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Christmas in Rome: a quick guide

Celebrating Christmas 2022 in the Eternal City.

The Christmas season in Rome is a particularly festive experience thanks to street lights, rich traditions and Nativity scenes in churches around the Italian capital.

The city's solar-powered Christmas tree is located in Piazza Venezia, while the Vatican's Christmas tree, acccompanied by a giant Nativity scene made from cedar wood, is in St Peter's Square.

There are Christmas lights along the length of the central Via del Corso as well as on Via dei Condotti, the exclusive shopping street near Piazza di Spagna.

There are also Christmas tree installations at Largo Goldoni, Piazza S. Lorenzo in Lucina and at the Spanish Steps. This year's tree outside city hall in Piazza Campidoglio will be lit with pedal power.

There are Christmas mangers and Nativity scenes in churches throughout the capital including the international crib exhibition, 100 Presepi, under the colonnade in St Peter's Square.

Rome's 2022 Christmas tree in Piazza Venezia. Photo Wanted in Rome.

Rome has plenty of Christmas markets over the festive period, including a return of the Befana market in Piazza Navona, with several Christmas villages equipped with carousels, ice-skating rinks and puppet shows for kids.

There are numerous Christmas church services in English while for the programme of Pope Francis, including his Urbi et Orbi blessing on Christmas Day, consult the Vatican website.

Some of the main cultural events in Rome this Christmas include the Van Gogh exhibition at Palazzo Bonaparte, the musical Cats at Teatro Sistina, the S. Cecilia Concerto di Natale, the Roma Gospel Festival at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, and the enchanting pathways of lights at the Botanic Garden in Trastevere.

The capital's public transport services follow a reduced timetable on Christmas Day, with all buses, trams and subways completely free on 18 and 24 December to facilitate shopping in the city centre.

Those planning to dine in Rome restaurants over the festive period are advised to book well in advance due to high demand.

Cover image: Via dei Condotti, Rome, December 2022. Photo Wanted in Rome.

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