Rome is a city that is beautiful all year round, but during the Christmas season, it becomes even more magical. The streets are decorated with lights, and the aroma of freshly baked panettone fills the air. In this article, we will explore what to do in Rome at Christmas, from visiting the famous Christmas markets to attending midnight mass at the Vatican.
Exploring the Christmas Markets
One of the most popular things to do in Rome during Christmas is to visit the Christmas markets. The markets are filled with vendors selling handmade crafts, local food, and traditional Christmas gifts. The most famous market in Rome is the Piazza Navona Christmas Market. Here you will find a wide variety of gifts, from nativity scenes to handcrafted jewelry. The market also features a carousel and a small ice-skating rink.
Admiring the Christmas Lights
Rome is known for its beautiful architecture, and during the Christmas season, the city’s buildings are adorned with stunning Christmas lights. The most famous place to see the lights is on Via del Corso. This street is lined with shops and is one of the busiest shopping areas in Rome. The lights make the street even more festive, and it’s the perfect place to take a stroll and do some Christmas shopping.
Attending Midnight Mass at the Vatican
For many people, attending midnight mass at the Vatican is the highlight of their Christmas in Rome. The mass is held in St. Peter’s Basilica and is presided over by the Pope. The mass is broadcasted live on television worldwide, and many people gather in St. Peter’s Square to watch the mass on large screens. If you want to attend the mass, you will need to request tickets in advance.
Tips for Attending Midnight Mass
If you plan to attend midnight mass at the Vatican, here are some tips to help you make the most out of your experience:
- Arrive early: The mass is a popular event, and people begin queuing early in the day to secure a good spot.
- – Dress appropriately: The Vatican is a religious site, and you should dress modestly and respectfully.
- – Bring snacks and water: The mass can last several hours, so it’s a good idea to bring snacks and water to keep you comfortable.
- – Be prepared for security: The Vatican has strict security measures in place, so be prepared to go through security checks before entering the basilica.
Enjoying a Christmas Dinner
One of the best ways to experience the Christmas season in Rome is by enjoying a traditional Christmas dinner. Many restaurants in Rome offer a special Christmas menu that features local dishes like stuffed pasta, roasted lamb, and panettone. One of the best places to enjoy a Christmas dinner is in the Trastevere neighborhood. This area is known for its traditional Roman cuisine and cozy atmosphere.
Rome is a city that is beautiful all year round, but during the Christmas season, it becomes even more magical. From exploring the Christmas markets to attending midnight mass at the Vatican, there are many things to do in Rome at Christmas. With this guide, you’ll be able to experience the best of what the city has to offer during the festive season.