The top 10 things to do this Christmas 2022 in Rome


What to do in Rome at Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and here in Rome jolly doesn’t even begin to explain the level of yuletide cheer and spirit you’ll feel after completing our top ten list of Christmas must-do’s

Christmas Markets in Rome
New Year’s Eve in Rome
Your Italian Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas trees in Rome

Christmas Trees in Rome

Nothing says Christmas like Christmas trees, and nothing says Christmas in Rome like the mother of all Christmas Trees located in Saint Peter’s square. This year the Christmas tree comes from Rosello, a city situated in Abruzzo. The inauguration of the tree will take place on December 3th at 5pm. Another iconic Christmas tree in Rome is the one that will be set up in Piazza Venezia, a zero-cost tree, connected to a photovoltaic system, sponsored by Acea, the leading operator in the water sector in Italy. A third tree is located in Piazza di Spagna where the Bulgari maison has installed a beautiful Christmas tree consisting of 47,500 low-energy LED micro-lamps. And finally, in Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina there will be a completely red Christmas tree, wanted by the Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina Association, made of completely recycled material and with low-consumption LED lights.


Panettone or Pandoro

Indulge in Panettone or Pandoro

By now you have probably noticed the colorful boxes of large round cake-bread stacked in every available corner of Rome’s supermarkets, pasticcerie, and even the local “cinese.”  Although it is considered perfectly acceptable by Italian standards to go hard on the panettone or pandoro of your choice before, during and after Christmas, be advised: not all panettone and pandoro were created equal. Here are some of the best places to purchase pandoro and panettone in Rome:

Le Levain, Via Luigi Santini 22/23

Antico Forno Roscioli, Via dei Chiavari 34

Bompiani, Largo Bompiani 8

Gruè, viale Regina Margherita 95/99

Panificio Bonci, via Trionfale 34/36

Cresci, Via Alcide de Gasperi, 11-17

Romoli, Viale Eritrea, 142


Go Ice Skating - Rome

Go Ice Skating

Don’t act so surprised, Rome has its fair share of festive holiday rinks for ice skating, even if the weather in December is rarely close to freezing. Rome’s Christmas ice skating rinks are usually in the following locations:

Christmas World, Villa Borghese

Christmas Village, Via della Batteria di Porta Furba, 29

Luneur, Via delle Tre Fontane, 100

Ice Christmas, Piazzale Maresciallo Diaz

Cinecittà World

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nativity scenes in rome

See some Nativity Scenes

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the star of the show (Baby Jesus that is, not Santa Claus). To get your fill of nativity scenes for a lifetime, check out the 100 Presepi in Vaticano, the most traditional Christmas exhibition in Rome, or peek into the major churches to see the various forms of Christmas Nativities.

8 December 2022 – 8 January 2023

Colonnato di Piazza San Pietro

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Also at Parco Da Vinci will be the world-famous Neapolitan nativity scenes: from Nov. 25 until Jan. 8, the social promotion association “Le Botteghe di San Gregorio Armeno” will create a faithful reproduction of the most characteristic street in the Neapolitan capital inside the park.



Incanto di Luci at The Botanical Garden

The first Italian edition of the sensory exhibition entitled Incanto di Luci (Enchantment of Lights) will take place at Rome’s Botanical Garden. The works of the famous light designer Andreas Boehlke will fill this urban Eden, accompanied by the music of the composer Burkhard Fincke: it will be possible to walk 1.5 km among light installations and thousands of LED lights that will adorn the garden’s splendid plants and century-old trees.

19 November 2022 – 8 January 2023

Botanical Garden of Rome

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Christmas World at Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese, specifically the Galoppatoio area, will be coloured in with Christmas magic this year, thanks to the event Christmas World, which was held at the Auditorium last year. From December 3th to January 8th, you can live an immersive experience which will let you travel through the Christmas atmosphere of the world. The monuments of the most iconic cities such as Rome, London, Paris will be protagonists of this exhibition, handcrafted by the most appreciated international artists in the sector. Together with the main attractions of these cities, also the most typical local markets have been reproduced, such as Portobello in London, selling handicraft objects and delicious food. There will be movie-set-like installations, various games, shows, photo opportunities, a toy factory run by Santa’s helpers, a safari area, with a luminous zoo, where children can dress up as explorers, and finally a skating rink, for the young and the older.

3 December 2022 – 8 January 2023

Villa Borghese
entry fee €15


Gospel festival - Rome

Gospel festival

One of the best ways to spread some holiday cheer is through music. However, for those of us who were not given the gift of song, caroling is out of the question, nor would we suggest caroling around Rome for that matter. Thankfully, the Gospel Festival hosts a series of holiday concerts guaranteed to lift your spirits.

23 – 31 December 2022

Auditorium Parco della Musica 

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Concerts & Masses in Churches

Concerts & Masses in Churches

See above. Music = Merriment and Holiday cheer. Attend a free concert in one of the beautiful churches throughout Rome.

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Discover our selection of the best
Rome’s Tours & Local Experiences




Wander Around a Christmas Market

Christmas markets in Rome have always been part of the holiday fun, and they always bring in a certain joy during this time of year. You have the possibility to choose between a wide range of options: from Italian craft to vintage clothing, from Christmas food classics to Japanese decor, discover all the Christmas markets in the city!

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Holiday Passeggiata & Christmas Lights

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially in the winding vicolos and side streets decked with twinkling lights and glowing orbs hung above. Take a stroll down these decorated stradas and admire the Christmas lights, taking in the festive holiday vibes. While you’re at it, try the chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

Via dei Condotti

Palazzo Fendi

Via del Governo Vecchio

Via Giulia

Via del Corso

Via del Boschetto & Via Urbana

Piazza Venezia


Via Vittorio Veneto

Piazza di Spagna

Via del Babuino

Piazza Mignanelli


Catch a Christmas play or concert

Catch a Christmas play or concert

This year the Natale all’Auditorium Festival offers a rich calendar of shows and concerts. The program includes different music concerts, together with the traditional Roma Gospel Festival, one of the most important gospel events in Europe, featuring some of the best voices from the United States. A musical journey that will last more than one month, crossing various places and genres, from classical to jazz, to indie and more. 

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The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma offers many spectacles during the month of December. They start with the new production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (27 Nov-6 Dec), staged under the direction of Michele Mariotti and Emma Dante. Then, the ballet Don Quixote (18-31 Dec), with choreography by Laurent Hilaire, which opens the ballet season with vivacity, gaiety and romanticism. 

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With a new production by Fabrizio di Fiore Entertainment for the Roma City Ballet Company, the Teatro Olimpico plunges into a wonderful dream in the world of fairy tales, where the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugarplum Fairy lead us into a fairytale kingdom of toys that become animated characters, princes and princesses in the classic ballet: The Nutcracker, from 8 to 11 December


What’s closed in Rome at Christmas

Rome during Christmas time follows normal opening hours (actually many shops have extended hours till January 6th) except on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Santo Stefano (the 26th of December) and New Year’s Day.

The Vatican Museums will be closed on December 26th, while on the 24th and 31st they will be open until 3.30pm (last entrance 1.30pm). The Colosseum Archeological Park and the Borghese Gallery will be closed on December 25th and January 1st.

As far as restaurants are concerned, many will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (but not all, you’ll find many restaurants offering delicious Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus, especially in the centro storico). While on New Year’s Eve restaurants are always open – but you should book in advance.

Check out the best NYE parties in Rome 

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