10 things to do in Rome in November
In November you can feel the approach of winter. The cloudy days give way to sunny days when you can sit outside in a café to enjoy the scenery and take a leisurely stroll in a city visibly less crowded with tourists.
I'm not going to fool you. In the month of November the probability of rain is quite high. For this reason, I want to give you options of things to see and do in Rome to put you under shelter in those days that give no respite. On those sunny days, take the opportunity to visit the most emblematic monuments without waiting.
When the day threatens rain, go to an art gallery to admire the exhibition of the month. November is also the time for the Roma Europa Festival, which offers various plays, concerts and dance performances. You can also take the opportunity to attend the night show at the Augustus Forum, which lasts until the first week of November. Many plans await you!
1. Explore the Sistine Chapel without the crowds
Visiting the Sistine Chapel is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Rome. Mind you, depending on the time of year, you may feel like a sardine in a can and not be able to appreciate the beauty of this breathtaking place. I am not exaggerating even a little bit if I say that November is probably the time of year with the least number of tourists. That is, except for November 1, All Saints' Day.
November is a bridge month. It represents the calm before the frenzy of Christmas, a season in which Rome is once again filled to the brim. So, even if the day is gray, rainy or a little colder than usual, it doesn't matter because November will allow you to enjoy Rome almost all to yourself.
Why November is important in the Sistine Chapel?
Did you know that November is a special month in the Sistine Chapel? In this month the frescoes on the ceiling of this sacred place were inaugurated. Specifically, it happened on November 1, 1512. On that day, Michelangelo unleashed his brushes and exhibited before everyone his enormous work, a work that you now have the opportunity to admire almost exclusively.
2. Enter St. Peter's Basilica for free and skip the line tickets
Entering St. Peter's Basilica is free, but without queues it is already more difficult. However, in November, which is one of the months of the year with fewer tourists, the combination of both factors is possible. Not surprisingly, the basilica is one of the most important tourist attractions of the city, hence, being free admission, it is usually necessary to endure the huge queue.
In November, the queue is much shorter, so especially if you get up early, you can enter St. Peter's Basilica without queues and climb the dome of St. Peter's in one go. In this month, it's all advantages!
3. Visit the November exhibitions in the art galleries
If you like art, don't hesitate to explore some of the most interesting art galleries in Rome. It is an excellent plan especially on rainy days in November. You can start your tour in the most famous ones, such as the Borghese Gallery or the National Gallery of Modern Art. These usually enjoy temporary exhibitions, so, who knows, maybe you'll like this month's!
The Galleria Doria Pamphilj is another one to have in the chamber, as it is the most important private art gallery in the Italian capital. It also includes the Galleria Spada, which houses a collection of art spanning the 16th and 17th centuries. Finally, note the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, where, apart from temporary exhibitions, holds other events and activities throughout the year, so November was not going to be less.
4. Attend the night show at the Forum of Augustus
Summer nights in Rome are special. The warm temperatures allow many of the city's outstanding monuments to organize shows that exploit their nocturnal facet. Generally, the nighttime shows are closed when the temperatures drop. Therefore, I encourage you to take advantage of the last days of the night show performed by the Forum of Augustus. This usually runs through the first week of November, so you still have some time!
If you were impressed by the visit to the Roman Forum, this show will captivate you. The Forum of Augustus is transformed into an incredible multimedia show that retraces the history of this important historical vestige. The play of light and sound allows the spectator to be transported to what this place was like during Ancient Rome. I recommend you make sure of the passes, but usually there are three during the month of November: at 7.15 pm, 8.15 pm and 9.15 pm. Without a doubt, it is well worth it!
5. Binge on panettone, the Italian Christmas sweet par excellence
In Rome you can not only eat the best ice cream or the best pizzas. For some years now, in the supermarkets there have been some sweets that you can't miss on Christmas Eve. After seeing (and eating) them year after year, we have integrated panettones to our Christmas tradition, but the truth is that these brioche-like sweets are of Italian origin. They usually make their appearance in Italy around November, so get ready to feast on them!
The best thing about panettones is that they are available in different varieties and formats. You can find them with raisins and candied fruits, with chocolate, with white chocolate, with powdered sugar... You won't have any trouble finding them, as they are everywhere, adorning the windows of **Rome'**s pastry shops. Very similar is the pandoro, another Italian pastry somewhat more geometric than the panettone.
Best patisseries in Rome where to buy a panettone
As I said, you can find these delicious sweets in almost any bakery or pastry shop in Rome. Of course, also in supermarkets, although, of course, it is not such an artisanal or homemade option. Here are some of the best bakeries in Rome where to buy a panettone:
- Antico Forno Roscioli. It is one of the mythical of Rome, indispensable in all travel guides. It is in Via dei Chiavari, 34.
- Grué. A pastry shop in Trastevere that sells panettone all year round. It is in Viale Regina Margherita, 95.
- Pasticceria Bompiani. The most awarded and, for many, the best pastry shop in Rome. A must. It is at Largo Benedetto Bompiani, 8.
6. Meet the Roma Europa Festival
One of the most important festivals in Rome takes place in autumn. So you are in luck because, for sure, if you travel to Rome in November, you will be in time to attend some of the scheduled activities. The Roma Europa Festival is a cultural event that includes different plays, musicals, performances, dance shows, etc.
It covers different locations depending on the performance. Some of the venues included in this festival are the Auditorium Parco della Musica, Teatro Vascello, Mattatoio or Teatro Biblioteca Quarticciolo, among many others. The best thing about the Roma Europa Festival is that there is a show every day, so one of them will coincide with the days of your visit to the Italian capital.
7. Attending the Armed Forces Day
Every November 4 in Italy is a national holiday, commemorating Italy' s victory in World War I. It is a day of strong patriotic character. It is a day of marked patriotic character in which certain events of interest such as air shows of the Italian army, changing of the guard ceremonies, etc. take place.
I'm not going to tell you to change your travel dates just to coincide with this event, but if you are in Rome, you may be interested in approaching some points of the city. For example, the Vittoriano Monument, because the President of the Republic usually comes to lay a wreath and the expectation is maximum.
8. Visit Santa Claus' house
You don't need to travel to Lapland to meet Santa Claus! You can do it during your trip to Rome. This plan is perfect if you travel to Rome with children, but you can also do it even with friends if you travel to Rome at Christmas because, I don't know about you, but I love everything that smells like Christmas. Since November, Santa's little house is installed in the Castello Di Lunghezza, located on the outskirts of Rome so it is one of the excursions you can do from Rome if you visit the Eternal City enough days.
It is a castle with centuries and centuries of history that, every Christmas, has a guest of honor in his chambers. During your visit you will have the opportunity not only to shake hands with Santa Claus (and pull his beard!), but also to deposit your letters in the post office, visit the toy factory, meet the snow fairy and even see where Santa Claus sleeps. A great plan, don't you think?
The Castello Di Lunghezza becomes a theme park during November and December where there will be shows with polar bears, elves, dolls and Christmas trees. The entrance fee is around 16 €, although children from 2 to 11 years old can benefit from a reduced rate. Children up to 2 years old pay nothing.
How to get to Santa's house?
The Castello Di Lunghezza is located at Via Tenuta del Cavaliere no. 230. You can take a regional train from the Tiburtina terminal. Get off at Lunghezza station. The journey time is about 15 minutes. From Lunghezza, it is only a couple of minutes walk.
9. Celebrate St. Cecilia's day in Trastevere neighborhood
November 22 is the feast day of St. Cecilia, one of the most venerated martyrs of the Italian capital in the Catholic Church. In 822 her body was found in the Catacombs of St. Callixtus and, from there, it was transferred to the basilica that today bears her name, located in the Trastevere district.
Visiting this church on November 22 can be a very moving experience, since the Basilica of Santa Cecilia pays homage to this saint, by the way, patron saint of musicians. If you happen to be passing by on your walk, don't hesitate to take a look at the activities in her honor.
10. Go to a soccer match
Go to Rome and catch a soccer match, why not? Check out the November match schedule to see either of the city's two teams AS Roma and S.S. Lazio in action.
If you are passionate about soccer, going to a match in Rome can be the icing on the cake of your trip. Besides, tickets are much cheaper at this time of the year. Not surprisingly, the only way to visit the Stadio Olimpico, home of both clubs, is at a match.
Temperatures in Rome in November
The weather in Rome in November is very variable and the beginning of the month has nothing to do with the end. While in the first days of November you may not even need a coat to walk in the street, at the end of November you will certainly need not only a thicker jacket, but also a scarf, gloves and an umbrella.
On the warmer days, you can enjoy daytime temperatures of around 16ºC. However, as it gets warmer, you will notice that the highs do not go above 10 ºC. That, my friends, is cold. Not to mention the rain, which is a constant almost every other day.
We recommend you take a look at a historical weather chart to get a rough idea of what the weather will be like on your trip to Rome in November. If you look at the chart, the minimum temperature that can be reached is 7 ºC. It's a full-blown winter, so it's best to be proactive when planning your trip to Rome and bring enough warm clothes to last the whole day outdoors.