Rome is one of those places where you feel like the time of year you choose to visit can make or break your trip. Summers can get blistering hot, making walking from place to place and standing outside in full sun (which will be the case at many sights) unbearable. This is also when the city is at its busiest, so besides higher prices you’ll also be battling crowds and queues everywhere you go.
Winter is when Rome is at its least crowded, part of the appeal of an Italian vacation is being able to comfortably sit outside, relax in the sun, and enjoy a meal or treat without shivering through several layers of clothing. While Rome does experience a relatively mild winter, it can still get quite chilly, so unless you’re used to colder temperatures, It is recommend visiting in early spring. Crowds are still considerably lighter than they’ll be in the summer, and the weather is pleasant enough to stay out in all day. February seemed to be the perfect sweet spot weather-wise between winter and summer. And except for the Trevi Fountain and Vatican Museums, you shouldn't encounter large crowds anywhere during your stay in the city.
You need to see it and here's your head start: Here are things to do in Rome.
Check out the Pantheon.
Go People Watching at the Spanish Steps.
Hit the Campo dei Fiori Markets.
Take Down Some Tripe.
See the Colosseum.
See Vatican City
Eat Bucatini all'Amatriciana.
Snack on the Real Spaghetti Carbonara.
WHERE TO EAT IN ROME
Since you can find delicious food everywhere in Rome, even in tiny pizza to-go shops, I probably don’t even need to bother with recommendations. But for those of you who are like me and prefer to arrive in a new destination with at least a few personal recommendations (even if I never use them), these were our favorites.
Pizza To-Go: Alice Pizza by Vatican City and Il Capriccio by the Pantheon (Alice Pizza is a large chain of pizza takeaway shops in Rome. Il Capriccio has only 1-2 locations. Both offer very cheap prices and delicious pizza, best eaten in your favorite piazza on a sunny day.)
Gelato: Ciuccula by the Pantheon (This was our favorite gelato shop in Rome. Ciuccula is more expensive than some of the others, but the ice cream is so good. My favorite flavors were the pistachio and panna cotta.)
Cheap Italian: O’Pazzariello on Via Banco di Santo Spirito (Located just across the bridge from Castel Sant’Angelo, O’Pazzariello has excellent pasta for good prices. I loved the fettuccine and eggplant!)
Traditional Italian: Piazza Sforza Cesarini in the piazza of the same name (We stopped for lunch here on a whim one day, enticed by the aroma of tomato sauce and the restaurant’s beautiful outdoor patio. It did not disappoint.)
Traditional Italian: Osteria La Quercia in Piazza della Quercia (This is where we met some of our local friends for dinner one night. The atmosphere is cozy and warm, and the food was some of the best we had on the trip. Very family-friendly place, too.)