These are my personal recommendations for what to pack for your visit to Rome in July:
Below you see photos of products I've researched and in some cases, own. If you click the picture, it will take you to Amazon.com, and if you purchase anything there, I will earn a small commission. Please rest assured, the prices are the same whether you click from here or buy directly. I invite you to visit my page about Affiliate and Advertising Disclosure.
Thanks for supporting my site!
With the warm weather, a lot of people want to walk around Rome in shorts. While Romans won't dress this way, you can, of course, if you want to. But if you are visiting any church (that includes the Vatican and Vatican Museums), or other Christian site, you cannot have bare knees. These hiking pants with removable leg are perfect for a quick change.
Here is the men's version of the same type of hiking pant with leg bottoms you can un-zip easily.
A good sun hat with UPF is key in summer months. It will help keep you cool and protect you from the sun's harmful rays. I love my Wallaroo hat: it's got great sunblock, it's foldable, lightweight and comfortable.
Men, women and children should wear hats. Something lightweight, with sunblock, that you can easily fold up and carry, and that's washable, is ideal!
A maxi skirt is another good way to be cool and comfortable while sight-seeing, but also appropriate for visiting any Christian sites like churches and catacombs.
Lightweight linen pants are also great for comfort and sightseeing, and going out to dinner in the evenings.
Trust me I am not crazy when I tell you to bring a scarf with you to Rome. For July, this means a very lightweight all-cotton/linen scarf. Why? First, you can wear it on the plane or anywhere chilly. Second, it's perfect for carrying around with you, so you can cover up those bare shoulders to visit a church. This goes for men and women. And third, well of course you will be fashionable, just like a Roman!
I've seen more and more people walking around in the sun with an umbrella. While I personally wear a hat, I do see the appeal of carrying an umbrella, as a parasol, to keep cool and in the shade. This super-lightweight, UV-protection travel umbrella is a great idea since it's useful for other seasons too!
Light cotton pants, bermuda shorts or capri pants, or a long skirt
T-shirt, tank-top, polo or other light cotton top
A sun-hat with sun-block
Cotton scarf for men and women in your bag
Don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen!
At this point in the season, I see many people walking around Rome wearing tank-tops. Depending on your sensitivity to sun, you may want to 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. And 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!)
Rome in July - What to Expect
In July, you can expect Rome to be very hot and muggy, especially during the day. The days are really long, so it's great to get up early and sight-see before the mid-day heat and sun kick in.
Getting up early to see the Colosseum is a good way to beat the crowds and the heat in summer. I took this at 7:20am in mid-June and look how bright it is already! But also empty!
There are a lot of outdoor nighttime things to do and it's wonderful to be outside in the late afternoon and evening, and soak up the warm air and beautiful light.
By dusk you can start enjoying the summer-fest along the Tiber in Rome
In some ways, July is not high season in Rome: many Italians who travel this month prefer the beaches. And so do other visitors. So hotel rates drop a little from June.
The pantheon is always a magnet for tourists and in summer, you will find large crowds here
On the other hand, July is a month for summer travel for families and anyone travelling based on the school calendar. So, yes, you will find Rome crowded in July, in particular the main tourist attractions like the Colosseum, Pantheon and Vatican.
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.
July is a fantastic time to eat all those delicious summer fruits like peaches, apricots, plums and melons. Tomatoes are at their summer best so you will find many varieties in all shapes, sizes and even colors.
Apricots at my market in Rome in July - super sweet and juicy this time of year!
Summer is also a great time to eat vegetables like spinach, zucchini, eggplant and peppers. You may find eggplant parmesan (melanzana alla parmigiana) all year long in Rome, but believe me, it is so much more delicious in summer, when all the ingredients are in season.
This eggplant parmesan at Pizzeria Emma is one of the best I've tried in Rome. And summer is the time to have it!
Fennel is another popular vegetable in Italy, and it's in season in summer. One of my favorite summer salads you can easily find in Rome is made with super thinly sliced fennel, meaty black olives, and juicy orange pieces. It's tasty, refreshing, and healthy.
Fennel and orange salad with black olives at Sorpasso, a summer treat in Rome.
July is the time for not only sight-seeing in Rome, but also for enjoying the city outdoors. It's a time for outdoor opera, rock concerts, and nighttime cultural events among the ruins of Ancient Rome.
Rome in July - summer sales begin!
In Italy, we have sales twice a year: once in winter and once in summer. In summer, they usually begin on the first Saturday of July. In 2019, summer sales start Saturday July 6.
It also means that starting in July, the new fall fashions will begin to appear in stores. I personally have a hard time trying on pants, sweaters and jackets in the summer, but it's the time to buy if you want to stock up with any new fall wardrobe items.
When summer sales begin in Rome in July, you will also start seeing the new fall fashions.
July is the time to be outside. There is a lot to do in Rome that's free, outside, and at night. So let's start with what's free (some of which also happens to be outdoors):
BIG CHANGES TO THE FREE SUNDAY IN 2019
Until 2018, we had the "Free Sunday", in which state-run museums were free for everyone on the first Sunday of the month.
This is no longer the case, exactly.
Now, there is a "Culture Week", which took place March 5-10, 2019.
From April - September inclusive, there will NOT be a Free Sunday. They resume on the first Sunday of October, which in 2019 is October 6.
However, there are several free dates in June. But most of the sites offer varying dates.
Below, I've listed some of the most popular sites and their free dates.
In July, 2019, most of Rome's most popular sites, like the Colosseum, Ostia Antica, Castel Sant'Angelo, do not have any free dates.
There is one exception:
The Galleria Borghese is free for the time slots 1-3pm, 3-5pm, and 5-7pm on July 10, 2019.
From April - September when there is not the Free Sunday, the Galleria Borghese are choosing to offer free entry on the last entry times of the 2nd Wednesday of each month.
You still need to reserve. If tickets are not available on the website try emailing or calling them.
Outdoor Festivals in Rome in July
From early June through early September, enjoy the annual outdoor festival, Roma Estate Lungotevere, along the banks of the Tiber River.
Entry is free, but you can also eat, drink, listen to music, watch movies and shop. Prices vary. On both sides of the Tiber, between Ponte Garibaldi and Ponte Sublicio (entries near Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere.) Click the link to the left for a full program including cinema showings.
From June 1 - August 1, enjoy free movies under the stars, in the lovely Piazza San Cosimato in Trastevere.
Put on by I ragazzi del Cinema America, you can see a movie every night starting at 9:15pm. Movies range from Disney/Pixar, to Italian Comedy, to Scorsese to documentaries. Most are in Italian with English subtitles. The link at left is in Italian only but will show you the entire program.
Nighttime Things to Do in Rome in July
The below nighttime things to do in summer are mostly outdoor things to do in Rome (except for visiting the Vatican Museums on Fridays.) They are not free and should be booked in advance.
Now through fall, you can visit the Colosseum at night! This is a very special thing to do as you see the colosseum from a very different point of view. In July, it's open every night except the 31st. Time slots from 8pm to midnight. 20€ and not to be combined with the Roman Forum. Not part of Roma Pass.
Click the photo to go to the official website and online ticket office, or, if you'd like a more complete night tour, click here.
NB - They don't usually open this on Coopculture until right before the event so if you don't see availability for when you want to go, check back.
Now through end of October 2019, the Vatican Museums are open Friday nights from 7-11pm, last entry 9:30pm.
It won't be uncrowded (although it's less crowded than during the day), but it's a magical way to spend a Friday evening.
One of the best night shows in Rome, I highly recommend this wonderful laser/hologram/light show in the Forum of Augustus (along the Via dei Fori Imperiali, leading to the Colosseum), that brings the whole place to life. Combine it with the light show of Julius Caesar's Forum and you will really have a sense of Ancient Rome. Amazing and special thing to do in Rome!
Various 40-minute shows from about 8pm. 15€ for one show, or 25€ for combined ticket of both shows.
Visit Castel Sant'Angelo by night, and see parts normally closed to the public, including the famous passetto di borgo, a secret passageway used by the popes to escape the Vatican to hide in the Castle when Rome was getting sacked in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
From July through September 9, you can book entry from 8pm - 11pm Thursdays - Sundays. You can book a free tour in English at 8:30pm (the link takes you to the official booking page for Castel Sant-Angelo, but it is in Italian. You can select English from the top right menu on the page.)
Night-time entry is eligible for the Roma Pass, and is also free on the free Sunday (first Sunday of every month.)
Until 14 July you can see The golden chariot by Johann Paul Schor.
Now through 22 September you can see an extraordinary acquisition of the Roma Capitale collections, Photographers in Rome.
The pieces are always great, and the setting is lovely, especially the views of Piazza Navona below.
Tue - Sun 10am - 7pm. 11€. Discounts available with Roma Pass.
I attended the opening of this show and it's incredible! A unique mix of immersion theater, with live actors, ballet, modern dance, original music by Sting, and more. I cannot recommend this enough, especially if you are as big a fan of Michelangelo as I am.
Concerts in Rome in July
Watch and listen to chamber music and string quartets in a stunning setting the cloister of Borromini's church, St. Ivo alla Sapienza.
Enjoy live music by a symphony orchestra, accompanied by a soprano. You'll hear some of the best-known theme songs from blockbuster movies, such as the theme from Doctor Zhivago, Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and many more.
We are close to so many things, like Pompeii, Ostia Antica, Tivoli, Florence and much more.
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.
If you enjoy the always-original content you find on this website, you are welcome to donate to help fund its enduring success. I work on this website full-time and gratefully accept donations to meet expenses.
Thank you so much!
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!