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:
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
Most city and state museums and archeological sites (including the Colosseum) are closed on January 1.
January 1 is a Catholic holiday, called Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
On January 1, 2022 Pope Francis will be presiding at Holy Mass inside St Peter's Basilica at 10:00 AM.
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.
The below museums and exhibits are CONFIRMED OPEN January 1, 2022:
Palazzo Braschi - Museum of Rome
Klimt - This exhibition marks the return to Italy of some of his masterpieces from Vienna and other locations around the world.
Through March 27, 2022
Palazzo Braschi is on one end of Piazza Navona.
Open Mon - Fri 10 am - 8 pm; Sat - Sun 10 am - 10 pm.
13€ standard. 11€ reduced.
Advance booking strongly
Scuderie al Quirinale
Inferno - in honor of the the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri.
More than 200 artworks depicting Hell. From public and private collections from across Europe.
Through January 23, 2022
Via XXIV Maggio 16.
Open: Sun - Thu 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sat 10am – 10:30pm.
Full € 15; Reduced (ages 18-25) € 13
Free for anyone under 18, and anyone disabled and their care-giver, with written medical proof.
Advanced booking is
EXTENDED! - Capitoline Museums
The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces.
Visit this stunning exhibit of one of the most important private collections of ancient sculptures.
Through 9 January, 2022 the exhibition I marmi Torlonia, Collecting masterpieces is open in the new exhibition space of the Capitoline Museums, in Villa Caffarelli.
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.
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.
Looking for tours for the disabled? Visit my page here to contact local tour companies specializing accessible travel and tours.
The singers are some of Rome's most talented, and they do credit to the original Three Tenors.
January 1, 2022, 9pm. From €45. 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, 2022. From €35. Great for families; wheelchair accessible.
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, 2022, 7:30 PM (other dates also available).
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, 2022, 7:15 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.
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 still 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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