10 Things to Do in Rome in Summer
Take note of the cool plans and activities not to be missed in the Italian capital during the most beautiful time of the year, so don't let the heat stop you!
One of the most beautiful seasons to travel to Rome is summer. The Eternal City shines with a special light, the colors of the streets are more vivid than ever and you can enjoy the best pastas and pizzas in the city in the shade of the outdoor terraces.
In this article I tell you everything you can do in the Italian capital tolive an unforgettable experience. Just remember to bring a bottle of water, sunscreen and a hat so you don't get scorched!
1. Refresh yourself at the lake and the Colli Albani mountain
Whether you travel to Rome in July or August, the heat can be stifling but fortunately there are plenty of activities to cool off outdoors, one of my favorites is getting lost in nature and its villages!
A few kilometers from the big city, you will find the Albani Mountain s (in Italian, Colli Albani), a group of hills of volcanic origin that extend through the Italian region of Lazio. Here you will find greenery, lakes to swim in, archaeological remains and medieval architecture at the top - a magical place to escape the heat and bustle of Rome!
The Castelli Romani region is famous for its wine production. If you are looking for where to eat well in Rome, I recommend you try a glass of Romanella white wine and the roast pork porchetta- delicious!
The Pope's summer residence
Did you know that even the current Pope Francis maintains his summer residence in this area, called Castelli Romani? In addition, the region was highly appreciated in the past by Italian nobles for its pleasant summer temperatures and peaceful atmosphere.
2. Rent a Vespa and ride around Rome with your hair blowing in the wind
Who has never dreamed of touring the old town of Rome on a Vespa? Feel like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the movie 'Roman Holiday' is possible thanks to this iconic vehicle with which you will discover the other side of the eternal city. The decadent streets, but full of charm of the eternal city, will make you fall surrendered at his feet.
Summer is the best time to ride a Vespa in Rome, a city where, although it may not seem like it, it rains a lot the rest of the year. And we all know that rain and motorcycles are not good friends. And now, let's enjoy the dolce far niente!
3. Dazzle yourself with the romantic Rome by night
The best time to walk around the city is when the sun goes down. The monuments and fountains are illuminated and the metropolis looks more magical and romantic than ever. When the high temperatures take a break, there are many romantic places to see in Rome that will take on a new life in the moonlight.
One of the most special moments I experienced on my trip was when I saw the Trevi Fountain at night for the first time. There is a traditional legend that says that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they will return to the eternal city. Could the legend be true?
Touring Rome at night with an ice cream in hand is not a bad idea either. In my case, to tour the city at night more comfortably, I hired a 3-hour night tour for 41 euros on foot or by bike so I used twice as much time as if I had done it on my own.
4. Take a dip at Fregene beach
If you travel to Rome in summer, either as a couple, with friends or family, one of the best plans you can make is to go to the beach of Fregene, which is located about 40 kilometers from the capital and is bathed by the Tyrrhenian Sea, and take a dip.
Did you know that in this enclave was shot the end of the film 'La Dolce Vita' (1960), by Federico Fellini? In this film set you can contemplate the intense blue of the sea, enjoy a jazz concert and watch the sunset while sipping a delicious cocktail.
Get your Italian aperitif fix
This is also where the best Roman appetizers (Italian tapas) in the area are served. But what is the famous Italian appetizer? In addition to a very inexpensive option for dining near Rome, it is a cultural tradition throughout the country. Starting at six o'clock in the evening, you can order a drink and enjoy a buffet prepared for the occasion, which usually includes pasta, salads and cold cuts, for a fixed price. Don't miss it!
5. Taste a delicious 'gelato' at Rome's oldest gelato parlor
One of the best ways to combat the high summer temperatures in Rome is to cool off with a good artisan gelato at Giolitti, the oldest gelato shop in the Eternal City. For me, the best thing about Rome is to take a bite out of it. Cool idea, isn't it?
Make a note in your diary of the Giolitti ice cream parlor, near the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, which with more than a century of history has become one of the symbols of the city. Even Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, who tasted this dessert during the filming of 'Roman Holiday' (1953), fell for the charms of this place. By the way, you will find more than a hundred different flavors! Here is a small guide to the best ice creams in Rome.
Useful information about the Giolitti ice cream parlor
- Price: from 3,50 € the ice cream in cone or tub.
- Where: Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, Rome.
- Recommended for... solo travelers, couples and families.
Taste Rome's famous slushies
During the hot months, there is nothing more popular than having a granita or, better yet, a grattachecca, a Roman invention from the beginning of the last century composed of ice, syrup and fruit. You'll find it in numerous street stalls and cafés, it's as common as horchata in Valencia, and it's delicious!
6. Discover the Orange Garden and its belvedere
One of my favorite pastimes in Rome in summer was strolling through the Garden of Oranges, one of the best kept secret corners of the Eternal City, which is located on the Aventine Hill on one of the seven hills. Here you will discover one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the entire capital thanks to its impressive viewpoint and in the summer season it has a very special light. You will love it!
If you feel like going off the beaten track in Rome in the summer, take note of the best hidden secret places in the city, in addition to the Orange Garden. So you can get to know the metropolis as if you were a real Roman. You know, as Albert Einstein said, "if you are looking for different results, don't always do the same thing".
7. Enjoy the open-air cinema on Tiberina Island
An ideal place to spend the day in good weather is the Tiber Island, a small islet of just 270 meters located in the middle of the Tiber River and connected to the city by two ancient Roman bridges. You will appreciate the breeze from the river!
If you want to do something different in summer, this island hosts every year the International Film and Culture Festival L'Isola del Cinema, which offers outdoor cinema. And many of the festival's events are free - as you read! In addition, you can improve your Italian language skills because a large number of films are in Italian.
8. Visit Rome's best museums in fresco
During the summer, there's no stopping in Rome! To escape the high temperatures and avoid getting dizzy, a good idea is to take refuge in places where there is air conditioning. It's always cooler! Of course, I recognize that the influx of tourists will be greater than at other times of the year so, get up early!
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
This is the jewel in the crown of Rome's museums. Here you will find great treasures such as works by Da Vinci, Titian, Caravaggio and Raphael. In addition to the famous Sistine Chapel, a monumental creation that broke the mold of Renaissance art and will leave you speechless. In my case, I visited the Vatican with a guided tour in Spanish for 39 euros.
Why is it advisable to visit with a guide? Because in addition to housing several museums, the amount of frescoes, sculptures and works of art in the Vatican is really unmanageable. It would take you weeks to discover it all! Therefore, I suggest that you go through it with an expert to help you focus on what is most important. In this post I explain the best guided tours of the Vatican.
During my trip to Rome, one of the museums that surprised me the most was this one. The Capitoline Museums are considered the oldest art galleries in the world, having been founded in 1471. They are two buildings that hold a collection of art from the Catholic Church donated by Pope Sixtus IV. You will see true relics!
This museum is another must-see art gallery in Rome. It is located in Villa Borghese, the most important park in the city and has an extraordinary collection of works by the best artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods: Raphael, Rubens, Titian, Bernini and Caravaggio, among others.
National Roman Museum
This gallery is made up of four locations throughout the city. The joint ticket includes the visit for three consecutive days to all the museums. In addition, the ticket is very economical.
9. Have fun at the Hydromania water park
If you are traveling to Rome in summer with children, one of the best plans you can make is to spend a day at Hydromania, the only water park in the capital. The park, which usually opens around June 15, has slides, a semi-Olympic pool, a wave machine, a beach area, whirlpool...and much more. Ducks in water!
Located on the outskirts of Rome, the Hydromania park is easily accessible by public or private transport and is visited by more than 220,000 people every summer season. It also organizes daily events for all ages, such as water aerobics classes, dancing, water slide races and water games, among other activities. Kids will love it!
10. Relax in Rome's swimming pools
From June through September, Rome's swimming pools open their doors for Italians and tourists alike to spend a summer day sunbathing, relaxing or enjoying a delicious cocktail by the pool. Taking a dip in cold water in summer is a fantastic idea, don't you think?
Feel like an elite athlete in a swimming pool of the Olympic Games
If you like to swim and complete a few lengths in the pool, my advice is to go to the Piscina delle Rose sports complex, where you can swim in the popular Olympic-structured pool, built for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. You'll feel like an athlete! In summer it is a spectacular option to escape the heat and chaos of the city. Plus, the entrance fee includes access to the water activities.
What is the summer temperature in Rome?
Get ready to suffer with the Roman summer weather:
- Visiting Rome in June: in this month the summer starts and the minimum temperature is 17º and the maximum temperature reaches 28º C.
- Visiting Rome in July: the minimum temperature is 19°C and the maximum reaches 31°C.
- Visiting Rome in August: the thermometer registers the highest temperatures of the whole year between 19º and 31º C.
- Visiting Rome in September: the thermometer registers lows of around 16º C and highs of 27º C.
Tips to survive the extreme heat of Rome in summer
- Drink water like there's no tomorrow: in summer in Rome, your feet will feel like they're sticking to the asphalt! It is therefore essential to hydrate yourself to the maximum and drink plenty of water. The best thing to do? I advise you to buy a bottle of water and refill it for free at any of the fountains scattered throughout the metropolis. Keep an eye out! Because there are mobile applications that allow you to locate the nearest fountain.
- Avoid the sun in the central hours of the day: here is a selection of the best restaurants where you can take cover from the scorching summer sun at noon. I hope you are reading this post hungry, otherwise you will get hungry when you see the succulent Roman pastas and pizzas. I gained 10 pounds during my trip, but I'll be damned!
The basics of your summer suitcase
- Comfortable shoes or sandals
- Bikini or swimsuit
- Tank tops or short sleeves
- Jacket for air conditioning
In this article you have read some summer plans but, if you are not satisfied and want to return to Rome at another time of the year, here are the guides to the best things to do in spring in Rome, what to see and what to do in autumn in Rome and what to do in winter in Rome. Every season has its charm!
In summary, compare the different seasons for visiting Rome
- December - March
- Weather: Freezing
- Highest 16°C
- Lowest 2°C
- March - June
- Weather: Temperate
- Highest 27°C
- Lowest 4°C
- June - August
- Weather: Hot and humid
- High 31º C
- Low 14º C
- September - November
- Weather: Temperate
- High 27ºC
- Low 6ºC