With the holidays behind us, it’s fair to say that Rome has entered into its low season period. Officially, the low season starts around November and lasts until March.
If you have ever visited Rome in November and December, then you already know that there is nothing low about those two months due to the winter holidays. Christmas, New Year’s, and the Epiphany all mean one thing here: lots of gift giving and celebrating with friends and family and, of course, time off from work.
After the first week of January, the city tends to quieten; its streets are less flooded with human and vehicular traffic, and Italian can be heard more often than not in those places usually filled with tourists–which makes it the perfect time to actually visit the city and see the sites.
Here are 5 reasons you should visit Rome during its low season:
Low is the operative word in low season. Prices of just about everything significantly drop (accomodations, shopping,etc.). It’s not just in Rome itself, but even in the methods of getting here: e.g., Turkish Airlines is running a special on flights to Rome from Washing DC, average cost is $750 (US). And if you are already in Italy and like traveling by train, then the prices offered by Italo will sure astound you, e.g. Florence to Rome at 20€.
Although it is winter, the weather is far from freezing cold, with temperatures averaging between 10°C/50°F during the day and 2°C/ 35°F at night, making it perfect for talking walks around the city. And if you feel a bit chilled, there is also deliciously creamy Italian hot chocolate waiting for you at any cafe.
3. No Crowds
Seeing the sites gets a whole lot easier in the low season; no more waiting for what seems like forever in long lines, especially in blazing heat (as you would find in summer). You will experience being seated quickly at restaurants, moving with ease through shops and enjoy unobstructed window shopping. You can even find a place to sit on the Spanish Steps!
4. Winter Sales
Continuing on the subject of shopping, there is also the annual winter sale, which began this year on January 3rd and will last until February 26th. This is another great way to save while staying in the city and also being able to take home a part of it once you leave. No matter where you are, look out for the word Saldi (Sale) ,which will be plastered on many shop windows.
5. Enjoy Local Life
Rome can seem like a grand theatrical production or something magical akin to Disney World. It’s not. The Eternal City is still a place where people get up each day and live their lives: going to work, hanging out with friends, and seeing family.
In the high season, Roman residents can get lost in 20 million tourists that annually visit the city. In the low season, you actually get the chance to sit back and see how locals go about their lives or, even better, perhaps you just might join them.
-Article by Diedré Blake
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