Rome in February - Essential Trip Planning Guide

Coming to Rome in February?

Yes, it's cold, but there is a lot that's great about visiting Rome this time of year!

The best part is no crowds.

But there's more . . .

piazza barberini in the snowFebruary 2012 - Snow blanketed Rome. This is Piazza Barberini in the wee hours of the morning, right after the storm

 Rome in February - At a Glance

Here's what you need to know:

Watch my video all about visiting Rome in February

Weather in Rome Italy in February

For some reason people seem to think it snows in Rome in February.

Could it be because of the unusual snowstorm we had in February 2012? That was a doozie!

It lay down several feet of snow, and paralyzed the city for days.

Even the Colosseum was closed for about a week.

But really, it only snows in Rome about every 20-30 years, so don't worry too much about this.

It will be cold, and it will likely rain some days while you are here. But there are sometimes some gorgeous bright sunny days too!

Find out why winter is a great time to be in Rome!

What to pack for Rome in February

Packing for Rome in February is all about staying warm, as February is the coldest month of the year in Rome.

Be sure to pack a heavy coat or jacket, along with warm jumpers and heavy cotton pants or jeans.

Don't forget to bring a scarf also!

It's likely to rain at some point during your trip to Rome in February so a rain-jacket or other waterproof coat is essential, as well as comfortable, waterproof shoes.

Visit my page all about what to pack for Rome in February for specific recommendations, suggestions on what to wear in Rome in February and more!

For more ideas, visit my page about What to Pack for Rome, with downloadable packing list.

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What to wear in Rome in February

The key for what to wear in Rome in February is layering.

When it gets sunny during the middle of the day, you may want to shed a layer or two, but in the evening it will feel very chilly.

Jeans, or heavy cotton or wool trousers, are perfect for everyone, and a waterproof coat or jacket with removable layers is ideal to protect you if it rains during your visit.

how to dress in rome in februaryHow people dress in Rome in February (If you are wondering why there are crowds in February, it's because this fountain was vandalized in February 2015 which is when I took this. So it made big news.)

Whether you're visiting Rome in February or any other time of year, I cannot stress highly enough how important it is to wear comfortable shoes and socks - you would be surprised how much walking you will do even in a short visit!

For more about what to wear and how to dress when you visit Rome in February, visit my page here.

Don't forget to bring these essential travel items with you!

Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!

February in Rome - What to Expect

If you want to visit Rome on a budget, you will find great deals on accommodations in February.

Is it crowded in February in Rome?

February is a mix of low and mid seasons in Rome.

Being a winter month, you'd expect it to be quiet in Rome this month.

However, in recent years, as people have sought to come to Rome when it's less crowded, and were shocked to find Rome crowded in March, they started coming in February.

So I've seen the crowds slowly growing in February, especially on weekends and especially in the second half of the month.

jewish ghetto turtle fountain romeThe turtle fountain in the Jewish Ghetto is usually surrounded by people wanting to take pictures of it. In winter, you can have it (almost) all to yourself.

But for the most part it is pretty low season, so this could be one good reason to visit Rome in February.

What's Happening in Rome in February

Here's a brief roundup of some important dates and happenings in February in Rome.

So either join in the fun, or be aware of it in case you want to avoid the crowds. 

  • February 11, 2024 - This is a national holiday INSIDE Vatican City, as it's the Anniversary of the foundation of Vatican City. The Vatican Museums are closed this day.
  • February 14, 2024 - St. Valentine's Day
  • February 3 and 25, 2024 - Six Nations Rugby matches
  • February 13, 2024 - Everyone loves Carnival, so expect to see kids dressed up and coriandoli (coloured confetti) thrown all around. The main parade usually kicks off in Piazza del Popolo and follows through to Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona.

For more details about what's happening and things to do in Rome in February, visit my dedicated page about Rome Events in February.

carnevale in romeIn Rome, Carnevale seems to be mostly about kids dressing up, and throwing confetti around in the streets and piazzas

Carnival, which is during the week before Lent, mostly seems to be about children dressing up and throwing confetti in the streets.

In Rome, I mean!

In Venice it is a whole other thing, and if you really want to experience Carnival at its fullest, then I suggest you combine a visit to Venice with your Rome visit. 

I did not even know about Six Nations rugby before I moved to Rome, let alone that Italy has a team!

But it's kind of a big deal, and when the games are here, the weekend becomes pretty busy in Rome.

And while Valentine's Day is not technically a holiday, it does tend to bring people to Rome for a romantic getaway.

And if it's on a weekend, and particularly if coinciding with a Six Nations match, it may be busier than usual that weekend in Rome.

For more about what's happening in Rome in February, visit my dedicated page about current events in February in Rome and a full list of the best concerts taking place.

The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.

Foods in Season in Rome in February

If you read my site, you know that I love eating foods in season in Italy, which is how most Italians eat them as well.

Of course winter fruits and vegetables are in season now.

This includes apples, pears, oranges, pomegranates, cauliflower, broccoli and squash.

Again, if you've been reading my site, you know I am a big fan of these two winter foods: artichokes and puntarelle (chicory salad with anchovy garlic dressing.)

rome fried artichokeEating artichokes in season is one of my favorite things about Rome in February. This one, alla giudia (fried) is perfectly made every time at Flavio al Velavevodetto.

Rome in February also means it's time for Carnevale treats: castagnole and frappe.

They are fried and they are sugary, which goes oh so well with the cold brisk February air in Rome!

castagnole in romeCastagnole
frappe in romeFrappe

Both castagnole and frappe are fried dough with sugar, but in different ways.

Castagnole are puffy and soft, coated with granulated sugar. Frappe are crunchy, topped with powdered sugar.

You will find these in almost any pasticceria (pastry shop) in Rome in February.

Castagnole are not to be confused with Zeppole, or Bigné di San Giuseppe, which are for Father's Day in March, and which look like Castagnole sort of, but are larger, and filled with custard, jam or cream.

If you want a real in-depth view of foods in season in Rome in February, head over to my friends' website at Casa Mia.

If you are really into food (aren't we all?), why not take a food tour in Rome?

You will learn a lot and get to eat yummy stuff along the way!

Some of my favorite seasonal things to eat in Rome in winter include broccoletti (like broccoli rabe), puntarelle (chicory salad you will find only in Rome), artichokes, clementines, and Sicilian blood oranges.

Rome in February - things to do

Free Things to do in Rome in February

On the Free Sunday you can visit Rome's museums for free.

State-run sites like the Colosseum and Castel Sant'Angelo, as well as civic museums such as the Capitoline museums are all free on the first Sunday of the month.

The Vatican Museums are free on the last Sunday of the month, for limited hours.

Visit my page about February events in Rome for more details.

More ideas for things to do in February

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!

Here are some ideas for your visit:

cooking class

Take a cooking class

There are so many great options for taking cooking classes in Rome! From pizza-making to learning to make fresh pasta, to going shopping with the chef and making a home-cooked meal at his/her house!

florence - david

Take a day trip

We are close to so many things, like Pompeii, Ostia Antica, Tivoli, Florence and much more!

bike tour

Take a bicycle tour

You can go out onto the Appia Antica, a lovely area to tour by bike. 

You can also try one of Rome's newest tours, by electric bike!

What a great way to see the sites, get some exercise but not get too over-exerted!

vespa in rome

Take a vespa tour

This is all the rage now.

Zipping around Rome either on the back of a vespa or driving one on your own can be a fun and fascinating way to see the Eternal city.

Rome in Winter
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Museums to visit in Rome in February

It's always a good idea to visit one of Rome's wonderful museums.

And in winter, what a great way to stay warm!

sistine chapel

Of course there are the Vatican Museums, where you will see the Sistine Chapel.

bernini - david

Visit the Galleria Borghese, with its amazing Bernini sculptures and Caravaggio paintings.

Make sure to book ahead!

capitoline she wolf

One of my favorite museums in Rome is the Capitoline Museums. These museums comprise some of the most extensive and comprehensive displays of painting, sculpture, artefacts and architecture in the world.

Open daily from 9:30am - 7:30pm. 15€.

Book in advance if you can. It's not always possible to just turn up without booking.

vatican necropolis

This is the time of year I'd visit St. Peter's tomb under the Vatican.


Because I went in August one year thinking it would be "cool", and instead I was roasting. They seal you into every room you go into, so it's quite hot.

So in cooler weather, this is not only a great thing to see, but a great way to be warm in an awesome place!

I've listed some of what I think are the most fascinating events, and most central in Rome.

For a complete list of events in Rome in February, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.

pin rome in february

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