Rome in February

Rome in February is ideal for visiting museums, long walks and enjoying hearty Roman food.

From the second half of the month you can feel the approach of spring.  Temperatures are generally mild, but frost and snow can also occur.  February offers the advantage of visiting Rome during the low- tourist season, and can be a budget- friendly time to see the Eternal City, with deals on hotels and airline travel more likely. 

Also read: Unusual Things to do in Rome

Climate and Clothing

The maximum temperatures in Rome in February are around 14 ° C (57 F) , and the minimum temperatures reach 3 ° C (37).  At the end of the month, the beginning of spring is in the air.

It may rain occasionally in February.  The rain usually doesn't last long and you can find quick shelter under a restaurant awning or slip into a church.  Historically, February is not known for snow, but there have been years in which the temperature was below zero.

Also read: All you need to know on the Vatican Museums in Rome 

Since you spend a lot of time outdoors in Rome, you will need warm clothes and waterproof clothing.  Comfortable shoes are also important in Rome, as you will be walking a lot and the streets are full of potholes.  The cold is not excessive as in other parts of Europe, so layering a sweater under a jacket should be enough to stay warm, but when the sun goes down it is recommended to have a scarf, gloves and a hat.

The sun rises at 07:07 am and sunset is at 5:43 pm. 

Rome for early risers

If you are visiting Rome in February, a fantastic destination for early morning is the Pantheon. 

It takes a while to get up in the dark.  However, there will be virtually no one around, and the light on the fountain and monument will shine.  There is also a great café called Di Rienzo in the square, so you can warm yourself up with a coffee and freshly made pastry. 

Also read: Best Museums in Rome

Early morning is also the best time for jogging in Rome. Imagine watching the sun come up behind St. Peter’s Basilica while running along the Tiber river.  Bundle up for jogging in Rome in February with gloves, ear covers, and layers. 

Food in Rome in February 

Roman cooking is especially satisfying in February.   One specialty you might want to try, and that is offered at most restaurants this time of year, is Rome artichokes “alla giudia”.  It is a whole artichoke that has been fried to perfection.  Order it as an appetizer or side to share.  The artichokes arrive fresh from the growers, and are prepared every day.  Seasonal fruits and vegetables are also a must try in February.  It is the last chance to eat delicious mandarin oranges from local markets before they disappear in spring. 

Carnival in Rome

Carnival, or Carnevale, in Rome begins on 14 February 2021 and runs through Fat Tuesday, which is on 16 February. 

The history of Carnevale has both political and religious elements, and has been most notably celebrated in Venice, where it was born with the cycle of the seasons, to ward off the rigors of winter with a time of revelry, libations, games and disguises.  It has similar traditions to the carnivals celebrated elsewhere, from Europe to North and South America.

Also read: Exploring Rome's Parks

Rome's modern- day Carnevale is primarily a celebration for children.  Children celebrate Carnival in schools, in stores and on the streets.  The tradition of Carnival in Rome has been largely lost.  Some citizens' initiatives organize parades in various neighborhoods, which you can sometimes stumble across.

Around Piazza Navona and Via del Corso you might find a meager display of masks worn by children.  Typical characters are "Rugantino", an arrogant rascal from the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome, with tattered pants and a neckerchief, "Cassandrino", a nobleman, "Meo Patacca", a boy of the people, and the benefactor “Don Pasquale”.  Other parts of Italy have their own carnival characters.

Excursions near Rome in February

When there is snow, Romans go skiing in the nearby Apennine mountains.  Here you can find a directory of ski resorts near Rome and how to get to them. 

February is not a bad time to schedule a trip to Pompeii, as the sweltering heat of summer can be avoided, as well as large crowds. 

A trip to Florence is also interesting in February.  High- speed trains take just under two hours to arrive in Florence from Rome. 

Museum hours in Rome in February

Reservations are required for the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, the Borghese Gallery and all the art museums of the City of Rome.  With the reservation, you will receive an entry time that you must respect precisely.

St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in Febraury

St. Peter's Basilica is closed during the celebrations of the Holy Father. Opening hours are:

Basilica 7:00am-18:30pm - Dome 8:00am -6:00pm - Treasury 9am- 6:15pm.

For more information about St. Peter’s Basilica check our page

The Colosseum in Rome in February

Many exciting things have been in the works on the Colosseum.  The months of closure in 2020 and 2021, as stated by the archaeological park’s director, Alfonsina Russo, have actually been an opportunity for the Colosseum.  Teams have been working at full capacity, engaged in maintenance and enhancements.  For example, on the Temple of Venus, restoration has been carried out thanks to a 2.5 million euro donation from Fendi, and work on the coffered, gold leaf ceiling, means it is now intact after 1700 years.

Also read: Visiting the Roman Forum

Opening hours of the Colosseum in February are:  8:30 am - 3:30 pm, closing at 4:30 pm and from 16 February, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, closing at 5:00 pm.

Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums are closed closed on Sundays and on February 11.  Opening hours are from 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

Here you can find all information on how to buy tickets to the Vatican Museums in Rome

Audiences with the Pope in February in Rome

The Pope’s general audiences take place on Wednesdays at 9:30 am.  The audiences will likely not be public, and will be streamed over the internet from the library in the Apostolic Palace. Up-to-date information can be found here.

The Pope's Angelus prayer takes place on Sundays at noon in St. Peter's Square.

Also read: A practical guide on how to dress for the Vatican

Public Transport

Public transportation in Rome is often overwhelmed and there are actually no schedules. Only a few lines, such as lines 40 and 64 between Termini and the Vatican, run regularly. Consider this problem in your planning and choose accommodation accordingly.  Book accommodation in the historical  center, in Monti near the Colosseum, or near the Vatican in Prati.

Also read: How to use public transport in Rome

Hop on hop off buses run reliably.  Taxi stands are conveniently placed around the city, and a good alternative is to rent a bicycle. There are also electric scooters in the city center.

Some things to consider for February in Rome

There is less going on in February in Rome than in other months.  The seasonal sales end, and shops put out spring fashions.  However, there are fewer tourists and a great lineup of museum exhibitions.