked with potatoes.
- Abbacchio a scottadito. Crispy grilled lamb ribs.
- Gelato. Even though gelato in Rome is an institution all year round, with the beginning of the warm season enjoying this fresh treat becomes even more pleasant. Always choose it artisan, all-natural, and made with seasonal ingredients that this time of the year are rich in fruits.
Don’t miss our article on the main foods from Rome to try during your trip.
What to pack for Rome in spring
- Travel documents. National ID for EU nationals, passport and visa for citizens extra EU.
- Sunscreen. From April, you will find some days when the sun bites quite strong so a sunscreen with medium to high SPF is recommended depending on your skin.
- Backpack. For wandering around the city but especially for day trips, a backpack is a good idea to carry your belongings such as a bottle of water.
- Crossbody bag. A smaller crossbody bag is better than a backpack inside the city because in some landmarks, backpacks are not allowed.
- Swimwear. If you think you will go to the beach, a swimwear is something light and easy to pack but that will save you time and money so that you don’t have to buy one here.
- Sunglasses. Much needed from spring through summer and even fall in Rome!
- Reusable travel bottle. This is always a good idea to bring because tap water in Rome is safe to drink and easily available from the hundreds of nasoni fountains scattered around the city center.
- Safety clothes. When walking in crowded places and streets, and when using public transport, placing your money, cards, and phone hidden in some safe pockets is a good idea because high tourist seasons are a party for pickpockets.
What to wear in spring in Rome
Deciding what to wear in Rome in spring depends on when you are traveling. Of course, if you are visiting end of March, you won’t be wearing the same clothes than in May or June. Here,
- Walking shoes/sandals. Whether you are using sandals or sneakers, make sure you pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes because you will be walking a lot in Rome.
- T-shirts. From May on, T-shirts are pretty much all you will want to wear.
- Long-sleeve tops. Especially between March and April, but also on the first half of May, long-sleeve tops might be needed on cold-ish days or in the evening.
- Shorts. Late spring in Rome can be also the time for shorts.
- Cotton/linen trousers. Light spring trousers are a good choice because great even if it’s hot and they are more suitable than shorts or miniskirts if you are visiting the Vatican or other churches.
- Skirts/dresses. This are very comfortable for women walking around the city. If they are knee length and the shoulders are covered, they are OK also to enter the church.
- Spring jackets. You never know when it’s a breezy evening or a colder day than usual, so a light spring outer garment like a men’s or women’s travel jacket is a good thing to pack if you have some extra room.
- Shawl. When it’s windy or if the air-conditioning of a restaurant is too strong, I wear a shawl to protect my neck and shoulders.