If you are coming to Rome in November, you will have some of the best of everything: still pretty fair weather (sometimes); still nice light during the day; the end of the peak fall season; and, my personal favorite: the beginning of artichoke season!
Here's what you need to know about coming to visit Rome this time of year:
I often hear people ask "Does it rain a lot in November in Rome?" The answer is yes, it does. Sometimes.
Of course, nobody cannot predict if it will rain or not during your visit. But overall, November tends to be a rainier month than others.
There are often also a lot of surprisingly beautiful days, particularly at the beginning of November. You may come prepared for rain but find cool, crisp sunny days.
Temperatures vary a lot between the beginning and end of the month, and between daytime and nighttime. It's warmer towards the beginning of November and cooler towards the end. The days are shorter in November, since we move to Standard Time in late October, so there is less of that gorgeous light that makes Rome glow.
During the day it's in the low 60'°F/high teens's °C, and in the evenings it can still be quite chilly, in the mid 40's °F/low teens °C.
No matter which part of November you visit Rome, always be prepared to be comfortable, and to be flexible in your dress. These are my personal recommendations for what to pack for Rome in November:
November in Rome can be rainy. A rain-hat can be the perfect packable accessory - it doesn't take up much room but is so useful when you need it!
November is a cross between warm-fall and chilly-fall. That's why a versatile water-proof hiking jacket with removable fleece lining is one of the best items you can pack for Rome in November.
Here's a men's version of the above jacket. I love these for late fall and early spring. It's like having 3 jackets in one, and also great for comfort while sight-seeing!
Another handy thing to pack for rainy weather in Rome is a light rain poncho. I've seen so many people shelling out money to street vendors when it rains unexpectedly in Rome. Bring your own and come prepared!
When it starts to rain in Rome, umbrella sellers appear out of nowhere and sell small and large umbrellas. And that's fine for a quick fix, but the quality of those umbrellas is not great. If you want to come prepared with your own travel umbrella, get a quality umbrella that will last. I love mine that has an open AND close button.
Of course a scarf is a must in Rome year-round (yes even in summer), and in particular you will find it handy in November, when temps can drop a lot between night and day.
You probably won't need gloves until the end of November. But if you don't bring them, there are so many places to buy them here in Rome!
See also my page about What to Pack for Rome, with downloadable packing list.
My number one rule for sight-seeing in Rome, any time of year: be comfortable! This especially pertains to shoes. So wear good walking shoes (and socks!)
The next rule, excellent for November is: dress in layers. Be prepared for changes in temperature throughout the day, and possible rain.
Bottom line, to sight-see in Rome in November: wear good walking shoes, jeans or heavy cotton pants, a light cotton shirt plus sweater/jacket and the Italian MUST WEAR - a scarf. Always a scarf.
(And carry a rain hat and travel umbrella in your bag!)
The first weekend of November is almost an extension of October: In Italy, November 1st is a holiday (All Saints' Day), which of course follows Halloween. Halloween did not used to be much of a big deal in Italy, but every year it is becoming more and more commericialized and celebrated in Italy...not quite as much as in the US but they are catching up.
And since the 1st is a holiday, if it falls anywhere near a weekend, there will be a ponte or bridge (3-4 day weekend.) This makes it a pretty busy time to be in Rome.
And lately since the weather has been nice through the first week of November, Rome is pretty crowded even then.
However, for us (and most Rome hotels), rates drop dramatically from the beginning of November. This is a great time to come to Rome if you are looking for hotel bargains.
A lot of people have caught on that October is peak season, so they are pushing their trip to early November, counting on still pretty nice weather, and hoping for lower hotel rates.
Usually by the second week of November, things have slowed down quite a bit.
You can expect to find fewer crowds, less of a wait to get into museums and restaurants, and the feeling of a city settling in for the beginning of winter on the way.
In Rome, food is (supposed to be) seasonal. And carciofi alla romana, or stewed artichokes, are in season from late November through early spring.
Yes you will find artichokes in Rome before then. But they are not from Rome, and they won't be made alla romana. They will be fried (alla giudia), or used in other dishes like pasta or anchovy casseroles. Nothing wrong with those fabulous dishes!
But if you love carciofi alla romana, as I do, you can start indulging in late November.
Fall vegetables in season include: pumpkin, cardoons (not that easy to find, but yummy), cabbage, broccoli, broccoletti, chard, onions, leeks, chicory, carrots, fennel (and more.)
Fall fruit in season include pomegranates, persimmons, chestnuts, grapes, apples and pears (and more.)
Want to know more about Rome cuisine? Click here.
This is a good time to visit monuments and museums, especially in the later part of November, as it will be much less crowded than in October.
And as the weather cools, it's also a fantastic time to catch some special museum exhibits indoors. Note also that several museums stay open later on the weekends.
Here are some special things you can do in November in Rome:
On the first Sunday of every month, state museums and archeological sites are free. On November 6, 2016, you can visit the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Ostia Antica, Galleria Borghese and many more sites, for free! (Yes, the 1st is a holiday, but the sites are open.)
On the Sunday October 30 2016, the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are open and free. Hours are 9am - 2pm, with last entry at 12:30. No reservations are possible and tours don't go this day. Plan to get there very early to wait in line.
If you are on a tight schedule and this is the only day you can go, or a tight budget, then this is a great opportunity. But otherwise it is usually better to book your visit ahead of time and pay to go another day.
November is the start of chillier weather and so there's a lot more to do indoors.
If you love jazz, November is a great time to be in Rome.
The Rome Jazz Festival goes from 6-23 November 2016 at the Rome Auditorium Parco della Musica.
The Capitoline Museums are fabulous any time.
Now through November 27 2016, there is a fantastic Exhibit Mercy represented through works of art, from paintings to sculptures and from miniatures to engravings.15€ tickets. No need to book in advance.
Museums are open 7 days a week, 9:30am - 7:30pm.
At the Complesso del Vittoriano (accessible from the via dei Fori Imperiali), check out the Edward Hopper exhibit. Through February 2017. 15.50€ tickets. No need to book in advance.
Check out the new Love exhibit, "Contemporary Art meets Love", at the Chiostro del Bramante, behind Piazza Navona. Through February 2017. 13€ tickets. No need to book in advance.
The Chiostro del Bramante is open Mon - Fri from 10am - 8pm, and Sat-Sun until 9pm.
Don't miss the fantastic new exhibit "Time is Out of Joint" at the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna (Museum of Modern Art.)
Open Tue - Sun, 8.30am - 7:30pm. Closed Monday
Now through November 13, you can visit the Quirinale Palace (where the President of Italy lives), and check out the exhibit "Gothic Treasures of Slovakia." It's worth it just to see a bit inside the palace. Entry is free but must be booked in advance. The site is only in Italian.
Open Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun. Closed Mon and Thu. From 10am - 4pm
At the end of November 2016, catch Tristan und Isolde right in Rome's beautiful Teatro dell'Opera (Opera House.)
You may also be interested in:
For more information about events in Rome, visit the official website of the Rome Tourist Board.
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