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Rome in December: A bad idea?

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Rome in December: A bad idea?

Good morning!

Many times, my husband and I have tried to plan a trip from London to Rome but have struggled to do so. The idea of traveling to Rome over the Christmas holidays in London in December came up last night. What we're wondering is, for two people who have a keen interest on seeing and experiencing everything, including a full day in the Vatican, how bad of an idea (I realize this is probably a stupid, stupid question) is it to travel to Rome in December? This is the only time of year we will have extended time off to travel. If it's unwise, I think we'll have to save it for 2015.

Any and all suggestions, including information on what exactly is closed (including public transportation), would be great.

I am unsure of my dates, but I am guessing mid to late December is the time frame we are working with.

Thank you!

Sonali

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1. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

I did a similar trip in 2011:

…travelpod.com/travel-blog/…tpod.html

The museums close early but we still enjoyed them. The best thing is theyre less crowded. I've heard horror stories about the Louvre and Versailles being too crowded in the summer but in December the crowd level is just right.

The Christmas atmosphere is amazing. The decorations, the lights, nativity scenes. Other than the cold, December is an excellent time to visit Europe.

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2. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

Public transport in London does not operate on Christmas Day. In Rome, it operates every day of the year.

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3. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

I'd say you have a great idea! Rome over the Christmas holiday season is wonderful. Personally, I love Christmas in Rome. There is a holiday market in Piazza Navona, the streets are decorated with little lights, there are Christmas trees in the major piazzas, the churches bring out their creches ... all in all, pretty magical!

And, there's plenty to do and plenty of places open for dining. Here's some threads from last year:

tripadvisor.com/…54820424

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187791-i22-k70223…

tripadvisor.com/…54240590

Edited: 14 April 2014, 12:06
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4. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

Thanks for the help so far. I live in London, so not worried about London transport in December...Strange that I've tried to change my hometown on TA and it never updates!

We are mostly concerned with the major sites and museum closures. Is there a way I can figure out which particular sites will be closed during the Christmas holidays? We are keen to stay in an apartment, so not too stressed about restaurants. In a pinch, we can fix ourselves something to eat!

We'd just hate to go on the trip of our dreams and have most of the things we'd like to see be closed. Thanks for the tips...

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5. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

Well, don't plan on touring the Vatican Museums on Christmas Day, or the Colosseo complex, or the Galleria Borghese.

But those days are wonderful for strolling the great piazzas, wandering the streets looking at fountains and architecture, popping into the churches, wandering through a great park like the one around Villa Borghese, and soaking in the city. And, if you look through one of the threads I gave you, you'll see that last year the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage announced that various museums and sites would observe "extraordinary openings" on Christmas Day -- in Rome one such museum was the Villa Giulia, full of Etruscan treasures. Here's the thread:

tripadvisor.com/…54820424

No guaranty this will happen in 2014, but there is always plenty to see out and about on Christmas Day, just walking and visiting the churches, which will be decorated for the holiday season.

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6. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

I'm also planning my first trip to Italy in Rome 2 weeks, but I would go in June. I am gathering some information about the city and places to visit. First I would like to visit the Vatican Museums, you can consult on this site times of the museum

museivaticani.va/3_EN/…MV_Info_Orari.html.

As soon as I have more information to add, you can also do the same thing.

thanks

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7. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

yea, museums are closed in december but it would be a great time to just stroll and observe the locals' habit on that day. in 2011, we were in verona Dec 24-25. on Dec 24, we went to mass. we couldn't understand because the service was in italian but it was great to experience christmas like a local. on 25th, everything was closed so we strolled through time, observed the locals go to their neighbours or families.

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8. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

We went to Rome two years ago, from December 28 to January 6 and it is still my favorite trip to Rome. As SpanishSteps has said, the creches, trees, etc. are beautiful and the atmosphere is just great. (the weather wasn't too bad, either, though that, of course, can vary.) We had no trouble finding open museums, though Christmas day would be different, of course. friends of ours went about the same time and we still talk about what a wonderful time it was to be there.

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9. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

Almost everything is closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The Vatican Museums are also closed on the 26th, but almost everything else is open. Transportation stops early on Christmas Eve, and is greatly reduced on Christmas Day. Other than those general rules, I think you have to look up individual museums and archaeological sites to see what their closing polices are. There's much more open than there is in London, where most museums are closed for three days surrounding Christmas.

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10. Re: Rome in December: A bad idea?

We were in Rome in December a year ago, though not for Christmas week itself, and the lights and atmosphere were wonderful. I would actually love to go when things are closed for a day or two, because it would make me slow down and just walk, relax, and enjoy the beauty. Anytime I'm in Rome (or London, or anywhere overseas), I'm pushing to get everything done and go everywhere while it's open. But one of the glories of Rome is just the atmosphere and the beautiful walks.

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