By CHRISTINA OLIVER
You can choose between so many things to see and do in the desirable city of Rome, so why not visit in December? Most of Rome’s main attractions are open before Christmas. Add this with electric and extravagant Christmas lights, bustling and unique Christmas markets, festive events and a selection of luxurious Rome hotels; Rome is the perfect Christmas break. After all, the city is the birth place of the first Christmas celebration!
I have listed my top 5 things to do on your pre-Christmas break to Rome.
1 – Visit the Christmas Market at Piazza Navona
With its stunning ancient location it makes the perfect backdrop for its outdoor market stalls and decorations. Traditional market stalls with unique gift ideas, local sweets and traditional foods light up this beautiful Piazza Navona and create the best festive atmosphere. You must try the traditional Pandoro!
The Piazza Navona is one of, if not, the biggest Christmas market in Rome, however there are lots dotted around the city in December.
2 – Go Ice Skating in an Open Air Ice Rink
There are many open air ice rinks set up in Rome around Christmas time. Wrap up all cosy in your scarfs, gloves and hats (earmuffs for me) and enjoy the festive sport that can be loved by everyone. The bustle of people, in the centre of the beautiful sites of the city and often surrounded by entertainment of musicians and dancers, imagine how much more festive you could feel.
3 – Enjoy the Christmas Lights
So many words can describe Rome’s Christmas lights and decorations in December; pretty, glittery, electric, extravagant, huge, magnificent, traditional. Illuminating the streets of Rome and the historic wonders, Christmas lights, trees, statues and nativity sets bring to life the festive spirit at this time.
4 – See the Pope
If you’re going to see the pope and you make it your mission, then Rome in December is your best opportunity. Midnight Mass is the most popular time to go and catch a glimpse of the pope, however as you can imagine, that’s when everyone tries to get tickets. Quite the challenge and for those lucky enough to get them, it’s very crowded!
There can be other ways to see him during the lead up to Christmas. He has in the past gone to the Spanish steps, normally at about 4pm, and is said to be doing the same this year around the 8th December (date not confirmed or guaranteed).
5 – Visit the Known Attractions
The well-known marvels like the Colosseum are open every day except the 25th December and the 1st January. Also consider The Vatican and Sistine chapel, though you may need to check in advance as they are closed a couple of days at the beginning of December and most Sunday’s except normally the last in the month. These sites are extraordinary to see and even better at such a festive time.
Christina Oliver is a huge Italy enthusiast with Italian roots. She is looking forward to many more Rome holidays.