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!

Nuria Rozas

Nuria Rozas

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Rome in Summer

Woman Standing near the White Dome Building | ©Polina Kostova

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 of the city in the shade on the outdoor terraces.

In this article I tell you everything you can do in the Italian capital to live an unforgettable experience. Remember to bring a bottle of water, sunscreen and a hat so you don't get scorched!

1. Rent a Vespa and ride around Rome with your hair blowing in the wind

Touring Rome on a Vespa| ©Samy Mitha
Touring Rome on a Vespa| ©Samy Mitha

Who hasn't 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 but charming streets of the eternal city will make you fall surrendered at his feet.

Summer is the best time to drive 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, yes, let's enjoy the dolce far niente!

Rent a Vespa in Rome

2. Dazzle yourself with the romantic Rome at night

Night at the Trevi Fountain| ©Henning Klokkeråsen
Night at the Trevi Fountain| ©Henning Klokkeråsen

The best time to tour 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 booked 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.

Book a night tour of Rome

3. Try a delicious 'gelato' at Rome's oldest gelato parlor

Entrance of Heladeria Giolitti| ©Kalboz
Entrance of Heladeria Giolitti| ©Kalboz

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 gelato 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... those traveling alone, 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 many street stalls and cafés, it's as common as horchata in Valencia, and it's delicious!

Participate in a pizza and ice cream cooking class

4. Enjoy the open-air cinema on Tiber Island.

Tiber Island in Rome| ©Emilio García
Tiber Island in Rome| ©Emilio García

An ideal place to spend the day in good weather is the Tiber Island, a small island 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 the L'Isola del Cinema International Film and Culture Festival every year, which offers open-air cinema. And many of the festival's events are free - just like you read! Plus, you'll be able to improve your Italian language skills because a large number of films are in Italian.

You can also take the opportunity to cool off by taking a sightseeing cruise on the Tiber River or by using this means of transport to tour the main monuments of the city without enduring the high temperatures of summer in Rome.

Book a sightseeing cruise on the Tiber River

5. Visit the best museums in Rome al fresco

Sistine Chapel| ©Richard Mortel
Sistine Chapel| ©Richard Mortel

During the summer, there is 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 the Sistine Chapel: Given the amount of works it houses, the Vatican is really unmanageable and touring it with an expert will help you focus on what is most important. In this post I explain the best guided tours of the Vatican.
  • Capitoline Museums: 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 and in them you will find true relics.
  • Galleria Borghese: This museum is another must-see art gallery in Rome. It is located in Villa Borghese and has an extraordinary collection of works by the best artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
  • Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia: If you want to live a fascinating journey back in time, this museum will give you the opportunity to walk among some of the most fascinating pieces and ruins of pre-Roman and Etruscan times.
  • Wax Museum: Discover the wax statues of 250 celebrities, artists, actors, poets, musicians and political personalities in this famous wax gallery and visit the workshop to learn how the figures are made.
  • Gladiator school and museum: In this school-museum you will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the Roman gladiators and become one of them by practicing fighting techniques and playing games and other activities.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci Museum: In this interactive museum you can see more than 65 machines, many of them full-scale replicas, and you will also have the opportunity to visit an archaeological site buried under the museum dating back to 43 BC.

Book your ticket for museums in Rome

6. Take a dip in the Fregene beach

Sunset at Fregene Beach| ©Maria Claire
Sunset at Fregene Beach| ©Maria Claire

If you are traveling to Rome in summer, either as a couple, with friends or family, one of the best plans you can make is to go to Fregene beach, 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 aperitifs (Italian tapas) in the area are served. But what is the famous Italian aperitivo? In addition to being a very inexpensive option for dining near Rome, it is a cultural tradition throughout the country. Starting at **6 p.**m., 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!

7. Refresh yourself by the lake and the Colli Albani mountain

Lake Albano| ©Fede92
Lake Albano| ©Fede92

Whether you're traveling to Rome in July or August, the heat can be sweltering but fortunately there are plenty of activities to cool off outdoors - one of my favorites is getting lost in nature and its little 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're 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.

8. Discover the Orange Garden and its belvedere

Sunset in the Giardino degli Aranci| ©Mark Radford
Sunset in the Giardino degli Aranci| ©Mark Radford

One of my favorite pastimes in Rome in summer was strolling through the Orange Garden , 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".

9. Have fun at the Hydromania water park

Hydromania water slide| ©Gerardo Ricca
Hydromania water slide| ©Gerardo Ricca

If you are traveling in summer to Rome 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, features 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. In addition, every day it organizes events for all ages, such as water aerobics classes, dancing, water slide races, water games and other activities. Kids will love it!

10. Relax in Rome's swimming pools

Famous Piscina delle Rose| ©Zero
Famous Piscina delle Rose| ©Zero

From June through September Rome's pools open their doors for Italians and tourists alike to spend a summer day sunbathing, relaxing or enjoying a delicious cocktail by the facility. Taking a dip in cold water in summer is a fantastic idea, don't you think?

Feel like a top athlete in an Olympic Games pool

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. In addition, the entrance fee includes access to the water activities.

What is the summer temperature in Rome?

Spanish Steps| ©Daniel Basso
Spanish Steps| ©Daniel Basso

Get ready to suffer with the Roman summer weather:

Tips for surviving Rome's extreme summer heat

Strolling around the Pantheon in Rome| ©Griffin Wooldridge
Strolling around the Pantheon in Rome| ©Griffin Wooldridge
  • Drink water like there's no tomorrow: in summer in Rome, you'll feel your feet 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

  • Sun protection.
  • Comfortable shoes or sandals.
  • Hat.
  • Bikini or bathing suit.
  • Towel.
  • T-shirts or short-sleeved shirts.
  • 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 do in autumn in Rome and what to do in winter in Rome. All seasons have their charm!

In summary, compare the different seasons for visiting Rome

  • Winter
  • December - March
  • Weather: Freezing
  • High 16º C
  • Minimum 2º C
  • Spring
  • March - June
  • Climate: Temperate
  • Maximum 27 ºC
  • Low 4 ºC
  • Summer
  • June - August
  • Climate: Hot and humid
  • High 31 ºC
  • Minimum 14 ºC
  • Autumn
  • September - November
  • Climate: Temperate
  • High 27 ºC
  • Minimum 6 ºC