Christmas in Rome

Venice Square Christmas Tree RomeChristmas in Rome? A magnificent idea: the eternal city is far from quiet and sleepy even in Christmas time! Of course the Romans, too, calm down for Christmas, go to the Christmas mass and spend some quiet time in family, but usually that’s just on the 25th December: any other day there’s a lot going on in Rome.

First of all, there’s the famous Navona Square Christmas market which is an absolute must! That’s where you can find anything that has to do with the Roman Christmas: decorations, sweets, entertainment, and plenty of atmosphere… And if you still have some Christmas shopping to do and the market is not enough, you can have a look at the shops on Via del Corso, one of the main shopping streets of Rome, close by.

On Christmas Eve most people, even locals, go out for dinner: the menu is usually fish, in the large senPope and Cristmas in the Vaticanse, meaning any kinds of sea food. You should definitely try the “spaghetti alle vongole�, clams swimming in butter and garlic… On Christmas Day the restaurants are probably going to be a bit less crowded, since most of the Romans organise huge luncheons for the whole family at home! Anyway, don’t worry: many restaurants have a special Christmas menu for those who prefer eating out. And don’t make any plans after lunch: you’re probably not going to able to walk or even think after a 6-7 course Italian feast lunch…

And when your material need have been fulfilled, you’re going to want to calm down and feel the spirit of the Christmas. You shouldn’t miss the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass! Even if you’re not all that religious, it’s a beautiful experience of music and joy, and In Rome there is any number of wonderful ancient churches to choose from as the venue. Most tourists head for Saint Peter’s or the Pantheon, but small chuNavona Square Christmas Market in Romerches like the age-old Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill or Santa Maria in Cosmedin close to the Venice Square can be less crowded and at least as beautiful!

In the following days you can for example see some of the museums: the Vatican Museum of course, and maybe the enormous Capitoline Museum on Piazza del Campidoglio, or the smaller and more concrete Crypta Balbi (a must for those interested in the Roman Empire), and the masterpiece-filled Borghese Gallery.

As for practical matters, you can use these links to book your hotel in Rome, to find information about museum opening hours and locations or about guided Rome city tours.

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