The top 17 things to do this Christmas 2023 in Rome
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The top 17 things to do this Christmas 2023 in Rome

As the festive season approaches, the eternal city of Rome transforms into a magical wonderland, adorned with twinkling lights and the spirit of Christmas. If you find yourself in the heart of Italy during the holiday season, here are the top 17 things to do in Rome this Christmas, ensuring a memorable and enchanting experience.

1. Rome Self-Guided Tour: Uncover Hidden Gems

Embark on a Rome self-guided tour with Vox City, where every cobblestone street tells a story. Start at the iconic Colosseum and meander through the charming Trastevere neighborhood. But here's the twist - did you know that Rome's lesser-known spots often hold the most enchanting secrets? Take a detour, and who knows, you might stumble upon a quaint café or an ancient alley with a Christmas surprise.

2. Vatican City: Experience Midnight Mass


No Christmas in Rome is complete without a visit to Vatican City. Attend the famous Midnight Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, where the atmosphere is infused with the essence of the season. But, have you ever wondered about the history behind this timeless tradition? Uncover the significance of Midnight Mass as you soak in the grandeur of the Vatican.

3. Piazza Navona: Explore the Christmas Market


Piazza Navona, with its stunning fountains and Baroque architecture, transforms into a Christmas market during the festive season. Dive into the festive spirit as you explore the stalls adorned with handmade crafts and seasonal treats. Here's a question – which local delicacy will you try first? Roasted chestnuts, traditional panettone, or perhaps a cup of rich Italian hot chocolate?

4. Christmas Lights at the Spanish Steps: A Night to Remember


Witness the city come alive at night as you stroll along the beautifully lit Spanish Steps. The question is, where are the best vantage points to capture the magic on your camera? Discover the ideal spots to soak in the dazzling Christmas lights, creating a visual spectacle that will undoubtedly be the highlight of your Roman holiday.

5. Ice Skating in Rome: Glide Under the Open Sky

Did you ever imagine ice skating under the Roman sky? Well, you can at the Ice Park near Castel Sant'Angelo. But here's the challenge – can you master the art of gliding gracefully on ice? Whether you're a pro or a first-timer, the experience is bound to add a touch of winter charm to your Christmas in Rome.

6. Nativity Scenes Tour: A Traditional Italian Christmas

Immerse yourself in the rich tradition of presepi, or nativity scenes, scattered across the city. Wander through churches and squares, each showcasing unique interpretations of the Christmas story. But, have you ever wondered why nativity scenes are such an integral part of Italian Christmas celebrations? Uncover the cultural significance as you admire the craftsmanship of these timeless displays.

7. Trastevere Christmas Run: Festive Fitness Fun

For the fitness enthusiasts, the Trastevere Christmas Run is a must. Lace up your running shoes and join locals and visitors alike in this festive 5K through the picturesque Trastevere district. Here's the question – are you ready to trade the typical Christmas indulgence for a fun and active start to your day in Rome?

8. Gourmet Christmas Dinner: Indulge in Italian Delicacies


Christmas in Rome is synonymous with indulging in exquisite culinary delights. Treat your taste buds to a traditional Italian Christmas dinner at one of the city's finest restaurants. The question remains – which dishes will grace your festive table? From succulent roasted meats to delectable desserts, the options are endless.

9. Appian Way Bike Tour: Ancient Pathways

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city center with a bike tour along the historic Appian Way. But here's the intriguing part – did you know that this ancient road dates back to 312 B.C.? Explore the remnants of ancient Rome as you pedal through the serene countryside. Can you imagine a more unique way to spend your Christmas day?

10. Christmas Day Mass at Pantheon: Historical Serenity


Wrap up your Roman holiday with a touch of historical serenity at the Pantheon. Attend Christmas Day Mass in this iconic Roman temple, where the ancient architecture echoes with the sounds of festive hymns. The question lingers – can you imagine a more awe-inspiring way to conclude your Christmas celebration in the heart of Rome?

11. Gianicolo Hill: Panoramic Views of the City


For a breathtaking panoramic view of Rome during the festive season, head to Gianicolo Hill. As the sun sets and the city lights up, you'll be treated to a spectacular sight. But here's the twist – did you know that locals consider the Gianicolo the "eighth hill" of Rome, offering a unique perspective on the city's skyline? Capture the magical lights of Rome and create memories against the backdrop of a stunning sunset.

12. Roman Holiday Film Locations Tour: Relive the Magic


Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck as you embark on a self-guided tour of locations featured in the classic film "Roman Holiday." Wander through the charming streets of Trastevere and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, just like in the movie. But, have you ever wondered about the enduring appeal of "Roman Holiday" and its influence on the city's romantic allure?

13. Festive Gelato Tasting: Winter Flavors


While gelato is often associated with summer, Rome's gelaterias offer festive flavors during the winter months. Indulge in seasonal specialties like panettone and chestnut gelato. The question is – can you resist the temptation to savor these winter delights, even in the cooler temperatures?

14. Street Performers at Campo de' Fiori: A Living Canvas

Experience the lively atmosphere of Campo de' Fiori, where street performers bring the piazza to life. From musicians to living statues, the square becomes a living canvas of entertainment. Here's the intriguing part – have you ever wondered about the stories behind these street performers? Strike up a conversation and discover the hidden talents that add an extra layer of charm to Rome's streets.

15. Christmas Eve Torchlight Procession: A Spiritual Journey

Participate in a Christmas Eve torchlight procession, a spiritual journey through the historic center of Rome. As you join locals in carrying torches through the streets, you'll be enveloped in the warmth of the Christmas spirit. But, have you ever wondered about the origins of this unique tradition? Uncover the historical and cultural significance as you become a part of this enchanting ritual.

16. Aventine Keyhole: Peek into a Secret World


Visit the Aventine Keyhole for a whimsical experience. This unassuming keyhole, located at the Priory of the Knights of Malta, offers a perfectly framed view of St. Peter's Basilica. Here's the twist – can you imagine peering through a keyhole and discovering a secret world where the dome of St. Peter's aligns perfectly with your gaze?

17. Christmas Choir Concerts: Harmonies in Historic Settings

Immerse yourself in the enchanting melodies of Christmas choir concerts held in historic churches across Rome. The acoustics of these ancient spaces elevate the harmonies to a magical level. But here's the question – have you ever considered the emotional impact of Christmas carols echoing through centuries-old cathedrals? Let the music transport you to a realm where time seems to stand still.


In the enchanting city of Rome, Christmas takes on a whole new dimension, blending the ancient with the modern and the traditional with the contemporary. From Rome self-guided tours to ancient pathways, and Christmas markets to midnight masses, Rome offers a diverse array of experiences to make your holiday season truly magical. So, as you plan your Christmas 2023 in Rome, let the eternal city weave its festive spell around you, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


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