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 Roman cuisine? Click here.
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany in 1918, to end the war. It was meant to take effect "on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", even if hostilities continued. Today, countries around the world mark this day as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, or Veteran's Day.
On Friday, November 8th, 2019, at 10.30 am there will be a Commonwealth Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Rome Commonwealth War Cemetery, on Via Nicola Zabaglia.
Several Commonwealth ambassadors and other dignitaries will partake in a wreath-laying ceremony. Various clergy will also give sermons. It's a very moving experience.
Thanksgiving is obviously not an Italian holiday. Americans celebrate in November but it's not that easy to get into the Thanksgiving spirit if you are living in or visiting Rome.
Luckily, there are a few places where you can get an authentic Thanksgiving turkey dinner in Rome.
Visit my page here for details. Gobble gobble!
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 21 (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 24, 2019, the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are open and free.
Hours are 9am - 2pm, with last entry at 12:30. The only way to book in advance is if you book a tour through the Vatican Museums website. Otherwise, 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.
The Galleria Borghese is free for the time slots 1-3pm, 3-5pm, and 5-7pm on November 3 and 13, 2019. Galleria Borghese are choosing to offer free entry on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.
You still need to reserve.
If tickets are not available on the website try emailing or calling them.
The four museums that make up the Rome National Museums, Palazzo Altemps, Diocletian Baths, Palazzo Massimo, and Crypta Balbi, will all be free on November 3, 2019 .
Another wonderful day trip from Rome is to visit Tivoli and see the Villa D'Este and Hadrian's Villa.
They are offering free entry on the first Monday of each month from May - December 2019.
Both sites are free on Monday November 4, 2019.
One of my favorite art museums in Rome, Palazzo Barberini, will be free on November 3, 2019 (first Sunday of the month).
They share the same management, and same schedule with Galleria Corsini (Trastevere), so you can visit that museum as well.
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 the first weekend of 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.
It's really well done, and fascinating. We did this in late October and at night it was pretty chilly, so bring a coat and scarf if you go then.
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.
In November, you can book this visit on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
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.
November is the start of chillier weather and so there's a lot more to do indoors.
Bacon, Freud and the school of London - Works from TATE
At the beautiful Chiostro del Bramante, now through February 2020.
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.
Enjoy beautiful exhibitions on Palazzo delle Esposizioni, on via Nazionale. Now through January 6, 2020.
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 2019, catch the opera in Rome, including Mozart's Idomeneo, re di Creta and Un romano a Marte by Vittorio Montalti.
Some shows are in Rome's beautiful Teatro dell'Opera (Opera House), and others are at their other official venues around Rome.
Pompeii and Santorini - now through January 2020
Scuderie del Quirinale, in Via XXIV Maggio number 16.
Museum hrs: Sunday - Thursday 10am - 8pm; Friday and Saturday 10am – 10:30pm.
15€ full price (click the photo to visit this site).
If you love jazz, November is a great time to be in Rome.
The Rome Jazz Festival will be held from 1 Nov - 1 Dec 2019.
Tickets priced by performance.
Listen to classic arias and duets by Italian opera greats Verdi, Puccini, and Rossini, in the gorgeous Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.
A special private tour of the Princess' apartment is included.
Visit the extraordinary Capuchin Crypt, then head into the recently restored church to listen to sacred music in a gorgeous setting.Wednesday afternoons.
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.
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.
"Sounds and Visions of Caravaggio"
Experience Baroque and Renaissance chamber music in the gorgeous setting of Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.
Your ticket includes a guided tour of the palazzo before the show.
Saturday late mornings.
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:
For more information about events in Rome, visit the official website of the Rome Tourist Board.
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