5-Day Family Christmas Holiday Itinerary in Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

5 days

Illuminated Christmas tree in Piazza di Spagna at night
Piazza Venezia square in during the Christmas holidays
Piazza Navona during Christmas time.
Vatican city
Colosseum in Rome at Christmas

About Rome, Italy

Experience the timeless allure of Rome, Italy's captivating capital. Walk through centuries of history at iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. Marvel at the Vatican City, home to St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, showcasing Michelangelo's masterpieces. Wander through charming piazzas, like Piazza Navona and Piazza di Spagna, and indulge in authentic Italian cuisine at local trattorias. Explore the vibrant Trastevere neighborhood, known for its bohemian atmosphere and nightlife. Don't forget to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain, ensuring your return to this eternal city. Whether you're a history buff, foodie, or art lover, Rome offers an unforgettable journey into the heart of Italian culture.

5-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Ancient Rome and Christmas Market at Piazza Navona

Morning

Start your day by visiting the iconic Colosseum. This ancient amphitheater is a must-see for its historical significance and architectural grandeur. It's especially magical in the morning light.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Italian lunch in a family-friendly restaurant in the Monti district, known for its local eateries.

Afternoon

After lunch, head to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. These sites offer a glimpse into the lives of ancient Romans and provide stunning views of the city.

Dinner

Have dinner in Trastevere, a charming neighborhood known for its narrow cobbled streets and traditional Roman trattorias.

Evening

End your day with a stroll around Piazza Navona, which is beautifully lit up during the Christmas season. Don't miss the Christmas market here.

Morning

Visit the Vatican City in the morning. Explore St. Peter's Basilica and its stunning square. Don't forget to check out the Christmas nativity scene and the Christmas tree.

Lunch

Have lunch in a cozy restaurant in the Borgo district, which is close to the Vatican City.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Vatican Museums, home to a vast collection of art and historical artifacts. The Sistine Chapel is a must-see.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner in the Prati district, known for its wide variety of restaurants.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the Christmas market at Piazza del Popolo. The square is beautifully decorated and offers a variety of festive activities for the whole family.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Pantheon, a remarkable ancient Roman temple. Then, take a leisurely stroll to the nearby Trevi Fountain.

Lunch

Have lunch in a restaurant in the Pigna district, which is known for its traditional Italian cuisine.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Capitoline Museums, which house a vast collection of art and artifacts from ancient Rome.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner in the Rione X Campitelli district, known for its authentic Roman cuisine.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the Christmas market at Piazza di Spagna. The Spanish Steps are beautifully lit up during the festive season.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Baths of Caracalla, one of the largest and best preserved ancient thermal complexes. Then, head to the nearby Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium.

Lunch

Have lunch in a family-friendly restaurant in the Aventino district, which is close to the Circus Maximus.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Ostia Antica, a large archaeological site that was once the harbor city of ancient Rome.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner in the Ostiense district, known for its trendy restaurants and vibrant nightlife.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the Christmas market at Piazza Venezia. The square is beautifully decorated and offers a variety of festive activities for the whole family.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Villa Borghese, a large landscape garden containing several buildings, museums, and attractions. Don't miss the Borghese Gallery, which houses a vast collection of art.

Lunch

Have lunch in a restaurant in the Pinciano district, which is close to the Villa Borghese.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Bioparco di Roma, one of the oldest zoological gardens in Italy. It's a great place for families with children.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner in the Salario district, known for its wide variety of restaurants.

Evening

End your trip with a visit to the Christmas market at Piazza della Repubblica. The square is beautifully lit up and offers a variety of festive activities for the whole family.

Attractions in Itinerary (20)

Colosseum

1
Colosseum

The largest ancient amphitheater ever built, and still standing, the Colosseum is arguably the most impressive building of the Roman Empire.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Tours
Architecture
Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

2
Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

The Roman Forum is an iconic archaeological site in Rome with ruins of ancient government buildings. Palatine Hill is one of the most ancient parts of the city, steeped in mythology and history.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
Piazza Navona

3
Piazza Navona

One of the most famous and arguably the most beautiful of Rome's many squares. The large and lively square features no less than three magnificent fountains.

Attractions
Landmarks
Tours
Architecture
Vatican City

4
Vatican City

Vatican City is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome. It's home to St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.

Attractions
Monuments
Museums
Religious Sites
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
St. Peter's Basilica

5
St. Peter's Basilica

One of the largest churches in the world, a renowned work of Renaissance architecture and one of the holiest Catholic shrines.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Tours
Architecture
Religious Sites
Vatican Museums

6
Vatican Museums

One of the world's largest museum complexes, containing some of the most significant classical sculptures and Renaissance works of art.

Attractions
Museums
Tours
Cultural Experiences
Sistine Chapel

7
Sistine Chapel

A chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. It is famous for its Renaissance frescoes, which include works by Michelangelo.

Attractions
Museums
Tours
Cultural Experiences
Religious Sites
Piazza del Popolo

8
Piazza del Popolo

A large urban square in Rome. The name in modern Italian literally means 'People's Square'. The square has an obelisk of Ramesses II from Heliopolis and two Neoclassical churches.

Attractions
Landmarks
Architecture
Pantheon

9
Pantheon

A former Roman temple, now a church, with a massive dome and ancient Roman architecture.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Religious Sites
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
Trevi Fountain

10
Trevi Fountain

The largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Tours
Architecture
Capitoline Museums

11
Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums are a single museum containing a group of art and archaeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. The historic seats of the museums are Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Piazza di Spagna

12
Piazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna is one of Rome's most famous squares, known for the Spanish Steps, the Barcaccia Fountain, and the Trinità dei Monti church.

Attractions
Landmarks
Neighborhoods
Baths of Caracalla

13
Baths of Caracalla

One of the largest and best preserved ancient thermal complexes, it offers a glimpse into the social life of Roman times.

Attractions
Monuments
Cultural Experiences
Circus Maximus

14
Circus Maximus

An ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue, it is a testament to the grandeur of the Roman Empire.

Attractions
Landmarks
Ostia Antica

15
Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site, close to the modern town of Ostia, that is the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome, 15 miles southwest of Rome. 'Ostia' in Latin means 'mouth'. At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport, but due to silting the site now lies 3 kilometers from the sea.

Attractions
Monuments
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
Piazza Venezia

16
Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia is a major square in Rome, known for its busy traffic and grand buildings. It is located at the foot of the Capitoline Hill and near the Roman Forum.

Attractions
Landmarks
Villa Borghese

17
Villa Borghese

A large public park featuring a lake, temples, fountains, statues and several museums.

Attractions
Museums
Parks
Gardens
Cultural Experiences
Borghese Gallery

An art gallery in Rome, Italy, housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. It is a building that was from the first integral with its gardens and has a rich collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiquities.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Bioparco di Roma

19
Bioparco di Roma

Bioparco di Roma, one of the oldest zoological gardens in Europe, is home to over 200 species of animals. It's a great place for families and nature lovers to explore and learn about wildlife conservation.

Parks
Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Piazza della Repubblica

20
Piazza della Repubblica

Piazza della Repubblica is known for the Fountain of the Naiads, which sits in the center of the piazza. It's a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, offering a glimpse into Rome's rich history and architecture.

Attractions
Landmarks
Architecture

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Pizza al Taglio

Pizza al Taglio

A popular street food in Rome, Pizza al Taglio is a rectangular pizza that is sold by weight. It's a must-try for its variety of toppings and authentic Roman style.

Carbonara

Carbonara

A classic Roman pasta dish made with egg, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale (pork jowl), and black pepper. It's a staple in Roman cuisine.

Supplì

Supplì

These are Italian snacks made of risotto, usually filled with mozzarella, coated with bread crumbs and then deep-fried. They are a popular appetizer in Rome.

Cacio e Pepe

Another classic Roman pasta dish, Cacio e Pepe is made with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper. It's simple yet full of flavor.

Saltimbocca alla Romana

Saltimbocca alla Romana

A traditional Roman main course, Saltimbocca alla Romana is made of veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage, and marinated in wine, oil or saltwater.

Roman Artichokes

Artichokes are a staple in Roman cuisine. They are usually fried (Carciofi alla Giudia) or braised with herbs and garlic (Carciofi alla Romana).

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

A popular Italian starter, Bruschetta is grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with diced tomatoes, fresh basil, and sometimes mozzarella.

Gelato

Gelato

Gelato is Italian ice cream and is a must-try when in Rome. It's denser and milkier than regular ice cream and comes in a variety of flavors.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

A classic Italian dessert, Tiramisu is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, and flavored with cocoa.

Espresso

Espresso

When in Rome, trying an Espresso is a must. It's a concentrated form of coffee served in small amounts.

Negroni

Negroni

A popular Italian cocktail, Negroni is made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel.

Prosecco

Prosecco

Prosecco is a sparkling white wine from Italy. It's a popular choice for aperitivo (pre-dinner drink) in Rome.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Rome, Italy is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September and October) when the weather is comfortably warm. During these periods, the city is less crowded with tourists compared to the summer months, allowing you to explore the city's attractions at a more leisurely pace. The off-peak season, particularly in November and early December, can also be a good time to visit if you prefer cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. However, keep in mind that some attractions may have shorter opening hours during these months.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 6

Sat

Epiphany

March 31

Sun

Easter Sunday

April 1

Mon

Easter Monday

April 25

Thu

Liberation Day

May 1

Wed

Labor Day / May Day

June 2

Sun

Republic Day

August 15

Thu

Assumption of Mary

November 1

Fri

All Saints' Day

December 8

Sun

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

December 26

Thu

St. Stephen's Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Rome's public transportation system includes buses, trams, metro (subway), and suburban trains. The metro has three lines (A, B, and C) that can take you to many of the city's main attractions. Buses and trams cover the entire city and are a good option for reaching places not served by the metro.

Taxis are plentiful in Rome and can be hailed on the street, found at taxi stands, or called by phone. All official taxis are white and have a 'TAXI' sign on the roof. They are metered, so the cost will depend on the distance and time of travel.

Ridesharing services like Uber are available in Rome. They can be a convenient option for getting around, especially if you're not familiar with the city's public transportation system. However, they can be more expensive than taxis or public transportation.

Rome has several bike rental companies, and the city is increasingly becoming more bike-friendly with the addition of bike lanes. Biking can be a fun and active way to explore the city, but be aware that Rome's hilly terrain and chaotic traffic can be challenging.

Renting a car can give you the freedom to explore Rome at your own pace. However, driving in Rome can be stressful due to heavy traffic, narrow streets, and limited parking. Additionally, the city center is a restricted traffic zone (ZTL) where only authorized vehicles are allowed.

Many of Rome's attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially in the historic city center. Walking can be a pleasant way to explore the city, but be prepared for cobblestone streets and occasional lack of sidewalks.

Renting a scooter can be a fun and efficient way to get around Rome. However, this option is best for those who are experienced in riding scooters and comfortable navigating Rome's busy streets.

Private tours, often with a chauffeur, can be a comfortable and convenient way to see Rome's sights. These can be customized to your interests and typically include pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation.

Hop-on hop-off bus tours are a popular way to see Rome's main attractions. These double-decker buses follow a specific route and you can get on and off as many times as you like at the designated stops.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency€ EUR

Time zoneUTC+1

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 112, 118; Fire: 112, 115; Police: 112, 113;

Drinking waterYes, but some opt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type FPower socket type L

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Rome, Italy as a first time visitor

1

Rome is a busy city, so be prepared for crowds, especially during peak tourist season (April to June, September and October).

2

Pickpocketing can be a problem in crowded areas and on public transportation, so always keep an eye on your belongings.

3

The city is very walkable, but it also has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro.

4

Tipping is not customary in Italy, but you can leave a small amount if you receive exceptional service.

5

Many shops and restaurants close for a few hours in the afternoon for 'riposo', similar to the Spanish siesta.

6

It's common to pay a small cover charge ('coperto') in restaurants, which is not a tip but a charge for the bread and service.

7

Rome's tap water is safe to drink and there are numerous public fountains where you can refill your water bottle for free.

8

It's considered rude to order a cappuccino after 11 am, as Italians typically only drink it for breakfast.

9

Most museums and attractions are closed on Mondays.

10

Rome can be very hot in the summer, with temperatures often exceeding 86°F (30°C), and very cold in the winter, with temperatures often dropping below 32°F (0°C).

11

It's customary to greet people with a handshake, or two kisses on the cheek (starting from the left) for friends.

12

Italians are generally relaxed about dress code, but you should dress modestly when visiting religious sites.

13

Many Romans speak English, especially in the city center and tourist areas, but learning a few basic Italian phrases can be helpful.

14

The voltage in Italy is 220-240 Volts, so you may need a converter if your devices use a different voltage.

15

The currency in Italy is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always a good idea to carry some cash.

16

Pharmacies in Rome are marked by a green cross and are the best place to go for minor health issues.

17

Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places in Italy, including bars and restaurants.

18

Rome is in the Central European Time Zone (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1).

19

Emergency numbers in Italy are 112 for general emergencies, 113 for police, 118 for medical emergencies, and 115 for fire.

20

Public restrooms can be hard to find in Rome, and many charge a small fee. Restaurants and cafes often reserve their restrooms for customers.

Basic Italian to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

Ciao

Chow

Greeting someone

Goodbye

Arrivederci

Ah-ree-veh-der-chee

Saying goodbye

Please

Per favore

Pehr fah-voh-reh

Making a request

Thank you

Grazie

Graht-see-eh

Expressing gratitude

Yes

See

Agreeing or confirming

No

No

No

Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me

Mi scusi

Mee skoo-zee

Getting attention or apologizing

I'm sorry

Mi dispiace

Mee dee-spya-che

Apologizing

Do you speak English?

Parli inglese?

Par-lee in-gleh-zeh?

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

Non capisco

Non ka-pee-sko

Expressing confusion

Where is the bathroom?

Dove è il bagno?

Doh-veh eh il bahn-yo?

Asking for directions

How much does it cost?

Quanto costa?

Kwan-toh kos-ta?

Asking the price of something

I would like...

Vorrei...

Voh-rey...

Making a request

Help!

Aiuto!

Aye-oo-toh!

In an emergency

Can I have the bill, please?

Posso avere il conto, per favore?

Pos-soh ah-veh-reh il kon-toh, pehr fah-voh-reh?

Asking for the bill in a restaurant

Good morning

Buongiorno

Bwon-jor-no

Greeting someone in the morning

Good evening

Buonasera

Bwoh-na-seh-ra

Greeting someone in the evening

Good night

Buonanotte

Bwoh-na-not-teh

Saying goodnight

I'm lost

Mi sono perso

Mee soh-noh pehr-so

Asking for help with directions

Can you help me?

Puoi aiutarmi?

Pwoy aye-oo-tar-mee?

Asking for help

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Underwear (5 pairs)

  • Socks (5 pairs)

  • T-shirts (5)

  • Long-sleeve shirts (2)

  • Jeans or comfortable pants (2 pairs)

  • Shorts (2 pairs, if weather permits)

  • Dress or formal outfit (1, for special occasions)

  • Sleepwear (1 set)

  • Swimsuit (1, if you plan to swim)

  • Comfortable walking shoes (1 pair)

  • Sandals or flip-flops (1 pair, if weather permits)

  • Jacket or sweater (1, for cooler evenings)

  • Raincoat or umbrella (1, in case of rain)

  • Hat or cap (1, for sun protection)

  • Sunglasses (1 pair)

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel-size first aid kit

  • Prescription medications

  • Contact lenses and solution (if needed)

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (Euros)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and tour reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Map of Rome

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones or earbuds

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Universal travel adapter

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Books or e-books for leisure reading

  • Travel guidebook for Rome

  • Italian phrasebook or language app

  • Notebook and pen

  • Reusable shopping bag

Weather Conditions

When visiting Rome, Italy, it's important to be aware of the city's Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. During the summer months, from June to August, temperatures can reach highs of 86°F (30°C) during the day. It's advisable to stay hydrated and wear light, breathable clothing to stay comfortable. Don't forget to apply sunscreen regularly, especially if you're planning to spend a lot of time outdoors exploring the city's historical sites. The winter months, from December to February, are generally mild with temperatures ranging from 37°F to 57°F (3°C to 14°C). It's a good idea to pack a warm coat, as well as an umbrella or raincoat, as this is when Rome receives most of its rainfall. Spring and autumn are considered the best times to visit Rome. The weather during these seasons is typically mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C). These periods also tend to be less crowded with tourists, making it easier to explore the city. Regardless of when you visit, remember that weather can be unpredictable. It's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Also, keep in mind that many of Rome's attractions are outdoors, so be prepared for any weather conditions.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

13° / 3°

January is the coldest month in Rome, with occasional rain and snow. It's a great time to visit if you prefer fewer crowds and cooler temperatures.

February

14° / 4°

February is still quite chilly, but the days are getting longer. It's a good time to visit museums and historical sites.

March

18° / 6°

March sees the beginning of spring, with temperatures starting to rise. The city starts to bloom, making it a beautiful time to visit.

April

22° / 8°

April is a pleasant month with moderate temperatures. It's a great time to explore the city on foot.

May

26° / 12°

May is warm and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities. The city is vibrant with flowers and greenery.

June

32° / 16°

June is the start of summer, with long, hot days. It's a great time for beach trips and outdoor dining.

July

35° / 19°

July is the hottest month in Rome, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C. It's a great time to visit if you love the heat and sunshine.

August

35° / 19°

August is equally hot, with many locals leaving the city for vacation. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind the heat and smaller crowds.

September

30° / 16°

September sees the start of autumn, with temperatures starting to drop. It's a great time to visit for comfortable weather and fewer tourists.

October

24° / 12°

October is a pleasant month with moderate temperatures. It's a great time to explore the city on foot.

November

18° / 8°

November is cooler, with shorter days and more rainfall. It's a good time to visit museums and indoor attractions.

December

14° / 4°

December is chilly, but the city is beautifully decorated for Christmas. It's a great time to visit for holiday festivities and shopping.

Did you know?

Did you know that Rome is known as 'The Eternal City' and is almost 3,000 years old?

1 of 10

Places near by Rome, Italy

Tivoli

Tivoli

Home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa.

40m
30 km / 18.6 mi
How to get there
Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica

Ancient Roman port city with well-preserved ruins.

35m
26 km / 16.2 mi
How to get there
Castelli Romani

Castelli Romani

Collection of wine-producing hill-towns.

30m
20 km / 12.4 mi
How to get there
Orvieto

Orvieto

Medieval city known for its Gothic cathedral.

1.5h
120 km / 74.6 mi
How to get there
Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio

A hilltop village accessible only by a pedestrian bridge.

2h
120 km / 74.6 mi
How to get there
Assisi

Assisi

Birthplace of St. Francis, with a stunning basilica.

2.5h
175 km / 108.7 mi
How to get there
Naples

Naples

Vibrant city with rich history, art, and food culture.

2.5h
225 km / 139.8 mi
How to get there
Pompeii

Pompeii

Ancient city preserved under volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius.

3h
250 km / 155.3 mi
How to get there
Florence

Florence

Renaissance city known for its art and architecture.

3h
280 km / 174.0 mi
How to get there
Siena

Siena

Medieval city known for its Palio horse race.

3h
230 km / 142.9 mi
How to get there
Capri

Capri

Island known for its rugged landscape and upscale hotels and shopping.

3.5h
260 km / 161.6 mi
How to get there

Other Destinations in Italy