Coming to Rome in May?
Spring is definitely here!
Flowers are blooming all over the city, and the weather is fantastic for sightseeing - warm during the day and cool at night.
Here's what you need to know:
I always think of May in Rome as a warm month.
But the reality is that I also never change my down comforter for a lighter blanket until the end of May.
And I never put away my winter clothes until then either.
May in Rome can be cooler than you think, especially at the beginning of the month.
In the beginning of May, it can still rain a bit, and temperatures are in the low 20's C/low 70's F during the day, and chilly in the evening.
By the end of May, the nice weather is definitely settling in and you can count on fairly consistent long, warm sunny days and perfectly comfortable evenings.
During the day it's in the mid to high 20's C/high 70's, low 80's F, and in the evenings, it's in the high teens C/high 60's F.
We can have some beautiful sunny days in Rome in May, but while summer is around the corner, it is still spring.
This means that you'll need a mix of lighter and heavier layers when packing for a trip in May as it isn't as warm as you might think it will be, especially in the beginning of the month, and also in the evenings.
A mix of cotton t-shirts, long skirts or pants, light cardigans or jumpers is ideal, so you can layer up when it feels cooler.
Visit my page all about what to pack for Rome in May for specific recommendations, suggestions on what to wear in Rome in May and more!
For more packing tips, and a downloadable packing list, visit my page about What to Pack for Rome.
Visit my dedicated pages about what to pack for Rome for every spring month:
For sight-seeing in May in Rome, here is the ideal way to dress:
Days will usually be warm enough to wear light clothing, but you will do well to be flexible and prepared for cooler temps, in particular in the shade, on an underground visit, or as the sun goes down.
As I've said on other pages, Romans don't tend to wear shorts in the city, certainly not short shorts.
But if you want to, of course that is up to you. They are used to tourists doing it.
But if you plan to visit any churches or other Christian site, you will not be allowed in with bare knees.
Rome is absolutely beautiful in May.
The days are sunny and long and there is usually not a lot of rain.
And you will find the streets, plazas, restaurants and sites packed.
I'm not sure why but a lot of people seem surprised to find that May is a busy season in Rome.
So come and enjoy Rome in the sun and warmth, and just plan your visit to avoid crowds when you can!
There are some things that happen every May in Rome.
Here are some dates to watch for:
For more details about what's happening in May, visit my page all about Rome events in May.
Artichokes are still in season but they are pretty much ending.
By the time May rolls around, I find myself not eating artichokes any more. They are starting to get tougher and have more of the choke/fuzzy bits.
Fava beans and peas are in season.
A popular thing to do in Rome on May 1 is eat fava beans with pecorino cheese.
And so in Rome in May you may find pasta with mussels, fava and pecorino cheese.
This is one of my favorite spring pasta dishes!
Spring fruits and vegetables are also coming into season. Strawberries are easy to find, and they are deep red and really sweet.
By now we are seeing all kinds of juicy tomatoes in the market and so it's a great time to start enjoying caprese salad: fresh mozzarella and tomato.
May in Rome means great sight-seeing weather. The days are just warm enough without being overly hot, and they're long as well, which means enjoying more of Rome outdoors.
So one of the best things you can do in Rome in May is enjoy the city and sites on foot.
On the Free Sunday you can visit Rome's museums for free.
The Vatican Museums are free on the last Sunday of the month, for limited hours.
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 May. Here are some ideas for your visit:
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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!
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!
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.
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Visit the Galleria Borghese, with its amazing Bernini sculptures and Caravaggio paintings.
Make sure to book ahead!
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.
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 in Rome in May, and most central. For a complete list of events in Rome in May, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.