5 Reasons to Visit Rome in Autumn

September 15, 2014
Enrico Catani

Are you planning a trip to Rome in autumn? Great idea! Autumn – which in Italy starts September 23rd and lasts until December 21st – is one of the best times to visit the Eternal City and its treasures.
During this magical period the landscape of Rome is tinged with beautiful autumn colors, tourist numbers decrease and you will have the opportunity to wander through the historic centre avoiding crowds and annoying queues. Although considered off-season by most travelers, the fall provides visitors with lots of exciting eXPeriences and things to do.
So for those who are wondering why it might be worth visiting Rome during autumn, here is a list of 5 awesome reasons, brought you by ItalyXP!

Pleasant weather

One of the nicest features about Rome in early and mid-autumn would definitely be the weather. As the summer heat slowly flows away, the days are blessed by a warm pleasant wheatear, with temperatures that are much more comfortable than those of July and August.
The month of September tend to be quite warm in Rome, almost like a prolonged summer. In October the weather typically turns spectacular: mild during the day and pleasantly cool at night! November and December are a bit colder, but although there might be more rainy days, also those months offer plenty of sunshine!
There is no doubt that Rome, considering its geographical position, tends to boast an idyllic weather in autumn: not sweltering hot and not freezing cold.  That means that this period, unlike the summer, is just perfect to take nice, long walks through the picturesque streets of the historic centre, without worrying about dehydration, or having to find shade and air-conditioning.
That’s the ideal time also for a nice tour of Rome by bike, for those who enjoy explore the city on 2 wheels, or a fun-filled tour by Segway, to discover the treasures of Ancient Rome from a unique point of view!

Delicious seasonal food

Autumn is coming in Italy, and with the lowering of temperature the diet changes drastically, and flavors get much earthier and richer.
Rome is a city rich in culinary traditions, and its recipes change depending on what produce is available during each season. Luckily, autumn is the best time for gourmet food lovers! In fact, this is the harvest season, when a lot of delicacies that grow in the ground are being harvested. Olives and grapes, for example, are harvested in the autumn to make olive oil and wine, and participating in a harvest - or even just in a tasting session of the result! - is a great eXPerience.
Wondering through the colored food markets of the historic centre, such as that of Campo de’ Fiori, you will find the best seasonal products: pumpkins, arugula, broccoli, zucchini, chestnuts and artichokes, which are the main ingredients for several Roman recipes.
But the stars of the show have to be truffles and porcini mushrooms, which are also harvested in the fall. Not only you can find lots of mushrooms in the markets, penetrating the air with their aroma, but most of the restaurants in Rome will feature them in traditional, delicious dishes. Let’s just say that your trip to Rome wouldn’t be completed without trying a plate of tagliatelle with truffles… Although pricier than a carbonara, this recipe isworth tasting once. At least.
Also, if you’re in Rome during these months you’ll find lots of Food Festivals dedicated to autumn produce, generally held in the surrounding towns.

Fewer crowds and lower costs

For most tourists this is the main reason to choose autumn as the ideal period for their holiday: the prices and the crowds go down from the yearly high in July and August. And finally, in September, resorts start to be not so crowded and accommodation prices are significantly reduced.
However, although many consider autumn off-season, you must consider that in a touristic city such as Rome the high season runs into the whole autumn, until December. However, compared to the crowds of summer, visiting Rome in autumn will give you the opportunity to explore the main attractions of the historic centre in some tranquility, meeting locals and having a more authentic eXPerience. Also, as we said, you could take advantage of lower hotel rates and airfares – even though is always better to book those in advance.
Let’s be honest, Rome will never be tourist-free and you’ll never be the only one in Piazza Navona or in the Trevi Fountain. But at least, during the autumn months you will avoid those long, annoying queues that can last hours. The fall is the ideal time to enjoy a tour of the Vatican City or a tour of the Colosseum, for example, which are locations that normally become unbearably crowded during other periods. On top of that, it is possible to take your time browsing at museums and galleries to admire the art collections in serenity, avoiding tidal waves of tourists.
Also, as we’ve mentioned earlier, another feature of this period is that hotels and airlines tend to lower their rates – which implies also better seat options in the plane and better room selections at the hotel.

Autumn festival and cultural events

Here is a very good reason that most tourist – unfortunately – ignore: in the fall season, the so-called “sagre” or festivals celebrating a local food or wine, spring up all over Rome and its surroundings. Those events represent a fantastic way to eXPerience the local specialties and gastronomic culture of Italy. And from September until December, there will be festival for every taste with a rich schedule of events that celebrate typical products such as wine, chestnuts, chocolate, truffles, porcini mushrooms, artichokes, polenta, even wild boar meat!
Also, autumn is the time when many theaters and performance groups put on their shows, and it also signs the opening of opera season, so we would suggest checking out for performance schedules or art exhibitions in Rome. On top of that, autumn is also a time when there are many culture, music, and even movie festivals to go to, some of which are even free: an ideal way for a full immersion in the world-known art of Italy.
Furthermore, let’s not forget that around the first week of December, Rome starts decorating its historic centre for Christmas and there will be lots of brightly-colored Christmas markets, as well as set up of the nativity scene in the squares or the churches.

Gorgeous fall colors

The air begins to be crispier, the days are getting shorter, the smells around us change and the summer heat once for all leaves the place to the early autumn rains
But most importantly, the streets of Rome get dotted with red and yellow leaves, and the entire city becomes beautifully tinged, showing off a breathtaking autumn-colored landscape. And there is need to go to a wooded national park to admire this: even the historic centre of the city, especially the area along the Tevere River, is a feast for the eyes. Rome’s landscapes, but also those of the small towns in its surroundings, are especially beautiful when decorated by the autumn colorful foliage. Taking a walk in the heart of the Eternal City in this period is always a good idea for those who want to appreciate some romantic, inspiring atmosphere, with terrific pictures opportunities!
You’ve probably already seen tons of photos of the beautiful fall colors in Rome, amazed by how spectacular it all looked… But we have to admit that no picture can do it justice. The autumn in Rome has to be seen in person, in order for the essence of this prettiness to be truly enjoyed!

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