The Christmas holiday season is one of the most magical times of the year to visit Rome! This is the time when tourist crowds are more tame, the weather is usually still mild and Italians are doing what they do best: bringing together family, food and faith according to age-old traditions.
Rome is indeed the place where the celebration of Christmas originated. The first Christmas Mass was said at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the earliest known permanent Nativity was created for the Rome Jubilee in 1300.
The holiday atmosphere officially arrives when the festive Christmas lights and decorations appear throughout Rome. The 8th of December marks the start of the holiday season with twinkling lights, festive window displays and Christmas markets.
Christmas in Rome is very suggestive and there are absolutely tons of way to get into the holiday spirit!
For a fun roman shopping experience, head to a Christmas market where you’ll find holiday treats, traditional Christmas food and desserts, handmade crafts and great gift ideas.
In the run-up to the festive season, monumental “Presepi” appear in Churches and in some of Rome’s more amazing locations – notably St Peter’s Square and the Spanish Steps.
St. Peter’s Square is definitely a Christmas in Rome must: the tallest Christmas tree in Rome stands here, and the Nativity at the center of the square is left every year beyond January 6, which traditionally closes Christmas time in Italy!
Once you have decided on Rome as your destination for a Christmas and New Years break, let’s have a look for what’s on offer!
On the 24th of December – Christmas at the Vatican.
Enjoy a relaxing panoramic bus tour of Rome and a buffet dinner in a typical restaurant before accessing St. Peter’s Basilica for Christmas Midnight Mass. Take a guided stroll through the sights of Rome before accepting an unforgettable blessing from the beloved Pope Francis himself. At midnight, the Pope will perform the traditional Mass in the splendid setting of St. Peter’s Basilica.
A more than emotional event to spend a night sharing time with people from all over the world!
On the 25th of December – Sunday Papal Blessing and Baroque Rome.
Visit marvelous Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Navona Square: cross the Tiber and reach the impressive St. Peter’s Square where you can be blessed by the Pope with people from all over the world.
If you enjoy walking tours and are limited on time or travel budget, this tour is among our best values. Choose special departure day for an emotional traditional blessing by the Pope. The “Urbi et Orbi” address and blessing are given every Christmas from the central loggia of Saint Peter’s Basilica at noon: this event is broadcasted worldwide and it’s one of the most important happenings for the Catholic community.
On the 31st of December – New Year’s Eve in Rome: Dinner and Panoramic Night Tour.
Celebrate 2016 in the Eternal City and your dreams will finally come true!
Let us set up a New Year’s Eve dinner in a typical local restaurant for you and just relax during a panoramic tour of Rome tailored for your needs.
Comfortably seated on board, you will reach Trevi Fountain from your centrally located hotel or from Gray Line/I Love Rome Office.
Enjoy a nice walk in the city center and then reach the restaurant for your dinner. Traditionally, in Italy, people wait for midnight eating together and, when the time comes, the celebration starts with toasts and typical food tastings for good luck (lentils and “cotechino” pork sausage). To top it all, the Municipality of Rome generally organizes fireworks and street concerts and all the city becomes an entire party set.
On the 23rd, 26th and 29th of December – Daytrip to Assisi & St Francis Basilica from Rome.
This classic journey, departing from Rome to explore the beauty of the Umbria region and its many treasures.
The medieval city of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, founder of the homonymous Religious Order of the Franciscans, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. In particular, the Basilica of St. Francis brings together a number of masterpieces of creative human genius, and is an extraordinary example of the type of architectonic complexity that has significantly influenced the development of art and architecture.
Other than being the city of Saint Francis, as well as the symbol of his messages of peace, Assisi is a very welcoming community and expresses the best of the hospitable italian Christmas spirit.
To conclude, there are lots to do in Italy and if you’re in Rome for Christmas, you’re in luck!
Gray line – I Love Rome has thought to a Christmas gift for you all!
Find the perfect tour for the best price, BOOK ONLINE and Save 15% Off* all Gray Line – I Love Rome Tours using Promo Code CHR2015
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Warm Wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year!
*Offer valid from the 21st of December 2015 to the 10th of January 2016, tours with overnight stays excluded.