I know what some of you think but I L-O-V-E winter; the frosty cold air, the puddles, rain, snow, and most importantly, winter clothes!
After coming back from a long, 3-week vacation in hot, sunny, it’s-so-humid-clothes-are-sticking-to-my-body Asia, we were craving a short weekend getaway in a winter wonderland. The first location that popped into my head was my all-time-favorite destination: Rome!
Visiting Rome in the winter means seeing the city at its best. There aren’t as many tourists around so that you can enjoy the city like a local.
Here are some ideas of what to do in Rome during the off-season months:
- Visit the Christmas market at Piazza Navona, walk around the stalls and enjoy the yummy Panettone, frappe, and hot chocolate, as well as the lights, and all-around magical feel.
- Shopping- the first weekend after New Year’s is when all hell breaks loose and the shoppers run in, charging through the stores for that 50 % off discounts. It’s a great time to get those Italian boots you always wanted. Also, while you have shopping on your mind, try Omero and Cecilia at Via del Governo Vecchio, 110 (Piazza Navona). It’s a charming store for true vintage hunters, carefully preserving every garment in ready-to-wear condition, guaranteeing 100% uniqueness.
- Catch a bird’s eye view of the city from Gianicolo hill. Some say the best sunsets are in winter.
- Great food- no waiting! Since Rome is less populated in the winter, you can enjoy the best restaurants in relative calm. Try Raffaello in Monti district, just a few steps from the Colosseum.
- Ice skating is not the first activity to pop into your mind when you think of Rome. But every winter there’s one set up by Castel Sant’Angelo, so get in touch with your inner child and get your skates on.
- Enjoy a food and wine pairing Italian cooking class. It’s an activity that theoretically you can do year-round, but there is no comparison to the winter seasonal produce. Artichokes and chestnuts, anyone?
- The Borghese Gallery & Gardens are also one of those places where in the summer you would have to make your way through many tourists, but now you can enjoy them practically by yourself like the elite of Rome used to do.
- Snuggle up with your loved one in the rain under an umbrella or as snow the falls. It can’t get more romantic than that.
- Get ‘lost’ in the city, enjoy the little cobblestone backstreets of this magical city, stop for a latte and tiramisu in quaint, picturesque coffee shops and pizzerias.
- Since the winter months are the low season in Rome, you’ll find that you can get cheaper airfare and accommodation rates. Most hotels and airlines drop their prices at the beginning of November. I know what you’re thinking…. weekend at the Waldorf Astoria, here we come!
Rome is many things: fun, romantic, historical, tasty, cheerful, inviting. But above all, it’s eternal and will keep you coming back again and again.