Traditionally, much of Rome shuts down in August. (Thank Emperor Augustus for that). That’s less the case every year, with businesses trying to stay open for more of the summer, thanks to a little something known as the economic crisis.
Even so, lots of independent stores and restaurants still close for much of August. And, when it comes to dining, that includes some of the best spots.
Great events in Rome happen year-round… but some of my favorites happen to take place during the summer. So when it comes to summer in Rome, don’t worry: It’s not all about figuring out how to skip the lines and survive the heat. It’s also about some great summer events.
Best festivals for nightlife
My favorite: hands-down, the Lungo Il Tevere summer festival. This is when the Tiber River is lined with almost a mile of shops, stalls, bars, and restaurants. And it’s open until 2am. Come mid-June, every in-the-know Roman starts heading there to meet up with friends and have a drink, dance, or even just a stroll.
When it comes to Rome in summer, let’s get back to basics: what the weather in Rome in June, July, August, and September is really like… and how to deal.
In this first installment of the Rome summer guide, you’ll find out about some surprising ways to beat the heat, why Rome’s water fountains are freakin’ awesome, which of Rome’s sights have nada shade, why dressing skimpily isn’t always the answer, and—of course—what that heat is a great excuse for (hint: it comes in a cup or a cone…).
Want to survive enjoy Rome in summer, at the height of its temperatures? Read on!
What to know about summer weather in Rome (caution: heat ahead)
Rome in summer? Hot? Um, yes (at least for this New England girl). Rome’s average temperature in both June and September reaches a high of 81° F. The heat peaks in July, with a high of 88° F. And August isn’t much cooler, at 87°.
Over the next few months, I'm going to be rolling out some new Revealed Rome videos and video posts. In celebration of spring, here's the first—a short-and-sweet look at the azaleas in bloom on Rome's Spanish Steps. Enjoy!
I get a lot of questions about Italy. And I try to answer as many of them as I can—either via email, or comments, or through blog posts, my e-book, and, obviously, one-on-one in my consulting sessions.
But everyone likes to mix it up once in a while. So I’m thrilled to announce a new Revealed Rome series: #RevealRome.
It works this way. Just ask a question that you want to see me answer in video format. (And no, it doesn't have to be about Rome!). You can submit your question either by posting it in the comments, on the Revealed Rome Facebook page, on Twitter, or by emailing me at email@example.com. Tag your question #RevealRome. Every two or three weeks, I’ll pick a couple of the questions to answer with a video post.
Rome's public transport might not sound super-sexy… but it's crucial to know about, at least if you don't want to spend a bundle on taxis. Catch me on Anthony Capozzoli's "How to Tour Italy" radio program (his 100th episode, and my third time on the show!), sharing tips and tricks to getting around Rome by metro, bus, and tram. You can tune into the episode here.
Want to know the best things to do in Rome—beyond seeing the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum? Then put away your guidebook. When they go beyond the main sites, too many books (and magazine articles, and television shows) provide the same tired, touristy list of things to do and places to go in Rome.
The problem: These places aren’t only overrun with tourist crowds, but often just don’t tick the box they’re supposed to.
Here are five of Rome’s most overhyped activities—and what to do instead.
1. Instead of having a coffee at Piazza del Popolo…
Don’t get me wrong: The large, obelisk-topped Piazza del Popolo is worth a stop. (Don’t miss the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, with its Caravaggio paintings). But it’s not where to go for a cup of coffee. The couple of cafes on the piazza are scams expensive (think €4.50 for an espresso) and the service is terrible—which is why you won’t see any locals there.
Until this week, I’d never seen a soccer game in Rome. I know. Shameful. But now, not only have I seen a Rome soccer game, but I’ve seen the Rome soccer game—the Rome derby, where Rome’s soccer teams, AS Roma and Lazio, duke it out. More importantly? I survived.
Want to head to a soccer game in Rome? Here are 7 things I learned at the Roma-Lazio game, and that you might want to know… especially if you’re as much of a soccer newbie as I am.