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Rome in October - Essential Trip Planning Guide

Rome in October is one of most beautiful times of the year. The weather is mostly warm during the day, and comfortably cool at night. We get some rain but usually not too much. The light still casts warming shadows on all the ochre-colored buildings. 

With summer over and the holidays around the corner, October is one of the liveliest times of the year to be in Rome.




Watch my video all about visiting Rome in October

Rome in October - At a Glance

Here's what you need to know about visiting Rome this time of year:

Watch out - the clocks change!

Europe has a different schedule than some other regions around the world for going from Daylight Saving Time back to Standard Time.

In Rome, we turn the clocks back, and gain an hour, on October 31 2021.

Weather in Rome Italy in October

The weather in Rome in October can vary a lot from the beginning of the month to the end.

The beginning of October is still close to the very summery month of September. Days can be really warm, even warm enough to go to the beach.

82 degrees in rome on oct 8October 8 - 82 degrees F
79 degrees on oct 21October 21 - 70 degrees F
october 26 in rome 60 degrees FOctober 26 - 60 degrees F

During the day it's usually sunny and in the low 80'°F/high 20's °C, and in the evenings it can still be muggy and warm, in the mid 60's °F/high teens °C. 

rome weather mid octoberMid-October in Rome - some people in shorts and short sleeves, others in pants and light jackets. Lovely weather for sight-seeing!

Towards the end of October, we get close to the end of Daylight Saving Time. And closer to real fall weather. Closer but not quite there yet.

Just about every end of October, I find myself really ready for fall. I keep saying, when can I wear my boots? And it seems, I never really can in October.

roman forum in octoberRoman Forum in October - still beautiful light and just-right temperatures for sight-seeing

Bonus Tip!

Rome is famous (among Romans anyway) for something called Ottobrata Romana, which is all about this amazing warm beautiful weather we have this month.

And we tend to get astonishing sunsets and skies in Rome in October, so come prepared with your camera and look up!

sunset over vittoriano in rome in octoberThis sunset over the Vittoriano is typical of skies in October in Rome

What to pack for Rome in October

No matter which part of October you visit Rome, be prepared to be flexible in your dress. These are my personal recommendations for what to pack for your visit to Rome in October:

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At least one pair of jeans or cotton pants. I'd leave the shorts at home unless you are here in early October and also visiting the coast.

If you come to Rome at the beginning of October, perhaps a light cotton or denim jacket. If you are coming at the end of October, a heavier jacket

scarf/pashmina (always a nice fashion accessory in Italy, but in October, it's actually useful!)

cardigan for layering.

A pull-over or pull-over light fleece is a good idea, and easy to pack and carry around for layering.

You may wish to bring a light travel umbrella, although you could also ask your hotel if they have one you can borrow. Also, whenever it rains, umbrella sellers appear on every corner.

It's not super rainy in Rome in October, but a light jacket or rain jacket can be a good idea. It's versatile easy to pack and carry around.

Here's a men's light rain jacket. You don't need a heavy jacket in October. Lightweight, and water-resistant or waterproof is best.

Maybe one pair of sandals. (No matter what, make sure these are comfortable shoes!)

 ... and at least one pair of close-toed shoes. And of course they should be comfortable.

You do not need to bring gloves (although you can if you want to, as they don't weigh much.) You can also buy some beautiful gloves here, for yourself or as gifts.

See also my page about What to Pack for Rome, with downloadable packing list.

Visit my Amazon page for all my shopping recommendations!

What to wear in Rome in October

October is a fall month, and in Rome it's just beautiful. We don't usually get too much rain but some years we can, so you should come prepared

Check the weather before you head out each day, but it's almost always a good idea to carry a light jacket, or pullover, and a scarf. This is true especially for mornings and evenings. It can be really warm and sunny during the day, but the temps drop a lot when the sun is gone, so layering, and being prepared are always a good idea.

You could wear shorts but it's just not that hot, and you'll probably be more comfortable in light cotton pants or jeans, or a comfortable medium-length skirt or dress.

eating outside at il bocconcino near colosseum in octoberPeople eating outside in mid-October (at Il Bocconcino near Colosseum.) There is a mix of open/closed shoes, short/long sleeves, and there are jackets hanging on the chairs just in case.

I say this on just about every page where I talk about what to wear in Rome, but the most important thing, and I cannot stress this enough, is to wear comfortable shoes.

You will do more walking than you think. Don't let painful feet slow you down!

Rome in October - What to Expect

October - high season and busy dates

rome in october - sunny, warm and crowded!In October, Rome is warm and beautiful, and also crowded!

If you come to Rome in October, you will find lovely weather, not too hot, not too cold.

And this means, you will find Rome packed.

Yes, October is high season in Rome.

Everyone always seems shocked when I tell them this, but it's just the way it is.

Many schools in Europe have a break around the third week of October. Halloween and All Saints Day (November 1) are now celebrated together, making the these dates in October a fun, yet busy time here, particularly if they fall on or near a weekend.

Fall is harvest season in Italy. It's a lively time of year with a lot of food and wine festivals all around Italy.

October is a warm fall month, nowhere near winter, and the sun is still out until fairly late in the day. Perfect! So is it any surprise everyone wants to come to Rome in October?

Expect Rome to be very busy (see above)

One of the great things about Rome in October is that everything is happening.

All the restaurants are in full swing, fully off their slow September comeback after summer holidays.

It's a great time to visit the outdoor sites, because it's pleasant and comfortable, weather-wise, to walk around them. Many sites are open later than usual.

eating outside in rome in septemberRistorante Cacio e Pepe in Rome in October - outside dining, and, it's packed!

You can still eat outside at most restaurants that have outdoor seating.

There are a lot of art and music events starting and happening in October. And, you can combine a visit to Rome with a visit to another Italian city or area, and get great weather there too.

Book ahead, way ahead!

I always suggest to reserve certain popular Rome things in advance. This is especially true during high season in October.

Restaurants, especially the ones on all the foodies' blogs and top-ten lists, will be booked out for days (yes, lunch and dinner.) The Galleria Borghese will be impossible if you don't book at least a week in advance. And the Vatican will always be crowded.

So if you know what you want to to in Rome, and you can book it ahead, do so.


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.


Food in Rome in October

As you might be able to tell from reading some of the other pages on my site, I love talking about food in Rome (I love eating food in Rome).

And October is definitely a great month for foodies (except artichokes are still not in season).

Caveat - it seems that now you can pretty much find artichokes year-round in Rome. Just know they are not in season in October, so they won't be Roman artichokes. And the very traditional Roman trattorias will not serve them out of season (October).

Food in Season in October in Rome

tagliatelle with white truffles at settimio in romeSettimio himself is grating these white truffles on my tagliatelle. Absolute heaven on a plate!

October is a great month for lovers of fall fruits and vegetables. And in Rome, where we (try to) eat seasonally, you will find these fantastic foods starting to appear in the markets and at restaurants in October:

  • White truffles - these are a delicacy and usually only available from September through December. They are never cooked, only served raw, often grated over pasta. They should cost a lot, like 30-40 Euros for a pasta dish. But that's how you know they are authentic.
  • Pumpkin - called zucca in Italian
  • Mushrooms - Funghi in Italian
  • Radicchio, a white and red bitter leaf, which goes so well in risotto with gorgonzola cheese! Oh swoon!
  • Persimmons - called cachi (pronounced "kakee") in Italian, there are many types of these and they are in full readiness by November. But in October, I can already start getting them in my market. The vanilla ones are superb to eat plain, as long as they are nice and ripe.

Many other fall fruits and vegetables are available as well of course, such as apples, pears, grapes, plums, figs, carrots, potatoes, beans etc.

soft persimmonsSoft persimmons at market
vanilla persimmonsVanilla persimmons at market

Want to know more about Rome cuisine? Click here.

October is a fantastic time to take a Food Tour in Rome!

It's not too hot, not too cold, and you eat as you go. Buon appetito!

Things to do in Rome in October

Circo Maximo Experience

The immersive visit of the Circus Maximus in augmented and virtual reality, returns from 1st to 24th October .

Extraordinary opening every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm, with last admission at 5.40 pm.

Full ticket: € 12.00


October is  a wonderful time to be in Rome.

It's cool enough to really enjoy walking around the city, and of course sight-seeing.

And because it's still nice out, there are some left-over summer events that you can still do in October in Rome at night:

Things to do at night in Rome in October

coliseum at night

Through the end of the yearMonday - Saturday, you can visit the Colosseum from 8pm until 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.

Book Here

On Friday nights, through the end of October, the Vatican Museums are open from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm (last entrance at 9:30 pm). This is of course in addition to their daily opening times.

You must book in advance.

Visit my page about this for more details

Book Here

viaggio nel foro - visit to augustus forum at night

One last thing you can still do at night in Rome, through the end of October/beginning 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.) 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.

Book Here

If you are a movie buff, enjoy the movie-stars and new releases at the Rome Film Festival, held in Rome from October 15 - 25 2020.

The entire complex of the Rome Auditorium Parco della Musica (which was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano) will be dedicated to the film festival, leading to this event being called "one of the largest red carpets in the world."

Click the picture to visit the official site.


Halloween in Rome

Will you be in Rome for Halloween?

This is not an Italian holiday at all.

Originally a Celtic celebration, it later became a Christian holiday, but was never really turned into a big holiday in Italy until recently.

shop window for halloween in romeHalloween in Rome does not mean much, but many shops try to get a little into the Halloween mood

If you are in Rome for Halloween, you will see some decorations about, especially in shop windows trying to get into the "spirit" (no pun intended but it works.)

However, there are not really that many Halloween-themed activities . . . unless you'd like to take a Rome Ghost Tour!

The 1st of November, All Saints' Day, is a more important, observed holiday in Italy.

Canadian Thanksgiving in Rome in October

If you are Canadian and happen to be in Rome in October and you are looking for a place to celebrate Thanksgiving, check out one of our favorite places to eat in Trastevere, Alle Fratte di Trastevere.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Photo credit - Anna Ambrosini of the Canadian Club of Rome

More Ideas For Things To Do Rome In October

There are many many things going on all the time in Rome: concerts, art exhibits, music events, etc.

On this page I just highlighted what I think are the some of most interesting things to do in Rome in October.

For a complete list of events and exhibits, visit the official website of the Rome Tourist Board.


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Rome in October - What the weather's like, what to pack, and things to do. By Romewise.
Rome in October - What the weather's like, what to pack, and things to do. By Romewise.

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