Are you coming to Rome in August? You may have heard...
Actually, only one of those things is true.
On this page you'll find:
This is the true one of the list above.
Yes, it does get really hot and humid in August in Rome. Or it can. Come prepared for the heat but bring a light cardigan or scarf just in case.
Usually during the day, it's in the high 20's °C/ low 80's °F...up to the mid 30's °C / mid 90's °F.
At night, it usually goes down to the mid teens (°C) / low 60's (°F.)
At night, it's really nice to walk around even without a jacket.
And during the day, you should really consider staying out of the heat in the middle of the day when it's a full-on sunny day.
Rome in August is hot and muggy, so when deciding what to bring with you, think light, breathable clothing. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen are best, and try to avoid anything too clingy or tight, looser-fitting pants, skirts and tops are ideal.
Feel free to wear shorts if that's what you prefer - Romans are used to tourists wearing them! But remember to bring longer pants or skirts to wear when visiting churches.
As it will be very sunny, it's also essential to pack a good sunhat and sunglasses to protect you from the hot Roman sun.
Finally, make sure you bring some decent quality shoes or sandals with you - no flip flops! Especially in the heat, flip flops just can't cope with Rome's cobblestones so to avoid any mishaps, be sure to wear good walking sandals or canvas tennis shoes when out sightseeing.
Visit my page all about what to pack for Rome in August for specific recommendations, suggestions on what to wear in Rome in August and more!
For sight-seeing in August in Rome, here is the ideal way to dress:
Summer is also tank-top weather. Just remember that the sun is very strong and high overhead for a lot of the day. So slather on lots of sunscreen, or consider wearing a t-short or other light short-sleeved top that covers your shoulders.
And, as with shorts, if you plan to visit any churches or other Christian site, you will not be allowed in with bare knees or bare shoulders. Especially if you are going to the Vatican, you will need to dress appropriately.
Even if you are just out sight-seeing, make sure to at least bring a scarf to cover your shoulders if you decide last minute to pop into a church (one way to keep cool by the way!)
You can expect hot, muggy weather, day and night. . . and pretty empty streets.
In Rome in August, yes you can expect some things to be closed, particular in the days surrounding the 15th, Ferragosto. But you can also expect plenty of shops and restaurants to be open, even all month long.
After I first moved to Rome in fall 2001, I spent my first August here in search of anything open: a supermarket, a pharmacy, and especially, a decent restaurant.
Yes, the capital of a G8 country shut down almost entirely, for the whole month of August. I just could not believe it.
Things have changed a lot since then. I believe the two main factors are economics and economics.
First of all, Italians simply cannot afford to go away for an entire month anymore.
It costs too much to take the whole family to the sea and rent a house for a month. (Many Italians blame this on the changeover from the Lira to the Euro.)
Second of all, Italians who run small businesses are just as aware of globalisation as anyone else. There is business to be had in Rome in August. After all, even if the Romans are not here, the tourists sure are.
And guess what? Many Romans are here too now.
That said, many shops and restaurants, particularly the very traditional Roman ones, do shut down for some or all of August.
However more and more shop owners are opting to stay open for some if not most of the month.
The same is true for restaurants, even some really good ones. And even on August 15. Click here to visit my page about where to eat in Rome in August.
On August 15 in Rome, many major sites are open, with one big exception.
Some museums that normally close on a Monday, such as the Galleria Borghese, will remain open on the 15th if it falls on a Monday. And so, to give their staff a "holiday" day, they may be closed on another day that week also.
Check the Vatican Museums (and Sistine Chapel) website as sometimes they close dates near the 15th as well, especially if the 15th falls on or near a weekend.
Some smaller places of interest close for part or all of August, such as the non-Catholic cemetery (usually closed for 2-3 weeks in August.)
It's funny, I keep hearing that August is high season in Rome. Many travel websites also state this.
But I ran a B&B in the center of Rome for 17 years, and I can tell you that August has never been and certainly is not now, even close to high season.
August in Rome is a mix of mid- and low- season.
Yes! You read that right. Why?
Here is what I think:
First, almost no Italians travel to Rome in August for their holiday.
Second, August is family vacation time across Europe and North America. Many of those potential tourists think just like Italians do: Rome is too hot, so let's go spend our holidays at the beach.
And finally, even for the families that do come to Rome, it can be expensive to stay in a hotel, especially for families that need more than one room.
This is the time to eat all the summer fruits and vegetables, such as peaches, apricots, melons, and plums; and eggplant, zucchine, tomatoes, basil, beans and fennel.
If you think Rome in August is kinda dead and everything is closed and there is nothing going on, you are in for a pleasant surprise!
There is a LOT going on in August in Rome:
Do you want to see Pope Francis in Rome in August? You may be in luck! In recent history, popes have spent their summers outside of Rome, in the Papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. Pope Francis has yet to take a summer holiday there.
Since August 2015 Pope Francis has held audiences throughout August in the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican.
No tickets are necessary to attend the Papal audience during the month of August. The same plan is in place for 2021 (awaiting confirmation.)
Click here to read more about seeing the Pope in Rome.
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If you are a shopper, then you have two great but different reasons to love being in Rome in August:
Summer is a great time to do outdoor things. And there's a lot you can do outdoors at night, which is a bit cooler than during the day.
Even if visiting the beach was not on your itinerary for your visit to Rome in August, I find that when Rome temps start soaring, many people ask how to get to the nearest beach.
Here's my definitive guide to the best beaches near Rome, and how to get there.
For current events, holidays, concerts, exhibits, festivals and more, visit my page about Rome events in August.
Maybe it's your 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) time in Rome. Or you have more than 3 days here. Or you just want to see and do lots of fun things.
Besides the obvious must-see tourist attractions, there are lots of great things to see and do in Rome in August. Here are some ideas for your visit:
You may also want to visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.
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