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!
Check out my YouTube video about visiting Rome in November!
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?" 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.
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.
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 November, state museums and archeological sites are free for everyone.
Also, on November 4 (National Unity Day), and November 22 (World Philosophy Day) 2019, you can visit the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Colosseum, Ostia Antica, Galleria Borghese and many more sites, for free!
For the Galleria Borghese, you will need to reserve in advance.
On the Sunday November 25 2018, 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.
St. Peter's Basilica and Square are free and open daily.
At the beginning of the month, the weather is still really comfortable, even in the evenings. By the end of November, the evenings can be pretty chilly and of course it is starting to get dark quite early. But that doesn't mean you cannot enjoy the city after the sun goes down! Here are my favorite things to do in Rome at night:
One thing you can still do at night in Rome, through mid-November, is Viaggio Nei Fori, which means a Trip through the Forums.
This is a fantastic thing to do if you are interested in Ancient Rome. There are two shows: one is theater-like, where you sit on bleachers and listen to the show and watch it unfold in the Forum of Augustus. The other is itinerant, and you literally walk through Julius Caesar's Forum while listening to the production on a headset (language of your choice.) You can even see both shows in the same evening.
Night visits to the Colosseum are simply amazing. You have the place (almost) entirely to yourselves, as it's limited to just a very few tour groups. You also get to visit underground when you go at night.
There are special entrances to the Colosseum for people in wheelchairs, however, if you are completely wheelchair bound, you may not be able to participate in all aspects of this tour.
Exciting news for lovers of Ancient Rome! From November 11, 2018 - January 6, 2019, you can visit the gorgeous Ara Pacis at night.
Because this amazing ruin is housed inside an almost all-glass museum that was especially designed for it, you will really get the full impact by seeing it lit up, with the night sky around you outside.
And, now you can also view the monument with virtual reality goggles, making it an even more sensory experience.
The museum is accessible and wheelchair facilities are available for people with walking difficulties.
November is the start of chillier weather and so there's a lot more to do indoors.
Andy Warhol at the Complesso del Vittoriano. From October 3, 2018.
Mon - Thu 9:30am - 7:30pm
Fri - Sat 9:30am - 10pm
Sun 9:30 am - 8:30 pm
Tickets are 13€. Advance booking highly recommended for this popular exhibit. Click the image at left to visit the official site.
Pollock and the school of New York at the Complesso del Vittoriano. From October 10, 2018.
Mon - Thu 9:30am - 7:30pm
Fri - Sat 9:30am - 10pm
Sun 9:30 am - 8:30 pm
Tickets are 15€. Advance booking highly recommended for this popular exhibit. Click the image at left to visit the official site.
Dream - Art Meets Dreams - at the beautiful Chiostro del Bramante, now through May 2019.
The Chiostro del Bramante is behind Piazza Navona, on Via Arco della Pace, 5. T. +39 06 915 19 41
Click the picture to visit the museum's official site.
Open Mon - Fri 10am - 8pm; Sat - Sun 10am - 9pm.
13€ includes audioguide. No advance booking required.
Pixar: 30 years of animation - "over 400 drawings, sculptures, sketches, collages and storyboards and a huge selection of video material."
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, on via Nazionale. October 9, 2018 - January 20, 2019
Click the picture to visit the museum's official site.
Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun: 10am - 8pm; Fri-Sat: 10am - 10:30 pm; Closed Mondays. 8€
In November 2018, catch the opera in Rome, including Puccini's Tosca and Ronchetti's Pinocchio's Adventures.
Some shows are in Rome's beautiful Teatro dell'Opera (Opera House), and others are at their other official venues around Rome.
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.
Ovid - love, myth, and stories. Oct 17 2018 - January 2019
Scuderie del Quirinale, Via XXIV Maggio.
Museum hrs: Sunday - Thursday 10am - 8pm; Friday and Saturday 10am – 10:30pm.
10€ full price (click the photo to visit this site).
Monet to Cézanne - multimedia immersion experience. From October 5 2018.
Check out this multimedia exhibition showcasing the French Impressionists. Allow yourself to be transported 19th Century Paris, and enjoy works by these artists as you've never seen them (there are no original works here, just large-scale reproductions.)
Palazzo degli Esami, Via Girolamo Induno, 4 (Trastevere)
15€ full entry fee. Buy tickets here.
Mon - Thu 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sat 10am - 11pm; Sun 10am - 9pm.
Through February 3, 2019, you can enjoy a special exhibit of sculptures by Picasso in the Galleria Borghese.
During the exhibit, standard ticket prices are 20 Euros.
Awaiting news and dates for November 2018. As of October 24, they are updating their website to show November dates, but so far they are still in grey. Stay tuned . . .
If you love jazz, November is a great time to be in Rome.
The Rome Jazz Festival will be held from . . . November 2018
Enjoy "La Traviata Experience" in a beautiful church setting, with a mix of songs and prose from this classic Verdi opera.
Enjoy listening to famous opera songs in the stunning and exclusive Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.
You can opt to include dinner in the beautiful rooftop restaurant, Terrazza Borromini.
Enjoy this special Baroque concert + tour of Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, one of the most stunning private palazzos in Rome!
See the "Three Tenors" in a beautiful church setting.
You will be treated to three of Rome's most famous tenors singing some of the best-known and loved songs of Italian opera. They will be accompanied by costumed dancers.
Enjoy a opera singing by Orchestra I Virtuosi dell’opera di Roma inside a scenic and suggestive setting in central Rome (locations vary).
These wonderful opera singers put on a mini-production of various operas in full costume.
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 November. Here are some ideas for your visit:
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.
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.
Take an art class.
This is all the rage now. You want to learn to fresco? sketch? make mosaics? How about pottery? Want to include a little wine-sipping with your art? Rome inspires! Get creative!
For more information about events in Rome, visit the official website of the Rome Tourist Board.
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