Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Rome

Best things to do in Rome on Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve.

Christmas in Rome 2019: from museums to transport, cribs to Christmas for kids - here is some information to help you enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the capital.

Museums in Rome

Most of the city's museums and archaeological sites are open on Tuesday 24 December, with some of them such as the Vatican Museums, the Colosseum and the Capitoline Museums closing at 15.30.

However all city, state and Vatican museums will be closed on Wednesday 25 December. The Pantheon, Galleria Doria Pamphilj and the Bioparco are also closed on Christmas Day.

There are a few privately-run museums open on 25 December including the Chiostro del Bramante, with its Bacon and Freud show (17.00-22.00); Palazzo Bonaparte with I Love Lego (15.30-21.00); and Palazzo Merulana with its Jan Fabre show (15.00-22.00).

For full opening times of Rome's museums over the festive period see city website.

Admiring the view under Rome's Christmas tree

Christmas trees

The city's Christmas tree, Spelacchio sponsored by Netflix, is located in Piazza Venezia and has a magic post office where children can send their letters to Santa Claus. The Vatican's Christmas tree and Nativity scene, created in the Trentino tradition, is located in the centre of St Peter's Square.

Cribs and Nativity scenes

The main exhibition of Christmas cribs and mangers is 100 Presepi on Via della Conciliazione. This year the city has the world's largest Nativity scene made out of cardboard, at the church in Piazza S. Marco, just off Piazza Venezia. For more details on Rome's cribs see our guide.

Christmas in St Peter's Square. Photo CNS / Paul Haring.

Christmas for kids

The LunEur Park has a Christmas Village open from 15.00 on Christmas Day, with Santa Claus and ice skating rink; the Fabbrica degli Elfi at Ragusa Off has Christmas markets, theatre and fun for kids, open on Christmas Eve from 10.00-18.00 and Christmas Day from 16.00-22.00; and Christmas Wonderland at PratiBus District is open on Christmas Eve from 10.00-18.00 and Christmas Day from 16.00 until midnight.

For a trip out of town the majestic S. Severa Castle has its Christmas Village open on 24 December from 10.00-16.00 and 25 December from 15.00-20.00.

Church times

For details of Christmas religious services and Masses in Rome's English-speaking churches see our guide.

Christmas lights

The central Via del Corso is lit up as usual with Christmas lights, as is Via Veneto and Via del  Babuino, while the lights on Via dei Condotti are once again cartoon-themed.


The Nutcracker brings Christmas magic to Rome

Christmas concerts and theatre

On Christmas Day the Auditorium Parco della Musica presents the Harlem Gospel Choir at 17.30 and 21.30. The Auditorium della Conciliazione stages the much-loved Christmas classic The Nutcracker on Christmas Day, while St Paul's within the Walls presents the Nuova Arcadia choir at 20.30.

Christmas shopping

As people dash to make their last-minute purchases - see our tips for Christmas shopping in Rome - it is worth remembering that many supermarkets close on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and will not reopen until 26 December.

Christmas public transport in Rome

On Christmas Eve Rome's buses, trams and metro will operate as normal until 21.00, while on Christmas Day the city's public transport network will be active from 08.30 until 13.00 and from 16.30 until 21.00.

Weather

It won't be un bianco Natale in Rome but it does look like it will be a sunny Christmas in the capital this year.

Wanted in Rome wishes all its readers a very happy Christmas. Cover photo IlFaroOnline