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Rome in autumn: a practical guide to getting the most out of the city

The orange colors, the scent of chestnuts and the postcard landscapes in Rome will make you fall in love in autumn. Here is a list of the best things to do in the most romantic season of the year.

Nuria Rozas

Nuria Rozas

11 min read

Rome in autumn: a practical guide to getting the most out of the city

Enjoying the Autumn season in Rome | © Michal Goszczynski

Autumn is a great time to travel to Rome: its parks are dyed in ocher, orange and reddish colors, prices are usually quite cheap and the winter cold has not yet arrived. Take note of what not to miss in the Italian capital during these months.

1. Take a long walk in the parks of Rome

Temple of Asclepius in the gardens of Villa Borghese, Rome| ©Matt Kieffer
Temple of Asclepius in the gardens of Villa Borghese, Rome| ©Matt Kieffer

Taking a pleasant walk through Romay's best parksand contemplating the scenery is one of my favorite activities in autumn and besides... It's free! This getaway to the green lungs of the city will become a little haven of peace after a tiring day of sightseeing. Want to know some of the most beautiful parks?

  • Villa Borghese Gardens: the green heart of the capital of Italy and one of the largest parks in Europe, it combines art and nature with great skill! You will also be able to enter the Borghese Gallery and see its best sculptures.

  • The Orange Garden is one of the most romantic gardens in Rome, ideal for watching the sunset with the unmistakable scent of orange trees! It also holds one of Rome's best kept secrets.

  • The Park of the Aqueducts: you will be amazed by its Roman aqueducts. You will get some breathtaking autumn photographs.

  • Villa Torlonia. This small park keeps an open secret: it was the residence of the dictator Benito Mussolini.

Buy tickets for the Borghese Gallery

2. Explore the Botanical Garden of Rome in the autumn light

Fontana dei Tritoni in the Botanical Gardens of Rome| ©Paolo Margari
Fontana dei Tritoni in the Botanical Gardens of Rome| ©Paolo Margari

In the heart of the city is the Botanical Garden of Rome, between Via della Lungara and the Gianicolo hill, a place away from the chaos and from which to contemplate the spectacle of the changing leaves of the trees in autumn.

The park, one of the largest in Italy, also preserves works of art such as the staircase of the eleven fountains and the
the staircase of the eleven fountains and the Fountain of the Tritons, worthy of adding to the list of the best fountains in Rome. It combines nature and art perfectly!

Among its main collections, it is worth mentioning the centuries-old monumental trees, such as the Oriental plane trees, cork oaks and Himalayan cedars and its bamboo collection, one of the largest in Europe. The giant bamboos will impress you! Some grow up to 30 centimeters a day. Yes, you read that right, 30 centimeters!

What I liked the most, is that thanks to the scenographic reconstruction of the environments, you can take a trip with your imagination through the different continents and their nature. If after this garden, you still want more, take note of the best parks in Rome where you can contemplate the change of seasons.

  • Where is it? Largo Cristina di Svezia, 24.
  • Hours: from April to October, from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. From November to March, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
  • Fee: 13 € for adults and 10 € for children from 4 to 18 years old. Children under 4 years old are free.

What to see in the Botanical Garden of Rome?

  • The Garden of the Senses: it is very curious because the species can be recognized by their tactile or olfactory characteristics. Try it!
  • The Japanese Garden: it stands out for its cherry trees and magnolias, it also has two small waterfalls and two lakes. Do not miss this garden in springtime, famous for Hanami, the wonderful cherry blossom. The Botanical Garden also organizes free guided tours and events related to Japanese culture.
  • The Mediterranean Garden: here you can observe the typical species of this area.
  • Aquatic plants: a small lake, a stream and some ponds are, on the other hand, the perfect environment for this type of vegetation. In autumn with the surroundings full of leaves they look more beautiful than ever!
  • Rose garden: it has 60 species that illustrate the evolution of this beautiful flower over the last 2000 years of human history.
  • Palm Collection: one of the most impressive collections due to the number of specimens and the presence of rare species.
  • The Tropical Greenhouse is organized in thematic zones, with a regulated temperature and climate, which testify to the great biodiversity of the tropical forests. You will feel like you are in the Caribbean!

3. Take a selfie with your favorite actor at the Rome Film Fest

Actors on the red carpet at the Roma Film Fest| ©Stefano Pietruccio
Actors on the red carpet at the Roma Film Fest| ©Stefano Pietruccio

Want to see your favorite actors up close on one of the biggest red carpets in the world? If you travel to the Italian capital during the month of October, you're in luck. Every year the Rome Film Festival, Roma Film Fest, one of the most important international film events, is held in Rome.

Rome, to which the master Fellini paid homage in his films, was recognized in 2015 as a Creative City of Cinema by UNESCO, becoming one of the capitals of the seventh art. Since 2006 it organizes this film festival whose carpet has been walked by directors of the stature of Quentin Tarantino and actors such as Tim Burton, Al Pacino, Angelina Jolie... Get ready to live a heart-stopping day!

4. Culturize yourself with the open air shows

Performances at Romaeuropa| ©UK in Italy
Performances at Romaeuropa| ©UK in Italy

Cultural activities resume in autumn in the capital after the summer break. Grab a pen and paper and if you have doubts about the best time to travel to Rome, compare all the things to do in Rome in summer to help you make your decision. Check out this practical guide to the city!

Festival of dance, theater, music and cinema 'Romaeuropa'.

Another of the Eternal City's major art events in autumn is Romaeuropa, recognized as the most important Italian cultural festival and whose aim for the past three decades has been to showcase contemporary art in different disciplines to the public.

The festival takes place annually during the months of September, October and November and its program includes film screenings, dance performances, musical and theatrical performances - nothing is missing!

The best part? The performances take place in different parts of the city and many of them outdoors, so you can enjoy the performances with the incomparable setting of Rome as a backdrop.

5. Celebrate the traditional Halloween night in Rome

Restaurants for Halloween| ©Alfa
Restaurants for Halloween| ©Alfa

If you thought that Halloween was a celebration that only Americans lived with great excitement, you were wrong. In fact, did you know that in ancient Rome there was a very similar holiday called 'Mundus Patet', where for three days the dead returned to earth?

If your trip to the Eternal City coincides with Halloween , put your costume in your suitcase because you will want to soak up the authentic spirit of this celebration. In addition, during the night of October 31 there are many activities organized. Some of the most fun ones are:

Scary dinner in a restaurant

Among the many options that Rome offers on Halloween, there are restaurants that will give you the opportunity to enjoy an excellent themed dinner with delicious pumpkin-based delicacies, all decorated with gloomy and frightening figures, as well as spiders and bats. Some of the most famous are:

  • The restaurant set in ancient Rome, Le Vere Grotte, usually offers on this day an evening with themed dinner, live music and dancing. You will immerse yourself in the land of the gladiators surrounded by carved pumpkins and hanging skeletons.
  • The Casette di Campagna restaurant offers a dinner with show and DJ from €35 for women and €45 for men.
  • The Satiricus restaurant celebrates witches' night in style, with a themed party and a dinner that will delight attendees. Price: from 40 €.

Experience a day of terror at Cinecittà World amusement park

Throughout the month of October, Rome's film and television-themed amusement park, Cinecitta World, located in a former movie studio that in its heyday was the largest in Europe, offers Halloween-themed activities, shows and tours for the whole family.

6. Go shopping in Rome during Black Friday!

Shopping for Black Friday| ©Sam Lion
Shopping for Black Friday| ©Sam Lion

November is one of the most awaited events of the year, Black Friday, when you can unleash the compulsive shopper in you because the stores have spectacular sales. It's the best time of the year to buy!

Undoubtedly, although Milan is the European fashion capital, Rome has nothing to envy, so I advise you to go shopping and bring your suitcase full of Italian clothes and souvenirs.

Discover the Monti district, the district of art galleries and wines

If you want to find an original gift, I suggest you go to my favorite neighborhood for shopping: Monti, located between the Colosseum and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and full of charming streets. In this neighborhood it seems that time has stopped. You will find small antique workshops, art stores, goldsmith stores... Real jewels!

Nuria's Traveller Tip

Take advantage of your shopping day in the Monti district to discover Via del Boschetto, the street in Rome with the highest number of restaurants per square meter.

7. Enjoy a jazz concert at the Roman auditorium

Outside view of the Auditorium Parco della Musica| ©Matteo Rho
Outside view of the Auditorium Parco della Musica| ©Matteo Rho

It may happen that during your getaway to Rome in autumn the day gets up pretty bad and the body asks you to enjoy a good plan under cover. If you are traveling in November, I have a perfect activity for you: a jazz concert at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, which will elevate your experience in the Eternal City.

Every year, the Italian capital hosts the Roma Jazz Festival, one of the most important international events dedicated to this type of music. If you want to spend a special evening in the city, I suggest you book your tickets for this concert in advance, as the event has a long tradition and sells out quickly.

8. Delight yourself with the seasonal products of the street market

Market produce in Campo dei Fiori| ©joanne clifford
Market produce in Campo dei Fiori| ©joanne clifford

If you like charming flea markets, I suggest you spend a morning at the market that is located in the Campo dei Fiori square with the same name, a few meters from the Tiber River and the basilica of Sant'Andrea della Valle. It is one of the oldest and most authentic markets in the capital, a festival of smells, colors and flavors.

Who does not remember the delicious smell of roasted chestnuts? We already know that, in Italy, culture revolves around the gastronomy of Rome and other cities, especially in autumn, one of the best times to enjoy seasonal products. In this popular market you will find the typical chestnuts, porcini mushrooms, truffles, grapes, olives...

Here you will discover the best artichokes and pumpkins of the Eternal City, which occupy an important place in the traditional Roman cuisine. And while you shop, you can enjoy live music at any time thanks to the street performers who animate the area.

Book a gastronomic tour of Rome

9. Warm up with a good cappuccino

Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè Cafeteria| ©Michiel Jelijs
Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè Cafeteria| ©Michiel Jelijs

Coffee is one of the symbols of Italy and we cannot miss this drink in our vacations to the transalpine country, especially if we travel in autumn, we will need it to warm up in the coldest months! One of the pleasures of the Dolce Vita is to enjoy a good cappuccino and contemplate from the window the architectural jewels of the city. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Here is a list of the best coffee shops in Rome:

  • Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè (Piazza di S. Eustachio, 82). A small place where they use an old bean roasting machine more than 70 years old and a secret formula to make the coffees. Don't try, because you won't be able to get them to tell it to you!
  • La Casa Del Caffè Tazza d'Oro (Via degli Orfani, 84). Here they use beans from the most coffee-producing places in the world, such as South and Central America.
  • Caffè Greco (Via del Condotti, 86). This is my favorite place and one of the oldest active cafés in the world. Here great figures such as Goethe, Byron and Keats drank this succulent beverage. You will enjoy a good cappuccino in a historic bar!

10. Discover the wine-growing landscapes and the best wine of Italy

A visit to Umbria| ©Rick Ligthelm
A visit to Umbria| ©Rick Ligthelm

Are you a good wine taster? A good excuse to travel in autumn is that with the beginning of this season also starts the grape harvest season. You will be able to enjoy the vineyard landscapes and a good tasting of this beverage, which will test all your senses!

An irresistible travel plan at this time can be to travel a couple of days to the capital of Tuscany, Florence, and take the opportunity to explore the wine region. Take note of how to get from Rome to Florence.

Escape to Umbria, the green heart of Italy

You can also take a trip to the region of Umbria, about 2 hours from Rome, known as the green heart of the country for its forests. In addition, you will enjoy its medieval hill towns and vineyards and you can accompany a good wine with other gastronomic delights of the season, such as its popular truffles.

In this article I compare the best excursions you can book from Rome so you can choose the option that best suits your budget.

Book your excursion to the vineyards

What is the temperature in autumn in Rome?

Visiting Rome in Autumn| ©Gabriella Clare Marino
Visiting Rome in Autumn| ©Gabriella Clare Marino
  • September: the minimum temperature is 16º C and the maximum reaches 27º C.
  • October: the thermometer registers temperatures between 22º and 12º C. There are usually about 7 days of rain!
  • November: the thermometer registers minimum temperatures around 8º C and maximum temperatures of 17º C. Don't forget your umbrella because it usually rains for 9 days!

How to pack your suitcase for autumn travel in Rome?

Packing your suitcase| ©Craig Adderley
Packing your suitcase| ©Craig Adderley

In autumn temperatures are quite cool, so I advise you to pack warm clothes in your suitcase. Be careful! In the middle of the day, especially in September, it can be quite hot, so it is best to pack short-sleeved shirts and a removable jacket, the most useful garment. Take an umbrella and a raincoat because the rains are quite frequent!

What should not be missing in your suitcase?

-Coat
-Comfortable shoes
Scarf and gloves (especially in November and December) - Umbrella and raincoat
Umbrella and raincoat -Jacket
-Jacket

In this article you have read some autumn plans but, if on the contrary, you have scheduled your trip in another season, here are the guides of the best things to do in summer in Rome, what to see and what to do in spring in Rome and what to do in winter in Rome. Every season has its charm!

In short, compare the different seasons for visiting Rome

  • Winter
  • December - March
  • Weather: Freezing
  • High 16º C
  • Minimum 2º C
    Ideal for visiting the museums
  • Spring
  • March - June
  • Climate: Temperate
  • Maximum 27º C
  • Low 4º C
    Ideal for outdoor activities
  • Summer
  • June - September
  • Climate: Hot and humid
  • High 31º C
  • Low 14º C
    Ideal for outdoor activities
  • Fall
  • September - December
  • Climate: Temperate
  • High 27º C
  • Low 6º C
    Ideal for outdoor activities