Rome in September - Essential Trip Planning Guide

Coming to Rome in September?

You are in luck!

September is one of the most beautiful months of the year here. 

complesso vittoriano in septemberThe weather in September is just beautiful in Rome. Not too hot, not too cool. Perfect for walking around and soaking up all the sites.

The city is coming back to life after the sleepy August holidays, and there is a touch of fall crispness in the evening air that makes it a wonderful time to enjoy Rome to its fullest, day and night.

Rome in September - At a Glance

Here's what you need to know about visiting Rome in September:

Weather in Rome in September

The temperature in Rome in September is (almost) perfect!

velabro arch with september weatherTemperature in Rome September

September is mostly a summer month. (Fall starts on the 23rd of September.)

It's strange but I find that nearly every year, from just about the first of September, the weather does in fact change: The days are still blue-sky, summer-hot but the nights are enjoyable and no longer uncomfortably hot and sticky. 

This lasts about 2-3 weeks into September.

From the middle of September, or right around the beginning of fall, the weather seems to change like clockwork.

It's still lovely: warm/hot but comfortable during the day, and crisp evenings with that hint of autumn just around the corner.

Rome September temperatures are just right for sightseeing, day and evening.

What to pack for a trip to Rome in September

Packing for Rome in September is all about being flexible in your dress.

The start of September is still very warm during the day but the evenings are starting to cool down, so bringing some slightly heavier layers like a cardigan or light pullover that you can carry in your day bag is a good idea.

Cotton pants or hiking pants paired with light t-shirts or short sleeved tops will work well for sightseeing - you can wear shorts if you prefer but you may feel chilly when not in the sunshine.

If you're wearing shorts, or shorter dresses/skirts, remember to bring something to cover up your knees (and shoulders) if you're visiting churches or other religious sites. 

Towards the end of September the chances of a rain shower get higher so I'd recommend packing a travel umbrella just in case you need it, along with a light rain jacket.

Whenever you're visiting Rome in September, be sure to pack a light scarf or two, perfect for the cooler early mornings and evenings - as well as being very Roman!

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Visit my page all about what to pack for Rome in September for specific recommendations, suggestions on what to wear in Rome in September and more and don't forget to check out my Amazon shop for all my Italy-related picks!

For even more packing details, visit my page about What to Pack for Rome for further ideas and a packing list!

What to Wear in Rome in September

At the beginning of September, it will feel like August still, with pretty hot sticky days.

But the nights and mornings are cooler.

To sight-see in Rome in September, it's a good idea to wear light clothing, with the possibility to layer just a little bit.

barcaccia in rome late septemberHere at La Barcaccia fountain at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, you can see people dressed for warm but not hot weather, around the 3rd week of September

Cotton pants, knee-length skirts/dresses, leggings are all comfortable and appropriate for visiting the Vatican and other holy sites.

In the first half of September it may be too hot for jeans unless they are very light, but by the end of September, you can wear jeans in Rome.

The most important things to wear in Rome in September are comfortable shoes, light, cotton clothing, and a cardigan and a scarf.

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Rome in September - What to Expect

In September in Rome, you can expect beautiful weather, not too hot and not too cool, very little rain and fairly long summery days.

You will be able to enjoy the sights without sweltering from the heat, lots of things are open late and you can still enjoy a lot of outdoor and nighttime things.

And, you may be surprised to find Rome in September is packed to the gills.

Is it crowded in Rome in September?

The first time I came to Rome in September (which is when I met Alessandro), I remember traveling with a friend, making our way down from Venice...and finding all the hotels in Florence, Siena, and Rome fully booked!

I could not understand it.

I thought, but summer is over, everyone should be gone by now!

Well yes. The summer tourists were indeed gone.

Making it a beautiful time of year for the kind of visitor to Italy who craves a quieter, slower-paced experience here.

These are the people whose vacations are not based on a school-year vacation schedule.

And they come in droves. To avoid the summer crowds.

And this makes September high season in Rome, and the crowds don't really go away until November.

roman forum crowded in septemberThe Roman Forum in September - one of the prettiest times of year, and one of the busiest!

Hot tip!

The first week of September can be one of the best times of year to visit Rome: just after the quiet (and hot) August slowdown, and just before the really peak season hits.

This being said, the very beginning of September is not quite high season yet.

For about the first 5-6 days, you can expect mid-season rates on hotels, crowds that are not yet at their peak, and a nice sense of a town re-awakening.

Most of the restaurants have reopened from their August closure or are just reopening, and the city has the air of something about to happen.

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.

Foods in season in Rome in September

A lot of delicious summer fruits and vegetables are still in season in September, so you are pretty spoiled for choice.

focaccia with buffalo mozzarella, plum tomatoes and basil at pizzeria emmaThis gorgeous focaccia at Pizzeria Emma with fresh buffalo mozzarella, juicy plum tomatoes and basil is very much in season in September

Tomatoes, peaches, plums, peppers, eggplant are all in season in September.

I USED to say this: "But please don't look for artichokes. September is just not the time of year for them in Rome."

It turns out you can find artichokes pretty much year-round now in Rome, including way out of season. They are not from Rome, and traditional Roman trattorias won't have them in September, but you can definitely find them.

What's coming into season in September?

September is the height of fig season in Rome.

Expect to find fig gelato, and a very popular panino, fresh figs with prosciutto on pizza bianca.

fig tree in seasonFig trees are in season in September
fig almond gelato in romeFig almond gelato at Gelateria del Teatro
fig torte pasticceria de bellisFig torte at Pasticceria de Bellis in Rome

Grapes have already been available but are also really coming into season in September.

Remember, harvest time is just around the corner!

grapes at the market in rome in septemberGrapes are fully in season, along with lots of summer fruit, in September in Rome
prickly pears in rome market

Another food in season pretty much only in September, are "fichi d'India", or prickly pears, also known in Mexico and the US as tunas.

They are native to Sicily but in September you will find them in Rome in the markets, and on occasion, in some restaurants for dessert.

What's Happening in Rome in September

September is already a great time to sight-see in Rome, like visiting the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps and Vittoriano Complex etc. 

Everything is back open again, from the non-Catholic cemetery to the farmer's market at San Teodoro/Circus Maximus.

It's easy to be outside walking around, since it's not too hot or too cold, and it stays light until pretty late.

But it also happens to still be summer, which means that you can enjoy some of the special summer things to do in Rome as well.

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Eating in Rome in September

For me, one of the best things about September is that all my favorite Rome restaurants are open again!

trattoria monti in romeMany traditional Rome trattorias close for the entire month of August. The beginning of September, when they all open up again, is like heaven for me!

Not that I didn't have a good time trying some of my many other faves that stayed open for part or all of August ... or even getting to try some new ones.

But those really old-fashioned Roman restaurants, like Armando, Trattoria Monti, Da Gino, Trattoria Stampa, Roberto e Loretta that close for the entire month of August all reopen "around the beginning of September".

And I am ready for them!

September is a wonderful time to take a food tour in Rome!

The weather is lovely and it's comfortable to walk around and enjoy the sights as well as learning about and tasting some Roman delights!

Rome in Fall
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Shopping in September in Rome

The beginning of September is an interesting time to shop in Rome.

First of all, the sales are (officially) over. But lots of stores have stuff on sale inside. You just have to go look for it, usually in the back.

Yes, it's the last bits, but so what. You never know what bargains you could find.

Second of all, all the new fall and winter fashions are out.

So if you feel like being ahead of the curve back home, there's no better time than now to get the hot new stuff before it's gone. (They don't tend to replenish stock in shops in Italy, they just get new things in.)

rome shopping fall fashionsIt may still be warm in September, but it's a great time to shop for fall fashions in Rome!

Rome in September - Things to do

September is such a beautiful month, weather-wise.

The days are sunny and long and we don't tend to get too much rain this month.

The hot, sticky summer months are behind us and it's wonderful to be outside even during the day.

So besides the usual sight-seeing, you can do a lot of things outdoors, like heading to the beach, walking around and enjoying different neighborhoods, or just soaking up some atmosphere at a cafè.

Free things to do in Rome in September

On the Free Sunday you can visit Rome's museums for free.

State-run sites like the Colosseum and Castel Sant'Angelo, as well as civic museums such as the Capitoline museums are all free on the first Sunday of the month.

The Vatican Museums are free on the last Sunday of the month, for limited hours.

For details, visit my page about Rome events in September.

Ideas for things to do in Rome in September

For current events, holidays, concerts, exhibits, festivals and more, visit my page about Rome events in September.

More ideas for things to do in Rome in September

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 September.

Here are some ideas for your visit:

I've listed some of what I think are the most fascinating events in Rome in September, and most central.

For a complete list of events in Rome in September, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.

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