When you’re dreaming of a winter getaway, typically your mind wanders to places exuding warmth and hospitality. Though a tropical vacation is always recommended, winter is actually one of the best times of year to visit your bucket list destinations since the crowds are more manageable. If you have been spending countless hours scrolling through travel blogs trying to catch a glimpse of someone else’s perfect winter getaway, now is the time to curate a social media feed that elicits envy in others for a change!
Pack your bags and book a flight to Rome… winter is one of the best times of year to immerse yourself in ancient architecture, follow cobblestone streets into hidden neighborhoods, and become the traveler you’ve always wanted to be.
Get Out Your Camera for These Must-See Landmarks
Once you’ve booked your flights to Rome in the winter, you’ll quickly realize why it’s one of the best times to visit Rome! Planning your trip here is relatively easy, as most of your itinerary is going to revolve around the breathtaking landmarks found throughout this historic city. From the Colosseum to the Pantheon and everything in between, you’re going to want to hit every major destination to get the most out of your trip. Before you board the plane, be sure to pack light layers for your winter getaway. Temperatures in Rome during the winter months are typically mild, though they tend to drop off when nighttime rolls around. It’s best to pack essential items like jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and a good pair of sneakers before you jet-set across the world. This helps you remain comfortable during extended periods of walking and exploration.
Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill
You cannot visit Rome without stopping over at the Colosseum. Opened in 80 A.D., the Colosseum was a staple in ancient Roman society as the infamous gladiator battles were held here. When visiting Rome during peak tourist seasons, such as spring and summer, it is nearly impossible to gain entrance to the Colosseum without waiting in line for several hours first. By choosing to plan your Italian getaway for the calmer winter months, you avoid the line and the abundance of stress that accompanies it. Insider tip: purchase your tickets to the Colosseum in advance by stopping over at the Roman Forum on your first day in the city. Tickets purchased at the Roman Forum include admittance to the Forum itself, the Colosseum, and Palatine Hill. This saves you time and money and allows you to visit three of the most important Roman landmarks with one ticket.
If you’re really wanting to beat the crowds, wait and tour the Colosseum at night. The night crowd is generally much smaller, and you’re provided with a unique experience that is ripe with photo taking opportunities. Enjoy the dazzling lights of the city as you walk through the pathways that led gladiators out into the thick of the action. Travelers who enjoy an in-depth historical experience should opt into a guided tour of the Colosseum as this provides more information than a self-guided tour.
An architectural marvel, the Pantheon was erected in 120 A.D. and originally served as a temple for the Romans. Visiting the Pantheon is free for all travelers, which makes it the perfect afternoon destination when you’re looking for something to do before settling in for a lengthy Italian dinner. The Pantheon is a sight to behold as its looming structure and finely crafted detail are some of the most notable in the world. Be sure to get out your camera and snap a few shots of the exterior and interior of the Pantheon before taking a few moments to silently observe this historic beauty.
Your dreams will be filled with the magic that is the Trevi Fountain after you’ve made an obligatory stop at this Roman landmark during your winter getaway. Wrap yourself up in your favorite cardigan and spend a chilly morning enjoying the sights and sounds of the city as you take a seat on the lip of the fountain. Ornately carved with mythological characters, the Trevi Fountain is like something out of a fairy tale. Spend a few relaxing moments listening to the trickle of the water and gaze into the finely crafted details of the face of Oceanus.
There is nothing dreamier than a long winter afternoon spent in the halls of an art museum. The Vatican Museums in Rome are home to some of the most impressive feats of artistic expression, including the Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo in the early 1500s. Grab yourself an espresso and sip silently on your coffee as you study various paintings and sculptures found throughout the labyrinthine museums. Tickets may be purchased in advance or upon arrival.
Live Like a Local in this Hidden Neighborhood
Scrolling through Instagram brings about feelings of envy and wanderlust, especially when you’re browsing through the page of someone who lives in Rome. To provide yourself with a truly exclusive experience, make your way down the enchanting cobblestone streets to the Quartiere Coppedè neighborhood. Tucked away in the Trieste district, the Quartiere Coppedè is the perfect place to spend a day entirely to yourself. Buildings in this neighborhood are decorated with vibrantly painted designs, intricate stone carvings, and spacious balconies looking out onto the square. You’ll feel as though you have stepped into a different dimension as you make your way further into this secret neighborhood.
Every corner of Quartiere Coppedè is decorated with whimsical features and designs, making this the ultimate place to live like you’re a local, especially since most people are unaware of this beloved place. Keep your eyes peeled to ensure you don’t miss any of the surrounding details as you stroll through these charming streets.
Devote a Day to This One-Stop Destination
Planning the last day of your trip is always difficult as you want to see everything you’ve missed so far. Since there is never enough time to discover every secret a city has to tell, make the most of your winter vacation and spend your last day in Rome at the Villa Borghese Gardens. This one-stop destination provides visitors with rolling green spaces and solitude, which are often welcome after spending numerous days traversing the architectural landmarks. Villa Borghese Gardens spans over 200 acres and houses several different pathways and trails for you to aimlessly wander down as you enjoy the warmth of the Italian sun. Fountains, sculptures, and flower gardens are dotted throughout the Villa Borghese Gardens, and there is something delightful to find around every corner.
In addition to the stunning gardens themselves, the Villa Borghese contains two different artistic attractions as well: The Gallery of National Modern Art and the Borghese Gallery. Combine picturesque garden views with a few hours of art exploration before treating yourself to one final slice of pizza before you head to the airport.
Have you been to any of these places in Rome? Let us know in the comments below!