by Emily Jones

Christmas is without a doubt one of the best times to visit the Eternal City. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to festive activities in the spectacular and splendid Roman capital. There is always so much to see and do in Rome, and in December many parts of the city are transformed into a Christmas wonderland to help get everyone in the spirit for the merry times ahead. So browse through listings of cheap hotels in Rome to book your stay, and head to Rome to enjoy some Christmas festivities. Follow this guide to some of the most exciting things to do in Rome this Christmas.

1. Visit Saint Peter’s Basilica

First on the list is of course a festive visit to see the Pope. If you’re in Rome for Christmas Eve you may want to attend the celebrated Midnight Mass held in St. Peter’s stunning basilica. Alternatively, you may consider joining the high-spirited crowds for Urbi et Orbi on Christmas Day. If you are planning to go back home for Christmas you will still have plenty of opportunities to see the Pope during Sunday mass in the run up to the big day.

2. Have Some Fun Ice-Skating

Although Rome doesn’t see much in the way of snow, outdoor ice rinks are assembled in various locations across the city dedicated to this fun and festive activity. Whether you are new or not to ice-skating it is always a wonderful way to get in the mood for Christmas. Just remember to wrap up well as December evenings can get quite chilly!

3. Shop at a Christmas markets

Rome simply teems with charming Christmas markets during the festive season. The most celebrated is almost certainly that held each year in the suggestive Piazza Navona. These markets are great if you are looking to take a little Italy with you on your return home, or are looking for a special gift for friends and family.

4. Join in Festive Activities at the Auditorium

Rome’s Auditorium offers a fabulous selection of festive events on an annual basis. This architecturally impressive building plays host to a seasonal outdoor ice-rink, Christmas fair and a great many musical concerts to suit a range of different tastes.

5. Marvel at the Seasonal Lights

Enchanting fairy lights and other festive decorations, including a number of towering Christmas trees, flood Rome in the run up to Christmas day. The centro storico is of course one of the best places to admire the city’s Christmas lights in all of their splendour, however festive spectacles can now be enjoyed all across Rome as well as in the city’s many churches where charismatic and charming nativity scenes can be enjoyed.

Christmas in Rome may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and for this reason it is so important that you make the most out of your magical and marvellous stay. Plan ahead to make this a Christmas that you and your loved ones will never forget!