There’s nothing quite like spring in Rome. And coming from someone in love with this city no matter the season, that should mean something.
In Rome, spring brings that sliver of time (seriously, just a handful of weeks) when it’s no longer cold and rainy… but not yet boiling hot. You have to duck tour groups around the Colosseum and Vatican, but it’s not quite the human bumper-car game it becomes by June. And as people take to terraces and piazzas—whether kids kicking a soccer ball or friends meeting for a glass of wine—the atmosphere gets cheerier (and the people-watching better!).
Here are 5 reasons I love the spring in Rome, in pictures.
Spring is the perfect time to stroll the Via Appia
Walking the Appia Antica is a must-do any day the weather’s nice, springtime or not. But there’s something about the spring—when the birds are chirping, the grass is practically fluorescent, and tour buses are still scarce—that’s especially lovely. Here’s more on the Appian Way (with video!).
It’s beach weather, but nobody seems to know it yet
Rome has some great beaches within an hour from the city. (My favorite is Sperlonga, but for convenience, I often head to Santa Marinella). This time of year, it’s more than warm enough to spread out on the sand (even if the water’s still a bit chilly!)—and there’s still room to do so, too. Come summer, everyone has the beach on the brain… and that becomes a much more difficult prospect. Especially on weekends.
Spring means artichoke season in Rome
Proper, Roman artichokes—carciofi romaneschi—grow only from February to May. The rest of the year, the artichokes you see on menus in Rome are imposters aren’t local, Roman artichokes, but from elsewhere in Italy or France. Eat ’em alla giudia (fried) or alla romana (braised with olive oil, garlic, and herbs).
Other foods that come into season in spring in Rome: asparagus (March to June), fava beans (April to June), puntarelle (March and April), carrots (April and May), and peas (April to July). Right now, look for dishes on the menu that have those ingredients—they’ll be the freshest, and most delicious (not to mention the best for local agriculture and the environment!).
Flowers, flowers everywhere (even the Spanish Steps!)
Like everyone else, I’m a sucker for flowers. So while I usually avoid the Spanish Steps (so many people! too many vendors trying to sell me cheap toys or roses!), I always make a point to walk by as often as I can in May. That’s when the city puts out big pots of blooming azaleas on the staircase. They’re only there for a couple of weeks, though—it’s one round of azaleas, and when they die, they’re carted away—so I always find it a bittersweet reminder of how fleeting springtime, and time itself, truly are. (Deep thought for the day…)
Eating gelato isn’t just excusable—it feels right
Don’t get me wrong. I can eat gelato year-round. In fact, there’s nothing I like better in the winter than a scoop of marron glacés gelato from Ciampini. But getting a fresh scoop, and then slowly strolling down Rome’s cobblestoned streets, taking leisurely nibbles under the sunshine? That’s how the gelato experience should be. And somehow, having to wear gloves just to hold the coppa in your hand without getting frostbitten fingers detracts from that a little bit.
If you liked this post, you’ll love The Revealed Rome Handbook: Tips and Tricks for Exploring the Eternal City, available for purchase on Amazon or through my site here! I’m also free for one-on-one consulting sessions to help plan your Italy trip.