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Rome in Summer – Best Things To Do, What To Expect, Weather & More!

Are you planning to visit Rome in summer, but aren’t sure what to expect? You’ve come to the right place!

In this article I will go over everything you need to know about visiting the Eternal City during the hot summer months.

From what weather and temperatures you can expect, to the best things to do in Rome in summer, to general tips on making the most of it, this Rome summer guide will tell you everything you need to know and more!

I was lucky enough to spend a period of time living in Rome, and can say that while summer in Rome can be amazing, it can get extremely hot.

That said, don’t let it deter you, your dreams of eating gelato while strolling down the cobbled streets of Rome are just around the corner.

So without further ado, let’s dive in and plan the perfect Rome in summer trip!

Chilling by the Colosseum in Rome

Chilling by the Colosseum in Rome

Weather in Rome in Summer

Summer in Italy is a hot, Mediterranean affair. It’s very different from the mild Roman winter or pleasant temperatures you can expect to find in Rome in spring.

Falling roughly from June to August, but with similar weather expected for late May and early September, it’s a long period that marks not only the hottest time of year in the city, but also the most popular months to visit.

In summer the average high is 30°C, but temperatures in the mid-30s are not unheard of. The lowest it gets, on average, is around 18°C (that’s usually in the evenings).

There’s a lot of sunshine, but it’s hot and humid. There’s not a lot of rain to speak of either.

Even if you’re used to high temperatures, the fact that all this heat is trapped in the city makes it feel even hotter. And even with these high temperatures, don’t expect much air-conditioning – particularly on public transport.

Watching the sunset over the Vatican and Ponte Sant'Angelo from Ponte Umberto in Rome

Watching the sunset over the Vatican and Ponte Sant’Angelo from Ponte Umberto in Rome

General tips for visiting Rome in summer

Before we dive into the best things to do in Rome in summer, I wanted to go over some general pointers to make your Rome summer trip more enjoyable.

What to pack for summer in Rome

Besides the usual travel essentials you should be including in your Italy packing list, here are some of my top pointers on what to pack for your summer trip to Rome.

Visiting Rome in the summer means hot, hot weather, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to dress in revealing clothing. 

Not only is this a good way to get sunburnt (further adding to your heat woes) but many of Rome’s historic sights require visitors to cover up – particularly churches, and especially St Peter’s Basilica. 

The dress code includes covering shoulders, waists and skirts or shorts need to be below the knees.

Exploring the Pantheon in Rome

Exploring the Pantheon in Rome

A good way to get around this is to wear loose, flowing clothing that doesn’t stick to your body, and make sure to pack a wide brim hat and comfortable sandals for walking. 

There’s also the option of taking with you a light shawl or scarf that you can drape around yourself when you go into churches or other historic sites.

Another good way to beat the heat in Rome is to take a refillable water bottle with you. That’s down to the sheer number of public water fountains located around the city. 

Called nasoni (big noses), there are around 2,500 of these scattered across the city. The water is clean and safe to drink, they’re free to use, and most refreshingly of all, it’s cold! 

Save yourself some money and use these super convenient little taps. Make sure to bring also a power bank, if you’re making the most of the long daylight hours you don’t want your phone to die before the end of the day!

The beautiful Trevi fountain in Rome

The beautiful Trevi fountain in Rome

Best times to sight see in Rome during summer

It’s a good idea to avoid doing your sightseeing in the hottest part of the day. Get up and out early to explore the city, and spend long lunches hiding from the sun in the shade. 

Embrace the Italian summer way of life, and take a break after lunch! Shops and other businesses tend to close up in the hottest part of the day but come alive again in the evening. 

Nights are much cooler and make for the perfect time to see the city’s famous sights.

The Colosseum in Rome at sunset

Rome summer holidays to plan for

When it comes to planning a trip to Rome in the summer it’s a good idea to plan around some of the city’s events.

The first holiday of the summer is Republic Day, which falls on June 2nd. This is when Italy celebrates its modern founding.

It’s a public holiday, so you can expect to see parades and fireworks, with many celebrations taking place in Rome. Some places may be closed on this day.

August is when many Italians head off on their summer holidays. This typically takes place around Ferragosto (15th August), so it’s good to note that during this time many things in Rome will be closed.

This doesn’t usually affect the tourist sights, but many shops, bars and restaurants in less touristy areas will probably close.

Exploring Piazza Navona in Rome

Exploring Piazza Navona in Rome

How to get around Rome in summer 

Of course, you can just get around Rome by using the power of your own two feet, but that can get sweaty very quickly.

If you’re only going short distances, then you’ll be ok, but if you don’t feel like traipsing for miles on end around the city only to be left overheated and dehydrated, then don’t worry: you have options.

You can take a Lime or other varieties of e-scooters to get around. This is great for short distances, but not overly fun along Rome’s cobbled streets, which can be pretty bumpy on a scooter.

If you can drive a scooter, you could opt for eCooltra – a scooter sharing service – which is better for slightly longer distances. It will also allow you to live out your travel movie dreams (Yes that was a Roman Holiday reference!)

One tip I would definitely give you for Rome in summer is to avoid public transport where possible.

Obviously, if you really have to use the metro or bus services, then it’s doable, but be warned that it can get very sweaty on these modes of public transport – especially when it’s busy.

Scootering around Rome - that's the Colosseum behind us!

Scootering around Rome – that’s the Colosseum behind us!

Popular Rome tours you can join

Having lived in Rome I can say it’s a fairly easy city to wander around and discover alone. However, it can also be very chaotic and touristy, with locals trying to attract you into generic tourist traps.

If you want to relax during your Rome summer trip, and have someone else take care of the planning hassle, plus have a local guide teach you about the beauties of Rome, here are some of the most popular Rome tours.

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour – This popular tour is a must if you want to visit the Vatican Museum. Having a local guide explain what you’re seeing is key to understanding this unique place.

Click here to book your Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel tour!

The Basilica di San Pietro and main square of the Vatican in Rome

The Basilica di San Pietro and main square of the Vatican in Rome

View over the Roman Forum and the Colosseum from the Campidoglio

View over the Roman Forum and the Colosseum from the Campidoglio

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Entry – While I think it would be better with a local guide, you can also just purchase skip-the-line entrance without a guide.

Skip the line, and purchase your Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel entrance here!

Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Priority Tickets – You don’t want to spend hours queueing under the sun, so make sure to purchase priority tickets to the Colosseum!

Click here to book your Colosseum tickets and skip the line!

Rome: Street Food Tour with Local Guide – Italians take food very seriously, and the best way to discover true Roman cuisine is with a local!

Check out prices and availability for a Rome street food tour here!

Wandering up the famous Spanish Steps towards Trinità dei Monti in Rome

Wandering up the famous Spanish Steps towards Trinità dei Monti in Rome

Best things to do in Rome in summer

Have an aperitivo & enjoy the sunset on a rooftop terrace

Summer is all about sitting outside and enjoying the weather. In Rome, that goes without saying.

Some of the best spots to do this are the various rooftop terraces that can be found around the city, from Hotel Minerva’s rooftop bar to fancy Terrazza Les Étoiles Roma.

Find one that suits your vibe and enjoy a sundowner (or two) with Rome’s skyline as the backdrop. 

Interested in finding the best views in Rome? Then you should have a look at my other post. 

Sunset over the rooftops of Rome from Up Sunset Bar

Sunset over the rooftops of Rome from Up Sunset Bar

Walk along the river

Walking along the River Tiber is a quintessential thing to do in Rome in summer. Not only do you get some great views along the sparkling water of the river, but summer also brings extra entertainment to the riverside.

Called Lungo il Tevere, this series of boardwalks features bars, food stalls, restaurants, stalls for shopping, games, and a whole lot more.

One particularly good time of day to head down to the riverside is sunset, when the river reflects the setting sun and eventually the city begins to light up. And then the Romans come out to play down by the river. It’s great fun!

READ MORE: THE ULTIMATE ROME 3-DAY ITINERARY!

The views as you cross River Tiber in Rome

The views as you cross River Tiber in Rome

Enjoy the laser light show at Fori Imperiali

If you’re looking for something else to do on a Roman summer at night, then head down to the Imperial Forum (or Fori Imperiali).

Each summer, this storied old site puts on an impressive laser light show dubbed “Viaggio nei Fori” (literally “Voyage in the Forum”). 

Taking place on a backdrop of the ruins, the 40-minute show runs you through the history of ancient Rome and brings the remains to life, showing spectators what the Forum once looked like in its heyday.

This isn’t just one of the best things to do in Rome, but in general a highlight on any Italy bucket list or Italy itinerary.

Admiring the view over the Fori Romani in Rome

Admiring the view over the Fori Romani in Rome

Visit some of the main attractions at night 

Not only can you beat the heat of a Roman summer by visiting its top sights after dark – you can also beat the crowds. There are some great Rome by night tours that you can join.

Many sights, such as the Colosseum and the Castel Sant’Angelo are gloriously illuminated at night, too, making it all the more worth it to head out for some nocturnal sightseeing.

Some sights, such as the Baths of Caracalla, take on a completely different personality in summer. This season sees Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera take over the ancient baths for open air shows and music performances.

Check the schedule ahead of time to see what you might want to see in this one-of-a-kind venue.

View over Castel Sant'Angelo and the Tiber River at night

View over Castel Sant’Angelo and the Tiber River at night

Seeing the main sights of Rome at night perfectly embodies the famous Italian quote by Alberto Sordi; Rome is not like any other city. It’s a majestic museum, a living room to tiptoe through.”

If you don’t feel confident exploring Rome by night alone, here are some popular tours you can join.

Rome: Secrets of Rome Walking Tour – This walking tour will take you to see all of the highlights of Rome with a professional guide, who will teach you about Rome’s history.

Click here to book your Rome by night walking tour!

Rome: E-Bike Night Tour with Food and Wine Tasting – Don’t fancy walking? Why not join this e-bike tour, and make the most also of their Italian food and wine tasting!

Click here to book your Rome night e-bike tour with food & wine tasting!

Rome: Colosseum by Night with Underground & Arena Floor Tour – If you don’t want to do a full city tour, this Colosseum only tour is a great choice!

Click here to book your Colosseum by Night tour!

Eating spaghetti carbonara in Rome

Eating spaghetti carbonara in Rome

Explore the streets of Trastevere at night 

If you’re looking for somewhere lively to check out while you’re in Rome during summer, then hit up Trastevere.

This proudly working-class district is now a warren of maze-like streets that hide a whole host of bars, trattorias and various other eateries. 

You will probably recognise photos of these cute cobbled streets, as they’re amongst the most popular Rome Instagram shots.

It’s a great place for aperitivos and dinner alike. On warm evenings, it’s positively alive with visitors and locals alike making full use of the longer hours of daylight and the great weather.

If you like the sound of hopping from bar to bar, strolling around Trastevere and simply taking it all in as you head to different places to wine and dine here, then it’s a must.

Wandering along the cute cobbled streets of Rome, Italy

Explore Villa Borghese

There’s nothing quite like exploring a slice of nature when it’s hot, so when you find yourself in Rome in summer you should head over to the Villa Borghese.

These sculptured gardens, the largest in Rome, feature shaded paths through manicured lawns, making it a cool space to explore in the city.

The park also features some pretty awesome views, where you can look down on the Piazza del Popolo and the impressive Rome skyline behind it.

I always recommend a stop here, even if you only have two days in Rome.

Wandering around the gardens of Villa Borghese in Rome

Wandering around the gardens of Villa Borghese in Rome

Day trip to Ostia, Anzio or Sperlonga 

For many Romans, Rome in summer isn’t about being in the capital at all – it’s about being at the beach! So, do as the Romans do, and leave the city behind for the day and head to the coast. 

There’s a number of cute seaside towns where Roman’s head on weekends to escape the heat. They might not be the iconic Italian beaches like Sardinia and Cinque Terre, but they’re still cute spots to add to your Italy itinerary.

Sperlonga is the prettiest but furthest away, while Ostia is super easy to reach on the train from Rome and also has interesting archaeological sites to explore. 

View over the cute coastal town of Sperlonga, Italy

View over the cute coastal town of Sperlonga, Italy

Chill and cool down at some of the best Rome parks

Thankfully Rome’s many green spaces offer some much needed space to cool off. Pack yourself a picnic, pick up a blanket and head to some of the best parks in Rome.

Some options include Terrazza del Pincio, Giardino degli Aranci and Belvedere del Gianicolo – all three also boast amazing views.

READ MORE: HOW TO SPEND ONE DAY IN ROME!

Enjoying the sunset over Rome from Giardino degli Aranci

Enjoying the sunset over Rome from Giardino degli Aranci

Visit famous churches 

Churches are some of the best places to visit in the summer in Rome. Not only are they fascinating for their history, art and architecture – they’re usually really cool inside! Sightseeing plus escaping the heat in one go.

Go for a Tiber River cruise

Exploring Rome in the summer on foot can be exhausting, but luckily you can take a cruise on the Tiber and see many of the top sights along the way.

The hop-on, hop-off boats stop right near storied sites such as Piazza Venezia and the Castel Sant’Angelo, meaning less time baking in the summer sun. Don’t forget your sunscreen and shades though!

Click here to book your Tiber River cruise!

The beautiful facade of the Trevi fountain in Rome

The beautiful facade of the Trevi fountain in Rome

Where to stay in Rome in summer

There are lots of great places to stay in Rome. Whether you’re searching for a hotel near the Colosseum, one near the Pantheon or serviced apartment in Rome, here are my top picks for every budget.

Budget: Palladini HostelThis hostel is super central, close to the train station and all the action of Rome, with spacious dorms and a lively atmosphere.

Click here to book your stay at Palladini Hostel!

Mid-range: Tridente Rooms – The rooms of this bnb are simple but spacious, and it’s right next to Villa Borghese, my favourite park in Rome.

Check out prices and availability at Tridente Rooms here!

Luxury: Hotel Eden – Dorchester Collection – Perfect if you want to treat yourself, this hotel is beautifully decorated and very conveniently located in the centre of Rome.

Don’t miss out, book your stay at Hotel Eden here!

The Pantheon

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

Final thoughts on spending summer in Rome

There you have it, the ultimate guide to visiting Rome in summer! Have you been to Rome before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!

Rome is one of the most popular destinations in Italy, and understandably so. Whatever the time of year, the Eternal City attracts tourists from all over the world.

Florence, Milan, Venice or Matera can’t keep up with the history, beauty and charm of the Eternal City. Especially in summer, travellers from all over the world flock to Rome.

Just follow my top tips in this Rome summer guide, and you’ll be able to beat the heat and make the most of your time in this gorgeous city.

I hope you found my guide useful in planning your Rome in summer trip! If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below!

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Photo collage of the Trevi Fountain, the Tiber River, Trinità del Monti and Piazza Navona with text overlay saying "Rome in summer, ultimate guide!"