Rome in May: tips for visiting Rome in Spring

Rome in May: the best tips for visiting Rome in spring
Photo by: Claudio Bellucci

Is May a good time to visit Rome?

Picking a destination like Rome has a huge benefit: it’s always a great time to visit Rome, no matter the month. But there are certain times of the year that are more interesting in terms of events and the weather. And surely, May is one of the best times to visit Rome: spring is in full swing, the calendar is packed with events and the weather is just perfect. If you’re traveling to Rome in May, keep reading!


The weather in Rome in May

Spring in Rome is fabulous, especially in May. While the end of March and April are known for their rainfalls, May is usually sunny with a few showers here and there. During the day average temperatures hit 20°C to 23°C while in the evening they cool down to below 20°C. So if you’re looking for great weather, sunny and long days, May is a great time of the year to visit Rome.

What to wear in May in Rome?

Temperatures in May are fairly warm during the day but cooler at night. Which means you need to remember to pack for the various temperatures.

  1. You’ll definitely want to pack a pair of comfortable shoes (remember, Rome is filled with cobblestones).
  2. While many foreigners tend to wear shorts in May, please bear in mind that if you’re planning on visiting religious sites, you won’t be allowed access with shorts.
  3. T-shirts are a must to pack, they are both light and cover your shoulders at the same time, allowing you to access any site.
  4. May is usually characterized by bright and sunny days, so don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen!
  5. A light cardigan is going to be your best friend, especially if temperatures vary
  6. Long pants or skirts for the evening in case in gets chilly
  7. Blazers or light jackets for the evening

Dress code in Rome

Now that we’ve covered the weather and what to pack for Rome, let me in you on the dress code in Rome! As mentioned above, if you’re visiting religious sites like the Vatican, you need to cover your knees and shoulders. For outings, locals have a smart-casual or smart-elegant dress code. Most restaurants, unless they are very elegant, don’t require jackets for men, but we encourage you to dress nicely, either with a shirt or a polo for men, and a dress or pants and a nice top for women.

Please not that if you are going clubbing, depending on to the club there will be a dress code that’s required. For more stylish clubs, men – make sure you have a shirt, dark pants (not jeans) and nice shoes.

What events are on in Rome in May?

May in Rome is jam-packed with events:

  1. May 1st is Labor Day in Italy! While many head to the beach on this national holiday, many Romans also stay in the capital to enjoy the huge Concerto del Primo Maggio, the Labor Day concert held at Piazza San Giovanni featuring a plethora of Italian artists!
  2. The much-awaited BNL International tennis tournament that sees the top names in the game compete every year in this prestigious, glamorous competition.
  3. Open House: a two-day event that offers access to some of the capital’s most beautiful private and public architectural and design wonders.
  4. The Piazza di Siena International Horse Show where you can watch some of the world’s greatest equestrians take part in competitions of show jumping, traditional riding, and polo matches.
  5. La Notte dei Musei or Night at the Museums, where you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to check out your favourite museums and archaeological sites at night.
  6. The Viaggio nei Fori kicks off again, a virtual tour created by Piero Angela and Paco Langiano where visitors will have the chance to see two exciting portrayals of life in Ancient Rome, reconstructed within the Imperial Fora using light, images, film and animation.
  7. The best live music concerts in Rome in May.
  8. Spring has some of Rome’s best exhibitions in store, too.

National holidays in Italy in May

Please bear in mind that May 1st is Labour Day in Italy and it’s a national holiday, meaning all museums and sightseeing areas will be closed. This includes:

  • The Vatican Museums
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • The Colosseum
  • The Borghese Gallery
  • Museums and Exhibitions

The best things to do in Rome in May

In addition to going on guided tours of the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum and throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain, there are plenty of other fun things to do in Rome in May:

  1. Go on a day trip to Rome’s nearby towns
  2. Go rafting along the Tiber River
  3. Go bike riding along the Ancient Appian Way
  4. Go on a Vespa tour of Rome
  5. Explore street art on a Vespa Tour
  6. Explore the Ostia Antica Archeological Park
  7. Go on a walking tour of Testaccio
  8. Explore Trastevere or Villa Borghese with a treasure hunt
  9. Learn to make gelato in an authentic gelateria
  10. Indulge in a wine tasting experience in a cozy wine bar near Campo de’ Fiori
  11. Visit the Vatican Museums at night time!
  12. Learn to make pasta + tiramisù near the Trevi Fountain
  13. Learn to make carbonara, amatriciana and cacio e pepe in Trastevere
  14. Learn to make pizza in Trastevere

Emergencies in Rome + Essential Info

In case anything were to happen during your stay in Rome, here are some useful contacts:

  • Doctors: in case you were to get sick in Rome, MedinAction is an on-demand house call medical service for travelers, expatriates, and students abroad. MedinAction delivers qualified English-speaking doctors in Rome and other cities in Italy (Milan, Bologna, Florence, Venice) to a patient’s doorstep, 24/7.
  • Carabinieri: 112
  • Police: 113
  • Fire Brigade: 115
  • First Aid Ambulance: 118
  • Police Headquarters: 06.4686
  • 24h Pharmacies: 06.228941
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