Rome during Spring and Summer

Spring in Rome can be beautiful.  That said, Rome in March will sometimes reward you with warm, sunny days and nights that occasionally demand a light sweater or jacket. In 2005, however, the temperatures in mid-March dipped below freezing and never got above 50 degrees F during the day. 

In early May, the azaleas are placed along the Spanish Steps, and create a wonderful flurry of color. Through June, the temperatures are warm but bearable, outdoor dining is a pleasure, and for those who enjoy the beach, Fregene and Ostia are short rides away on public transportation.  Fregene, by the way, is the cleaner, less polluted of the two beaches.  Temperatures range from the 70s to 80s Fahrenheit and it is relatively dry.  

Be aware that while Holy Week (which can fall any time between mid-March to late April, depending on the calendar), is a beautiful and sacred celebration in Rome, it is also one of the most crowded times to be in Rome. Spring typically starts the "high season" for accommodation prices.

July and August can be oppressively hot.  A visit in August is not recommended, despite the lure of lower hotel prices.  Romans traditionally take a break from the city during this time, and some businesses (particularly those that do not cater to tourists) and restaurants close shop.  It is called "Ferragosto," the month-long vacation Romans take to beat the heat and head to the Castelli (the hills outside Rome such as Frascati, Albano, and, in the case of the Pope, Castel Gandolfo).  The term actually refers to the Roman Catholic feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated on August 15.  Most sights remain open during August and most restaurants stay open in the historic center, although they may close for a week or so.

Drink plenty of water during the hot months, and despite whatever you heard, the water flowing from any public drinking fountain (from the artistic lion's mouth to the one that look like taller fire-hydrants), is safe, clean and refreshing.

Rome during Autumn and Winter

September is a lovely time to visit Rome, but can be quite warm. In October, temperatures are still warm, generally in the 70s, and the sun creates this golden glow as the day progresses into evening. But you can get sudden and heavy downpours and evening can have a sharp drop in temperatures. Expect "high season" pricing for accommodation during these months.

What should one expect during late fall and winter?  The rainy season starts in November -- be prepared for downpours.  You can watch the Tevere (Tiber) rise along its walled banks, covering the walkways used in the drier months.  This continues pretty much through February (which can be quite rainy), but the weather can be unpredictable.  Since snowstorms in Rome are pretty unusual, moving around the Eternal City covered in snow may take longer.

With the Mediterranean climate, weather patterns can be unpredictable.  There are smaller crowds at this time and it will be just slightly easier getting restaurant reservations or standing in somewhat shorter lines at attractions and museums, except the Vatican Museums, where long lines exist year-round.  Accommodation prices will be lower during this season, excluding the holidays.

Christmas in Rome is lovely. The holiday season is busy, so you may encounter higher accommodation prices over Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Rome Tourist Office info on weather here.