If you decide to travel to Rome in autumn, and specifically in the month of October, you have the chance to admire the beauties of Rome without the crowds. At your own pace and at your own pace. You no longer have to wait in a long queue to explore the Trevi Fountain or to enter the Colosseum.
It's a month when the weather is not as sticky as in summer and not as cold as in winter, but somewhere in between. Are you a film buff? Then don't miss one of the world's most famous film festivals this October.
1. Taste the seasonal food
If one of your motivations for travelling to Rome is to get your heart racing by sampling the delights that Italian gastronomy has to offer, October opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you to try. This month is synonymous in Italy with seasonal products such as white truffles, pumpkin, persimmons and mushrooms. Rome' s restaurants take the opportunity to incorporate these delicacies into their menus.
The white truffle is the delicacy of delicacies. It is an unaffordable delicacy that is not usually cooked, but grated on top of any pasta dish for a different kind of result. How do you know if you are looking at a quality white truffle? Because the price of the dish will be around €40. As for pumpkin, you can find it in gnocchi fillings. Rico-rico!
Although it is true that mushrooms or funghi are available on the menus of Rome's restaurants all year round, in October you can be sure that they are 100% fresh. Finally, persimmons are the fruit of the season - there are finger-licking salads with this fruit!
Best restaurants in Rome in October
If you are looking for good food at a very reasonable price, I suggest the restaurant Broccoletti. It's a tiny but cute place known for its homemade and, above all, seasonal cuisine.
For pumpkin enthusiasts, Colline Emiliane is a restaurant in Rome just a few blocks from the Trevi Fountain. Be sure to try the tortelli di zucca, ravioli stuffed with sweet pumpkin - I can't find the words to describe the taste!
2. Admire the autumn colours
With autumn just begun, Rome's parks and Roman gardens are beginning to take on a multitude of colours. Yellow tones join the reds and browns, enveloping the landscape in a blanket of colour. You probably already had in your travel plans to visit the gardens of Villa Borghese, the most popular park in the Italian capital. This place is recommended at any time of the year, but in October it is at its most photogenic.
The charming gardens and neoclassical buildings invite you to take a walk where you will have the chance to disconnect for a moment from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. One of the most splendid and picturesque views of Rome is offered by the Garden of the Lake with the Temple of Aesculapius.
How to get to Villa Borghese
The best way to get to Villa Borghese is by Rome's metro. You can get off at Spagna station. If you are in the centre, you can even access this park on foot, as it won't take you more than 20 minutes.
3. Take a night tour on Halloween
Although Rome is not particularly known for Halloween, this celebration is slowly becoming more and more popular in the city. You can take advantage of the scariest night of the year to go on a night tour of Rome to discover some of the secrets and curiosities of the Italian capital. This type of tour offers a different, quieter and calmer perspective of the city.
Even spookier are the Catacombs of San Sebastián. If you want to add a bit of terror to this ephemeris, take an underground tour of the streets of Rome. Rome' s catacombs are underground galleries that were used for centuries as cemeteries, so you can imagine the chills they give you.
4. Attend the Rome Film Festival
The Rome Film Festival has been held annually in the Italian capital since 2006. Its epicentre is the Auditorium Parco della Musica, although there are also screenings in other parts of the city. It is usually held in mid-October and lasts around 10 days. Did you know that the red carpet is one of the largest in the world? 1,300 m2!
As a curiosity, the design of the award is inspired by the silhouette of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. If you are travelling to Rome in October, check the dates of the festival and check the agenda, because you might be able to find time to attend one of the film talks with guest actors.
5. Go to the Rome Opera House
Rome' s Teatro dell'Opera revives its programme of plays and concerts in October, making it an exceptional plan on any rainy autumn day. The ballet and opera performances are held in two different venues. On the one hand, you have the opportunity to attend the Teatro Constanzi, where the main venue is located. On the other hand, the Teatro Nazionale is another of the locations belonging to the Rome Opera.
In the former, the famous play La Traviata, which dates back to 1853, is performed. There is no better plan than this iconic opera on your trip to Rome in a historic theatre like the Teatro Constanzi that will make you feel like you are in the 19th century.
6. Explore the Palatine Hill
In search of the colours of autumn I found the Palatine Hill to be one of the best sights of the season. It is one of the oldest places in Rome, a corner where, according to legend, Luperca, the she-wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus, founders of the city, lived.
The Palatine Hill is home to an impressive archaeological site which, in the month of October, is adorned with ochre, green and red tones. This place is a must-see on photo tours of Rome because the panoramic view is splendid.
7. Tour the Trastevere neighbourhood
Trastevere is one of the most charming Roman neighbourhoods. Crowded with tourists in summer, in October you will see its friendlier side. The visibly less crowded streets will allow you to appreciate every corner much better. If there is one thing you like about this neighbourhood, it is that it preserves the traditional and authentic flavour of everyday life in Rome. And now you can enjoy it without the crowds.
Browse the little shops selling curious objects without having to queue and fall in love with the colours of the houses. Trastevere is also one of the places where you can explore Italian gastronomy in the trattorias, traditional restaurants serving home-made food.
8. Visit a free museum
Did you know that on the first Sunday of every month a number of Roman museums are free to enter? Yes, that's right. October is no exception, so if you're lucky enough to be in Rome this weekend, make the most of it. This first Sunday in October you can visit the Roman Colosseum, the Barberini Palace, the Borghese Gallery, the Baths of Diocletian and many more without paying a penny.
But the good news doesn't end here. If the Vatican Museums are among your travel plans, you'll be pleased to know that on the last Sunday of every month access is also free. However, the queue can be overwhelming, so I recommend you make an effort and get up early. October is no longer high season, but, you know, nobody wants to miss the opportunity to save the entrance fee! One last tip: if you want to enjoy the works of art even more, I recommend a guided tour of Rome's museums, you'll be amazed!
9. Go to Rome Art Week
Another event par excellence that takes place in the middle of October is the Rome Art Week (RAW). This event is conceived as a meeting point between artists and citizens. It also aims to disseminate contemporary art in all its forms through exhibitions, conferences and many other activities.
More than a hundred art galleries and institutions have participated in past editions, which means that there is plenty to choose from. Among them are Casa Argentina, the Royal Academy of Spain, the University of Fine Arts of Rome and many more. When the dates are near, I recommend you take a look at the agenda if you are interested in art.
10. Celebrate St. Francis of Assisi's day in the church of San Francesco a Ripa
St. Francis of Assisi Day is celebrated every year on 4 October. Because of his passion for animals, he is considered the patron saint of animals. If you are in Rome on this date, I encourage you to visit the church of San Francesco a Ripa, located in the Trastevere neighbourhood.
This basilica is dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, as he stayed there for a few days when he went to Rome to visit the Pope. Because of its special link with this historical figure, a special event is usually held in his honour every October 4th.
Temperatures in Rome in October
What will the weather be like in Rome in October, will it be sunny or rainy? Knowing what the weather will be like in your destination is very important in order to plan your trip accordingly. While at the beginning of October you can still feel the last traces of September's warmth, if you travel at the end of the month you may be surprised by rain and lower temperatures.
In Italy, as in Spain, October is the autumn season. For this reason, it is a turbulent month for which you have to be prepared for everything. The first days of the month can be so warm that you might even feel like going to the beach. However, during the night you can already feel that summer is behind us and you can feel the temperatures dropping. Highs can be up to 20ºC, but lows can be as low as 8ºC.
If you plan to travel at the end of October, then the truly autumnal weather will be more pressing. What does this mean? You might need some thicker jackets and even an umbrella. Don't worry if you have a rainy day, it's charming too!
Rome's October tourist crowds
I'm not going to kid you. Rome is a very touristy city. In fact, it is one of the 5 most visited cities in Europe. That's why there will always be tourists. However, this has nothing to do with the influx of tourists during the summer months, when the stifling heat is compounded by the fact that there are people in practically every corner of the city. In October, the good thing is that the drop in visitors is noticeable, which you can use to your advantage.
October is a great time to visit Rome, not only because the temperatures have (finally) dropped and you can go sightseeing without melting. Another good thing about this month is that, although it is far from empty, the number of tourists is low. However, remember that in October we have two spectacular long weekends in Spain (Pilar and All Saints' Day), so if you travel on these dates there may be more movement in Rome.