Things to do in Rome this month – December 2022

What’s on in Rome this month?

Rome in December is like a beautiful lady putting on a nice dress for a special night. Christmas lights, the iconic Christmas trees in Piazza Venezia and in St Peter square, Christmas markets.. But also temporary exhibitions. This is what you should be on the lookout for if you’re in Rome in December.

Planning what to see during your trip to Rome? Check out our Video Guide! People that used it said: “It’s much easier to plan a visit this way than just using a book!”

Things to do in Rome in December 2022

Christmas market in Piazza Navona

things to do in rome december christmas market piazza navona
The Christmas market of Piazza Navona will be back in December 2022

After being suspended for some years, finally the Christmas market in Piazza Navona is going to be back this December 2022!

The Christmas Market of Piazza Navona will start on December 1st until January 6th (Epifania day). The stands usually include a variety of nativity scenes decorations, Christmas tree balls and Christmas street food.

Despite the Christmas market of Piazza Navona is not as big and traditional as it used to be (lots of artisans have passed away and are not being replaced), it is still something nice to see during this time of the year.

>>We’ll share any update to this in The Piazza, our online community. Sign up to be up to date on December things to do in Rome 😊

Garum – Museum of Food event

Photo credit:

Heads up for the foodies who will be in Rome on December 8th to 11th!

Did you know there is a food museum in Rome? Is that curved-shaped building right next to the Circo Massimo. On December 8-11 from 10AM to 3PM there will be a free exhibit where you’ll learn how some typical dishes were born (such as the supplì, mortadella, panettone, etc.).

Then from 3PM until 7PM there will be the aperitivo (€10) where you’ll be able to taste the original recipes of the panettone and tiramisù! 🤩

More info:

100 Presepi in Vaticano (100 nativity scenes in the Vatican) exhibition

100 presepi vatican rome things to do events in december

This year it will be the 5th edition of the 100 Presepi in Vaticano exhibition, therefore quite a new tradition.

But even so, this exhibit will steal your heart! First of all, the location. The 100 Presepi will take place in the colonnade of St Peter square designed by Bernini.

And then the content. There will be 100 nativity scenes of any kind. From the presepi made of cotton (which was my favorite last year!) to the chocolate presepi (wisely protected by a glass! But you could still smell the chocolate!). Here you really understand that creativity is the only limit!

The exhibit will be for free and it will take place from December 8th to January 8th.

More info:

Christmas World in Villa Borghese

Photo credits: @christmasworld_italy on Instagram

This year Christmas world lands in Villa Borghese! There will be 30000 squared meters with representations of Christmas in the world, through experiences, installations, shows and more.

It is an immersive experience where you can walk through the heart of Berlin, in the Christmas markets of London, then move to Paris, Tokyo, New York (where you can ice skate under the Brooklyn Bridge!). And of course also to the North Pole, where you’ll find Santa Claus village!

Christmas World will run from December 3rd to January 8th.

Tickets are to be purchased in advance on

Incanto di Luci at the Botanical Garden in Trastevere

incanto di luci trastevere things to do in rome

This incredible and shining experience is the exhibition of the light designer Andreas Boehlke, together with the sound designer Burkhard Fincke.

Together they have crafted a magical itinerary which is 1.5 km long, taking place inside (the already magical) the Botanical Garden of Rome.

The result is amazing. You’ll walk through this illuminated trail and feel like inside fairytale woods and fireflies forests. What a dream!

The installations are designed to have a low environmental impact thanks to the use of LED lights.

Tickets are required to be purchased in advance:

Concerts inside the most beautiful basilicas of Rome

From December 29th until January 2nd, there will be concerts performed by young musicians of Americans high schools taking place inside the most beautiful basilica churches of Rome. They will be for free and open to everyone. This is the program ⤵️

Christmas Concert in the Vatican

christmas concert in the vaticano december rome
Photo credits:

There is another Christmas event in the Vatican this December 2022. Traditionally, every year on December 24th a Christmas concert is broadcasted from the Vatican on the Italian tv on Canale 5 (channel 5).

But actually this Christmas concert is usually recorded some days in advance, so if you want to attend the concert and still be able to be at home with your families on Christmas eve, you can do so. The concert this year will be recorded on December 17th.

This concert includes pop, rock, soul, gospel and opera singers that come together to celebrate Christmas through a series of classic Christmas songs. This concert is usually paired with charity initiatives.

This is where you can find the tickets:

The Secret Rooms of the Pantheon [extended until February 5th]

underground the Pantheon rome

From September 24th until Ferbuary 5th 2022 you will be able to visit the an exclusive area of the Pantheon, for the first time after so long open to visitors! How mind blowing is that!

This is thanks to an ongoing exhibition taking place in this exclusive area, which is called “Drawing on History. Stirling, Wilford and Associates 1980-2000“. This exhibit shows the daily activities of one of the most influential architecture workshops on the 20th century. To mention some of their projects: Leicester, Cambridge and Oxford.

Not only a very interesting exhibit, but also an incredible opportunity to visit this unexplored area of the Pantheon!

To visit you must book in advance one of the free guided tours which take place on Thursday at 10AM and 4PM, Saturday at 10AM, Sunday at 4PM. To book write an email to or call +39 06 68300230.

(Please consider that at the time of writing this the guided tours take place in Italian only. In the email ask for an English tour in case there has been an update that we are not aware of)

Are you looking to make your Rome trip special? Are you looking for something fun, unique, personal? Our in person experiences grew from the legacy of our media content online. We won’t dwell on academic frills, only on insider’s knowledge with the fun storytelling of a local expert. Check our private and semi-private experiences here

Van Gogh exhibition in Palazzo Bonaparte

Van Gogh exhibition things to do in November 2022 in Rome

From October 8th 2022 until March 23rd 2023, Palazzo Bonaparte will host an exhibition dedicated to Van Gogh and his works.

The exhibition will include 50 Van Gogh artworks, including Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, as well as documentation of Van Gogh biography.  

The exhibition will take place in Palazzo Bonaparte, which used to be the residence of Napoleon’s mother in Rome.


Get to know Medieval Rome, the unsung side of the Eternal city

Too often when visiting Rome we tend to focus on history moments such as Ancient Rome, Renaissance and Baroque. And what about those centuries between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rebirth of the Renaissance? This December 2022 take the chance to discover the Medieval period, when Rome fought to stand back on its feet.

There are some marks of Medieval Rome around us, but not as much. Because the medieval ruins and buildings were considered something not valuable, and destroyed to either be replaced by something more modern, or to bring back to light the ancient Roman ruins.

This exhibit focuses on the medieval period of Rome, which characterized so much the way the city looks like today.

The exhibit will run until February 5th, 2023 in the Museo di Roma of Palazzo Braschi, in Piazza Navona.


 Roman Domus underground the Museo Barracco

Rome never stops to amaze us! 🤩

This archaeological site opened only last year, and it’s a Roman house located beneath the Museum of Ancient Sculptures Giovanni Barracco. This museum is nearby Piazza Navona.

The ruins of this ancient Roman house were found by chance, during the demolition works to open up the street next to the building in 1899. 

Last January, this ancient Roman house was opened to the public and it will stay open until December 31st, 2022.

Free entry, also for the museum upstairs. Time to go underground!

The Ancient Roman house underground is open on Saturdays and Sundays and on December 8th, 2022.
Reservation is not mandatory, but recommended by calling 060608.

For info:

Circo Massimo Experience

circo maximo experience things to do in rome in november 2022

Have you ever watched the movie Ben Hur? Have you ever imagined what it could feel like to attend the chariot races in Ancient Rome in a stadium that could host about 250000 spectators? (The Colosseum could host “only” 70000 people). Imagination has no limits for sure, but a little help with augmented reality goes a long way.

This incredible experience in the Circo Massimo throws you back in time and gives you the goosebumps you would get by entering this massive entertainment venue at its peak. If you never try you will never know! We loved this experience so much.

Book in advance through their website. You have time until December 31st:

La luna sul Colosseo 2022: il Colosseo underground

colosseum underground by night things to do in rome in october 2022

Throughout the summer and until December it will be possible to explore the Colosseum (including the underground!) by night.

If visiting the Colosseum is already something special, walking in this majestic monument at night goes beyond magical!

Even considering that there will be way less visitors than during the day. To make the tour even more spooky and adventurous, this night tour of the Colosseum will also take you through the underground tunnels. They were not visible to the spectators in ancient Rome, but it is where the backstage of the sophisticated shows was taking place.

We suggest this night guided tour which includes also a stunning panoramic walk before you enter the Colosseum: VIP Colosseum At Night Tour With Underground & Arena Floor

Don’t know what to do before the Colosseum night tour? Watch the Monti district itinerary in our Video Guide and sprinkle your Rome trip with some hidden gems 😉

Domus Aurea Experience

domus aurea reconstruction. this is one of the best things to do in rome in october 2022

This is a real mind blowing experience everyone should take when in Rome. If you want to learn what walking in an imperial palace is like, this experience is for you.

Once you enter the Domus Aurea of the emperor Nero, you’ll set on a journey back in time. You’ll walk through the underground archaeological site and watch videos of reconstructions of this marvelous place.

Eventually you will sit in one of the rooms and wear VR glasses. This is where you’ll literally jump into Nero’s shoes. You’ll see the views from his palace over the Palatine hill, and the details of his colonnades and gardens. It is emotional if you are into Ancient Rome.

Tickets must be booked at this link. There is no ticket office in the Domus Aurea, so there is no way you can get a ticket on-site. Book in advance online.

Domitian emperor. Hatred and love. (exhibition)

emperor domitian portrait in marble. Domitian exhibition

This exhibition takes place in Villa Caffarelli in the Capitoline museums and it consists of an archaeological exhibit all around the emperor Domitian.

It is called “hatred and love” because the character of the emperor Domitian has always been quite controversial. Sometimes he is described as tyramn, other times as a leader who cared about a good administration, his relationship with his people and to the gods.

The exhibition includes pieces which are not normally visible in the museum.

The Domitian exhibition can be perfectly combined with the “Wonders of the Capitoline hill” itinerary included in our Video Guide.

Live a unique experience with us!

We’ll take you 5 meters below the street level to explore the underground layer of Rome!

If you want to make your December Rome trip special and looking for something fun, unique, personal… you’re in the right place!

Our in person experiences grew from the legacy of our media content online, meaning that we focus on discovering the authentic side of Rome. We won’t dwell on academic frills, only on insider’s knowledge with the fun storytelling of a local expert. Our experiences include the hidden gems of Trastevere, Centro Storico and the heart of Ancient Rome. You can find them all here!

Written by Federica

Creative director of Live Virtual Guide. Her favorite things are gelato, pizza and the hidden gems of Rome.
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piazza di pietra rome historical center private tour
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