Rome is beautiful even under the rain, discover with us what to do in Rome when it rains
The long-awaited holiday in Rome has arrived, but you are disheartened to realize that the rain is raging in the capital. What to do in Rome when it rains? Don't panic, Rome offers many alternatives, even under the rain.
In this article we will take you through 10 experiences not to be missed on a rainy day, it is an opportunity to take advantage of one of the many indoor activities that you probably would not have included in your travel plan, if the weather was nice.
What to do in Rome when it rains: 10 experiences not to be missed
Everyone knows that generally in Rome the sun always shines, bright in a clear sky, but it can happen that you are unlucky and encounter bad weather. Continue reading and you’ll realize that Rome is beautiful even under the rain and bad luck can quickly turn into luck when you discover the experiences, we have selected for you. Discover the imposing St. Peter's Basilica and the vast Vatican Museums, take a walk at the Pantheon and check if it's raining inside, titillate your imagination with the works of art in the National Gallery of Modern and contemporary Art, immerse yourself in the history of the fascinating Etruscan people in the splendid museum of Villa Giulia, get into an old tram or a bus that travels through the central districts and see Rome through the window.
And again, admire the works of Caravaggio, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci at the Borghese Gallery, lose yourself in the grandeur of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, take refuge in a historic café for an exclusive snack and finally take a relaxing day at the spa. Here's what to do in Rome when it rains. Be prepared and organized also for the eventuality of bad weather, many of the experiences we suggest are included in the Visit Rome Pass, a pass that allows you to optimize your time, without queuing in the rain and having your tickets in a single card.Find out more about Visit Rome Pass❯
10. St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museums
Our first advice on what to do in Rome when it rains is to take a day to visit the heart of Christianity, St. Peter's Basilica and the attached Vatican Museums. The Basilica is the largest church in the world and until recently the Vatican city was also the residence of the Pope. The large dome is visible from almost every part of Rome, if you have the opportunity, in addition to visiting the church, go up to the top of the dome, the route is all inside except for the final view, but it is worth the experience even under the drops. A masterpiece of Italian art, the Basilica is among the symbols of the city of Rome.
The nearby Vatican Museums represent one of the largest art collections in the world, starting from ancient art to contemporary art, passing through medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art. Among the various masterpieces contained within the Museums: the helical staircase by Momo, the famous fresco The School of Athens by Raphael and the inevitable Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, commissioned by Pope Sisto IV from whom it takes its name. Select the most interesting works and visit the museums calmly. The Basilica and the museums are present within the Visit Rome Pass.
9. Take a walk in the Pantheon and check if it's raining inside
Probably one of the most fascinating buildings of ancient Rome, the Pantheon is in the historic heart of Rome. Designed as a temple dedicated to all divinities (Temple of the Gods). It is a large circular building, preceded by a pronaos in Corinthian columns, built in 27 BC. by Marcus Vespasian Agrippa. In the 7th century it was converted into a Christian Basilica and today it is the property of the Italian State, managed by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities.
The peculiarity of this building lies in the large hole on the central top, given the rain you're lucky, find out if it's raining inside! One last curiosity, the first two kings of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II and his son Umberto I are buried in the Pantheon. This was our second piece of advice on what to do in Rome when it rains.
8. National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art
The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome is located near Villa Borghese, it is a majestic palace preceded by a long staircase, which collects over 20,000 works of Italian and foreign art from the 19th century to today. Installations, paintings, drawings, and sculptures that retrace the main artistic currents of the last two centuries starting from neoclassicism.
A visit to the Gallery, due to its large spaces and to the presence of some installations that lend themselves to interaction, can become a fun adventure. In its spaces you will find the impressionists Monet, Cezanne, and Klimt, Modigliani, Mondrian, and some works by Marcel Duchamp who the French philosopher André Breton called the most intelligent man of the 20th century and much more. This was our third tip on what to do in Rome when it rains. The National Gallery is also located within the Visit Rome Pass experiences.
7. National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia
The National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia is located a stone's throw from the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, housed in two spectacular Renaissance villas surrounded by greenery, it collects finds belonging to the Etruscan and Faliscan cultures. The most famous works contained within it are the sarcophagus of the spouses, the plates of Pyrgi which contributed to the knowledge of the Etruscan language, the Apollo of Veii and the rest of the Etruscan temple of Alatri.
The closing day, like all museums in Rome, is Monday, it is open from 8.30 to 19.30 from Tuesday to Sunday. The National Museum is also included among the Visit Rome Pass experiences.
6. Borghese Gallery
The Borghese Gallery is a magnificent Renaissance villa set in the vast park of Villa Borghese, once it was the residence of the Borghese family to which the enormous park was annexed which has now become a public park.
In the Borghese Gallery they are exhibited sculptures such as the statue of Paolina Borghese by Canova, Bernini's David and masterpieces of painting, such as those by Raphael, Caravaggio and Leonardo da Vinci are exhibited in the Borghese Gallery. Sometimes these classic works are combined with contemporary art installations of international appeal.
5. Take a tour of the center by bus
In Rome when it rains an original idea is to take a bus that makes a circular tour in the historic center, such as bus number 85, which passes through Piazza Barberini, Piazza Venezia, the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum; get on at the terminus so you can find a seat and go all the way around.
Alternatively, the old tram number 8, goes from the Rome ghetto to Villa Pamphili, passing in front of the Tiber island and Trastevere. The trip is cheap, the cost of a ticket is 1.50. Consider this a fun experience, which can serve as a diversion in Rome when it rains.
4. Spada Gallery
The Galleria Spada is located in the historic center, in via del Collegio Romano, you are between Piazza Farnese and Largo Arenula. Palazzo Spada hosts artistic and archaeological works in its fascinating spaces. The palace is famous for its facade and for Borromini's false perspective. It is worth a visit even just for the spaces, the palace dates to 1540, the trompe l'oeil by Borromini is in the entrance hall to the courtyard.
Among the many noteworthy paintings, we suggest observing the two works by Artemisia Gentileschi and her father Orazio Gentileschi, we also point out the works of Tiziano and Bernini; the collection is completed by a series of archaeological finds, positioned on seventeenth-century stools and late Baroque consoles. This experience is also among the activities included in the Visit Rome Pass.
3. Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano
The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano is part of the so-called seven churches, an ancient Christian journey that also involved the Basilicas of San Pietro, San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Santa Maria Maggiore, San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and the Basilica of San Sebastiano. It was an itinerary practiced by Christians with the institution of the Jubilees since the Middle Ages. As the 2025 Jubilee approaches, if you have time and when it rains in Rome it could be an original idea.
The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano is the mother church of the diocese of Rome, the church is divided into five large naves divided by a long row of majestic columns, in the central nave, inside the niches designed by Borromini in the eighteenth century, you will find the statues of the holy apostles and prophets. Worthy of note is the cloister, a masterpiece of Cosmatesque art. Being a place of worship, as in other churches, a dress code must be respected. Access to all churches is free.
2. Take refuge in a historic café
Our penultimate advice in Rome when it rains is to take a break for a nice snack in one of the historic cafés that the capital offers. The first in order of importance is the Ancient Greek Coffee. We are at number 68 of the luxurious Via dei Condotti, which in a few steps takes you to Piazza di Spagna. The Antico Caffè Greco is the most famous literary café in Rome, founded in 1760 by a gentleman of Greek origin. Many writers, painters and musicians were regular visitors to the place, and you will breathe a certain charm in its spaces.
In the nearby Piazza di Spagna there is the famous Babington tea room, founded in 1893 by two young ladies of English origin, since then it has become so integrated into the life of the capital that it is considered an unmissable stop for a pleasant snack with a vast range of infusions and teas, this is where people from the world of culture and entertainment meet, and who knows, maybe you'll meet one of them.
1. What to do in Rome when it rains, last tip: treat yourself to a relaxing day at the spa
Here we are at the last tip on what to do in Rome when it rains. If your holiday days are characterized by storms and rain, take a whole day of relaxation at the spa, as the ancient Romans did, to restore your body and spirit and console yourself in the warmth of the waters. The QC spas are in Fiumicino, about half an hour from Rome, you could consider them both upon arrival at Fiumicino airport or on the day before departure, if it rains in Rome and you have exhausted the remaining advice.
It is a large estate that hosts a wellness program and a resort, you can purchase a ticket just for the use of the spa or decide to stay for a night, taking advantage of the beautiful rooms and the excellent welcome. Our roundup of suggestions on what to do in Rome when it rains ends here.