Wondering what you can do in Rome New Years Day?
Some things are closed, but there is actually a lot that is open, and there are tons of things you can do. Get the scoop here!
If you will be in Rome for New Years, here's what you need to know:
FREE SUNDAY IS ON FOR JANUARY 1, 2023!
In 2023, January 1 is a Sunday and the Free Sunday will be on - sites and museums across Italy, including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and many more, are open on this New Year's Day, January 1.
If you spent New Year's Eve in Rome, you might be wondering what you can do on New Year's Day (after you've had a nice sleep-in, presumably!)
Don't be surprised to find Rome VERY crowded on New Years Day and for the rest of the first week of January.
The reason for the huge crowds is that the holiday season in Italy lasts from December 8 (Immaculate Conception, or Immacolata), through January 6 (Epiphany, or Epifania. Italians also refer to January 6 as the Befana, the name of a nice but not-pretty witch that flies around and brings gifts for kids.)
January is winter, so plan for cold.
Hopefully the sun will be out on New Years Day, and you can enjoy something outdoors (see below for lots of ideas for things you can do!)
Just make sure to dress warmly and in layers. Start with a silk/cashmere/light wool undergarment like a tank top, camisole, henley or t-shirt.
Click here for my suggestions for what to pack for Rome in January.
Ready to plan your trip?
On New Years Day, Rome's public transportation begins running at 8am.
For more about public transportation in Rome New Years Day, visit the ATAC website (much of this page is available also in English but holiday schedules are in Italian only.)
Taxis will be running normally.
We don't really have Uber in Rome, only Uber Black. Find out about taking Uber and taxis in Rome.
Hopefully you've had a fun-filled Rome New Years Eve, and probably got to bed late. So sleep in and enjoy a nice breakfast in your hotel or apartment.
Now, what to do with the rest of the day?
First of all, don't worry about finding someplace to eat. Some restaurants are closed for the day or just for lunch, but many are open.
January 1 is a national holiday.
Most shops will be closed (with the exception of shops in Termini station, and some tourist shops around the center.)
The Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel) are always closed on New Year's Day.
Most city and state museums and archeological sites (including the Colosseum) are closed on January 1.
HOWEVER, on January 1 2023, as this is the first Sunday of the month, the Italian Ministry of Culture announced just before Christmas that many museums and sites would in fact be open on New Years Day!
This is a special opening day and sites are sure to be busy so be prepared.
January 1 is a Catholic holiday, called Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
On January 1, 2023 Pope Francis will be presiding at Holy Mass inside St Peter's Basilica at 10:00 AM.
There will also then be the Angelus address in St Peter's Square at noon.
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.
The basilica of Saint Peter's (above) will be open after the mass is finished, from around noon to about 6:30pm.
Many other churches in Rome will also be open.
Whether you want to attend church services, sight-see, or just get out of the cold, visiting churches in Rome is a great way to spend New Years Day.
UPDATES FOR 2022/2023
The events on this page are being updated as we get closer to New Year's Day.
All information is accurate and up to date as of this time.
Program is subject to change without notice.
The official website for Rome New Years Eve by Turismo Roma, is available online here.
At noon every New Years Day in Rome, you can watch some (crazy) men jumping or even diving into the frigid, and rather shallow, Tiber river.
This Roman tradition began in 1946, when a Belgian Olympic diver, Rick De Sonay, dove from the Cavour bridge into the Tiber. He'd hoped to gain attention by doing it at midnight, and land work as a stuntman.
The first time he did it, he came up out of the water with the hand-signal "OK", meaning he was OK.
"Mr. OK" was born, and the legend grew. Mr. De Sonay did this every year until he died at age 89 in 1988.
Since then, others have taken over.
It's now done at noon on New Year's Day, right after the canon is shot on the Gianicolo Hill.
If you're in Rome New Years Eve and not sure what to do New Years Day, don't let the fact that a lot of the main sites and attractions are closed stop you!
For options for Rome New Years Day walking tours, start here:
I think one of the most fun things you can do in Rome is take a culinary or food tour. So much about enjoying your visit to Rome has to do with enjoying the local cuisine!
Why not take a food/culinary tour on New Years Day? Shake out some of those late-night cobwebs!
Maybe you are feeling a bit exhausted from New Years Eve festivities. Maybe you don't feel like walking around in the cold. Maybe you want to see a lot more than you would on foot.
There are lots of great options for taking a mobile tour with a Segway, Vespa or bicycle:
I often recommend taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour on your first day in Rome, especially when you are tired and/or jet-lagged. it's a great way to sight-see with minimal effort on your part, and you can relax and take in as little or as much as you want.
The same could be said for New Years' Day in Rome - if you're tired and/or otherwise want to keep it low-key but still want to sight-see, consider taking a Rome hop-on ho-off bus sightseeing tour.
Looking for tours for the disabled? Visit my page here to contact local tour companies specializing accessible travel and tours.
The Three Tenors - Enjoy a New Year's Day Concert in Rome in the beautiful Caravita Church in the center of Rome.
The singers are some of Rome's most talented, and they do credit to the original Three Tenors.
January 1, 2023, 9pm. From €58.
Great for families; wheelchair accessible.
Sparkling wine after the concert is included.
Greet the new year in Rome with a beautiful lyrical concert of classic opera and concert music, performed by the renowned I Virtuosi dell'opera di Roma inside the Church of St Paul within the Walls.
Works include pieces by Puccini, Strauss, Rossini, Verdi, Mozart, and many more.
January 1, 2023. From €37.
Great for families; wheelchair accessible.
Opera Concert at the Palazzo Santa Chiara
Enjoy opera in the small, elegant auditorium of 17th century Palazzo Santa Chiara, known for its excellent acoustics.
Head to this hidden gem right behind the Pantheon, grab a cocktail at the intimate bar inside, then sit back and enjoy some beautiful music.
January 1, 2023, 7:30 PM (other dates also available).
"The Most Beautiful Opera Arias" Concert
Immerse yourself in Italian opera and enjoy compositions by famous composers such as Puccini, Bellini, and Mascagni.
This intimate concert is held in the Ponte Sant Angelo Methodist Church, a venue with exceptional acoustics just across from Castel Sant'Angelo.
January 1, 2023, 7:30 PM (other dates also available).
As an American, I am used to big New Year's Day sales. It's January 1! Let's watch football and/or go to the mall! A very American thing to do.
The shopping scene is different in Italy.
You may be surprised to find that many shops are closed on New Year's Day in Rome.
There are some exceptions to this:
You will find some shops open around the touristic center and sites.
Many of these will be souvenir shops, but you'll find limited options for buying clothes, shoes, accessories, and jewellery.
You may find a few shops open on via dei Giubbonari near Campo dei Fiori, and around the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
But don't count on it, and if you do find things open, you will have limited choices of shops to choose from.
You can head to Piazza Navona, where a Christmas Market is up until January 6.
Don't expect to find lots of cute ornaments and gifts - the stalls are few, and many of them sell either food or plush toys for kids. But you may find something.
Shops in Termini station (and at both of Rome's airports) will also be open.
Bottom line - January 1 is not a great day to shop in Rome.
But if you need to, you'll find something.
Another thing about Italy's shopping traditions is that we have sales twice a year - once in winter and once in summer.
The winter sales have different start dates around Italy, but they generally start somewhere around the first weekend of January. But not on New Years Day.
In Rome, winter sales almost always start on the first Saturday in January after the 1st.
Admittedly, it can be difficult to find places to eat in Rome on Christmas Eve, but the opposite is true for New Years.
Many places in Rome offer a big New Years dinner (cenone), and most Rome restaurants are open on January 1 too.
Brunch is less of a thing here than it is in some Anglo-Saxon countries.
Often, when Italian restaurants serve brunch, it is actually LUNCH.
So don't try too hard to find a great brunch in Rome New Years Day. Plan on an early lunch if you like.
Bottom line, find a place you want to eat, and book it for your New Years Day lunch.
Happy New Year!!
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