5 TIPS for Visiting Rome in Spring – Stefano’s RomeCabs

Buon giorno and welcome to Stefano’s RomeCabs, Rome’s leading company for Civitavecchia Transfers, Airport Transfers, Day Tours, and Shore Excursions in Italy.

Spring is a wonderful time of the year to visit Italy, and spend time enjoying Rome.

Best reasons to visit Rome in spring are many: warmer weather, shoulder season for better airline and hotel rates, fewer crowds, not as hot as summer, flowers are in bloom and exciting spring time festivals and events.

If you plan to visit Rome in the spring, here are:

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5 TIPS for Visiting Rome in Spring

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1 BE PREPARED FOR SPRING WEATHER

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Spring Showers in Rome - RomeCabs

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Spring is the transformation from wet and chilly winter months to hot and sweltering summer.  This transition makes for ideal weather that is not too cold and not too hot which can make sightseeing uncomfortable for many visitors.

It’s important to note that mornings and evenings can still be chilly with warmer temperatures midday and afternoons.  

Therefore, plan to dress in layers so you can remove portable sweaters and light jackets when it’s warm out, and put them back on again when it’s chilly.  Scarfs are also highly recommended for ladies.. They keep you warm, are fashionable to wear around your shoulder like a shawl, and light and easy to pack away when not being worn.

The most practical sweaters and jackets are those that you can wrap around your waist or stow in a small day bag or purse.  

Large backpacks may possibly hinder your access into certain monuments and museums that prohibit large backpacks for security reasons, or may require them to be placed in a locker. To avoid these potential inconveniences and to ease your sightseeing without carrying cumbersome heavy backpacks, plan to go light:  bring jackets and sweaters you can wrap around your waist or fit in a small bag, leave big and heavy guide books behind, and plan to shop for souvenirs at the end of the day so you have less to carry around.

Spring showers can catch you by surprise, so plan to bring a light travel size umbrella with you.

Umbrellas are handy in case of showers, or to provide you with shade on bright sunny days.

If you are caught in a shower, don’t worry. There are many places to duck into to stay dry and to enjoy yourself.  There are many cafes in Rome to enjoy a local coffee, a pastry, gelato, or a glass of wine. During lunch or dinner time, you will also find an abundance of restaurants.  With nearly 1,000 churches in Rome, you will likely not be too far from a church you probably never visited before.

Most churches in Rome are centuries old, boasting magnificent interiors from simple gothic architecture to ornate Baroque styles, masterpiece paintings, frescoes, and mosaics.  

If you find yourself near the Pantheon during rain or shower, don’t miss the opportunity to watch rain fall through the oculus on top of the dome onto the marble floor. The oculus on top is open to allow sun and rain to come through.

After the rain, you can snap some amazing photos of buildings or monuments reflecting on the wet ground.

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2  STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES… AND THE WISTERIA TOO!

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Wisteria in Rome on Via Margutta - RomeCabs

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Spring has always been associated with flowers, and in Rome you come to expect it.

In mid April, wisteria blooms and fills the air with their delightful fragrance.  Look for hanging wisteria on Via Margutta (near the Spanish Steps), near Vittorio Emanuele Monument next to Capitoline Hill, Roman Forum, and in other quaint neighborhood areas in Rome.

When the azalea flowers are in bloom around late April to early May, you will find the Spanish Steps transformed into a colorful bouquet of red and pink flowers placed on the steps in thousands of pots that last for weeks.

A well kept secret is the Rose Garden situated at the foot of Aventine Hill just across from Circus Maximus.

When roses bloom between  late April and June, the garden is open to visitors to enjoy the tranquil park and its 1,000+ variety of colorful and fragrant roses. The Rose Garden (Roseto Comunale) usually open from April 21 to June 21, from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM (open dates and times may vary).

http://www.turismoroma.it/cosa-fare/roseto-comunale?lang=en

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Rose Garden in Rome - RomeCabs

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CHERRY BLOSSOMS

If you’ve never been to the EUR district of Rome, the cherry blossom season is the perfect time to come!

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For a short time from mid March through first week of April (blooming season varies based on the weather), the Sakura (Japanese cherry trees)  blossom along the artificial lake in EUR, a delightful tribute to to the Japanese tradition of Hanami, a festival that celebrates the arrival of Spring.

Elsewhere in Rome, bright and colorful Flowers in bloom can also be seen throughout many of Rome’s neighborhoods such as Trastevere, and parks such as Borghese gardens.

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3  CELEBRATE ROME’S BIRTHDAY

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Everyone celebrates their birthday, but Rome has been celebrating it the longest!

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Rome Birthday April 21 - RomeCabs

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Rome’s birthday is officially celebrated on April 21 according to ancient mythical traditions that Rome was founded on this date in 753 BC by Romulus (the twin brother of slain Remus).  This is a perfect time to catch a glimpse of Rome’s ancient past, and enjoy historical re-enactments performed by historical groups.

On the Sunday nearest to April 21, hundreds (if not thousands) of historical re-enactors wearing authentic costumes of different eras of Ancient Rome including the Etruscans, gather to parade from Circus Maximus around Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum, and back to Circus Maximus.  

The annual parade starts at approximately 10 AM and ends at approximately 4 PM with more events taking place in Circus Maximus.

Fireworks and lumiere light shows that vary from year to year, as well as historic events and re-enactments held in Circus Maximus, makes this the most anticipated birthday celebration in Rome, reminding everyone of Rome’s unbreakable ties of its distant past whose ancient monuments and roads are still a fabric of the Eternal city.

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4  MAKE EASTER SPECIAL IN ROME

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Easter time is an exciting time in Rome, and if your travel plans coincide with Easter, you can make your stay in Rome even more special by attending various Easter events lead by the Pope, and enjoying Easter treats that are only available during this time.

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See the Pope in Rome and at the Vatican

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pope-356341_1280

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Easter is a very busy time in Rome and at the Vatican.

If you happen to be in Rome during Easter time, you can catch a glimpse of the Pope leading the Way of the Cross inside the Colosseum on Good Friday, and Easter Mass held in Saint Peter’s Square.

Tickets (free of charge) are required for most events and expect huge crowds (therefore order your tickets months in advance as they are difficult to obtain!)  If you can’t obtain a ticket don’t worry, you can still be present outside the perimeter of St Peter’s Square as all the masses held there are screened live in the square in front of the Basilica that you can watch from the perimeters.

http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/en/udienze_en.html

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Easter Papal Masses

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Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent, 46 days before Easter Sunday.) The Pope will hold Mass in the Saint Peter’s Basilica at 5pm.

Palm Sunday – Blessing of the Palms, Procession and Holy Mass (one week before Easter.)  in St Peter’s Square at 9:30 (tickets required)

Holy Thursday (Thursday before Easter Sunday.)  Chrism Mass, in St Peter’s Basilica. at 9:30 (tickets required)

Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday.) – Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, in St Peter’s Basilica at 17:00 (tickets required)

Way of the Cross, in the Coliseum at 21:15 (no tickets required, expect huge crowds)

Holy Saturday (one day before Easter.) Easter Vigil Mass, in St Peter’s Basilica at 20:30 (tickets required)

If you can’t obtain a ticket for mass in St Peter’s Square don’t worry, you can still be present outside the perimeter of St Peter’s Square as all the masses held there are screened live in the square.

Easter Sunday – Easter Sunday Mass, in St Peter’s Square at 10:15 (tickets required)
– “Urbi et Orbi” Blessing at 12 noon in St Peter’s Square. (no tickets required).

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5  ENJOY IN SEASON FOOD

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In-season fruits and vegetables are highlights on Italian menus – Italians even host festivals celebrating certain seasonal foods!

Some of the most popular in season vegetables are artichokes. You can enjoy Jewish Artichokes (Carciofi alla giudia), a specialty in Rome’s Jewish Quarter. The whole artichoke is deep fried to a crisp golden brown, with the outer leaves crunchy like potato chips and the heart tender and delicious.  

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Jewish Artichokes

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The Roman artichokes (carciofi alla romana) is a highly popular local appetizer that many local restaurants serve on their menu. The artichokes are simmered with olive oil, green herbs and garlic and are absolutely delightful and healthy.

Another local unique spring specialty is the “puntarelle”. A variant of chicory, the young tender puntarelle shoots have a mild bitter taste, and are served with a light dressing of just the right combination of anchovy, garlic, vinegar and salt.

One particular Italian speciality that heralds spring are young tender fava beans eaten  fresh right out of the pod together with aged pecorino cheese (cheese made from sheep’s milk) –  enjoyed the old fashioned way with nothing fancy. They’re perfect to take on picnics as there’s virtually nothing in particular to prepare. You can find fava beans in their pods sold at outdoor markets and supermarkets along with aged pecorino cheese.

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Fave and Pecorino_SM

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Around Easter time, you can also enjoy popular sweets such as Easter chocolate eggs that range from small and simple to big and ornate, and “colombo”, which is the Easter version of the panettone shaped in a cross. You can find these at local pastry shops and supermarkets.

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Colomba Easter Panetone SM

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Not a spring specialty because gelato is special year round, but Gelato is particularly enjoyed in spring to celebrate the warmth that draws us to these delicious frozen treats with the promise of sunny summer days to come.

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Other Helpful Travel Blogs from Stefano’s RomeCabs:

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10 Easy Ways to Survive Rome in the Summer

5 Ways to Stay Cool Touring in Rome this Summer

3 Common Mistakes that Ruin Your Summer Trip to Rome

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For information on our Transfers and Day Tours in Rome and beyond, please visit our website at www.RomeCabs.com.

We also invite you to visit our sister company Stefano Rome Tours that also specializes in Day Tours and Shore Excursions.

Thank you for reading our 5 TIPS for Visiting Rome in Spring travel blog.  We look forward to welcoming you to Italy!

Best Wishes from Rome,

Stefano’s RomeCabs Team
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