Are you planning on spending your Christmas holiday in Rome, but you are still not sure about what to do?
We have a few tips for you!
Attend Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican
If you are a Catholic, or just curious, a must-try in Rome on Christmas is the experience of the Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican.
It is well-known that tickets are hard to come by. Since the Vatican is undoubtedly the most popular place of worship in Rome, you will need to book well in advance!
Visit the Basilica on Christmas day at noon. You will see the Pope giving his Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi speech and spreading his blessing to the crowd.
Our Tip: If you are looking for fewer people, try going to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest church in Rome.
Visit The Presepe In St.Peter’s Square
The nativity scenes, or presepi, are one of the oldest Christmas traditions in Italy. They are believed to be a creation of St. Francis of Assisi.
This tradition has persisted since 1223, and today, you’ll see presepi in every church around the holidays. Even most shops and bakeries usually display them at their windows.
The biggest and most impressive presepe is without question the one displayed in St.Peter’s Square next to the Christmas tree. What you will see is more or less a true life-sized reproduction of the traditional nativity scene!
Go Shopping in Via del Corso and Christmas Markets
Via Del Corso has great gifts if you’re looking for some last-minute purchases. It is also perfect to enjoy a festive atmosphere with its never-ending Christmas lights, lining the street!
Don’t forget to explore the surrounding squares, where street vendors traditionally sell their goods, such as Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori. Here, you can buy unique handcrafted gifts.
The Christmas market in Piazza Navona is much appreciated by locals. Locals typically come here to buy the newest piece for their presepe, or to take their kids out on a family walk. Also, it’s quite common for school groups or adult choirs to casually gather in Piazza Navona and sing Christmas songs.
Sadly, as the markets got more and more touristy, they are now not as full of vendors as they used to be. Nonetheless, they are still a place for treats and treasure hunting.
Another excellent market is Mercato Monti, where most of the locals head during the holidays.
If you are still unsure about what to buy, find a few tips for green Christmas’ gifts!
During Christmas, it’s not rare to hear choirs singing classical music when walking next to beautiful churches around the city. The main churches that organize concerts are Chiesa di Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi, Santa Maria ai Monti, and Sant’Ignazio.
Our Tip: If you like to listen to church music on holidays at the Conciliazione Auditorium near the Vatican, they schedule holiday concerts.
Take a walk
Simply take a walk down the main streets: Via dei Condotti, Via Giulia, Via del Corso, Piazza Venezia, Via Merulana…you’ll see how many streets are decked with twinkling lights and with glowing orbs hung above.
Our tip: try the chestnuts roasting on an open fire from the street vendors.