I’m going to get it out there straight away and say that I don’t celebrate Christmas. If I’m with my family during the festive season, I’m happy to go with the flow, but if I’m not then 25th December is just another day.
In 2012 I was in Morocco and as you would imagine from a Muslim country, the only Christmas tree I saw was in a hotel and just for tourists.
So heading to the home of the Pope, I wasn’t sure what Rome would be like on Christmas Day. My contingency if things were completely closed, was to stock up on snacks from a local shop the day before and spend my time walking around.
So if you’re wondering whether Rome is a good destination for a Christmas trip, you might be interested to know how I spent my day.
After breakfast at my hotel, I jumped on the Metro and headed down to the Colosseum, there were still a few people around, but no way near as many as usual and although I couldn’t go inside, it was great to take pictures and have a mooch around.
It’s a shame about all the scaffolding – seriously , I think this scaffolding is following me around Europe! I wanted to make the most of the metro, as it was closing at 1pm, so I nipped up to Piazza della Repubblica, which is where I spotted the open-top bus tours were still running. I jumped on the Green line and went all around Rome 21 sights in total. I stopped off quickly to see the Pope giving his mass at the Vatican.
I jumped off the bus at Piazza Barberini and took a stroll down to the Trevi fountain, stopping for a bite to eat on the way. I would say about half of the cafes and restaurants were open as usual, so there were plenty of options to eat and drink and the streets were much more quiet than usual.
I walked back up to the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo, by this time it was mid-afternoon and there were definitely more people around, but it was still pretty quiet for Rome.
By this point it was getting a little late, so I popped back to my hotel via Piazza della Liberta and a square full of Christmas trees to play around with!
Very few indoor tourist sites are open on Christmas day, but as long as you have decent weather, you’ll find plenty of things to explore. But be aware that the metro closes early.