Things to do in Rome in December 2023

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 del Popolo and in St Peter square, Christmas markets.. But also some incredible temporary exhibitions. This is what you should be on the lookout for if you’re in Rome this December 😉

Things to do in Rome in December 2023

Christmas market in Piazza Navona

things to do in rome december christmas market piazza navona

As per tradition, the Christmas Market of Piazza Navona starts 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.

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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 6th 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 7th.

More info:

Christmas World in Villa Borghese

events in rome december
Credits: Christmas World Facebook page

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! Kids (and adults too!) can write their letter to Santa, get an official stamp fro the elfs and hand it over to Santa in person!

Christmas World will start on December 1st and will be running until January 7th, 2024.

For info and tickets:

Trame di Luce in the Trastevere Botanical Garden – until January 7th

light exhibition event in rome december 2023

Right in the heart of Trastevere you can find a fairytale place that many people miss, which is called Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden). This Garden is open all year round and every month offers different colors and shades of nature. But in December the Botanical Garden dresses up with something even more magical, the light exhibitions of Trame di Luce.

There are many light exhibitions taking place since the last few years, but this one has a different feeling. The feeling of a relaxed walk in the middle of a forest in the heart of Rome; and being surrounded by colorful lights that will make you forget where you are. We loved the fact that it’s just trees and lights. At the end of the route you will find bars, hot chocolate and sweet treats. Tickets can only be bought online, there is no ticket office on-site.

For more info and tickets:

Christmas Concert in the Vatican

christmas concert in the vaticano december rome
Photo credits:

There is another Christmas event in the Vatican this December 2023. 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 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 16th.

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:

“Helmut Newton Legacy” exhibition

If you’ve never heard of this photographer, you better find out who he was right now, because you’re missing out on one of the biggest innovators in fashion photography. And some of the coolest pictures ever!

Helmut Newton changed the rules of the fashion photography by adding storytelling, naked portraits, optical illusions and crime scenes. And he experimented so while shooting for Vogue, Yves Saint Laurent, Bulgari, with David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Cindy Crawford, Monica Bellucci.

Such an important piece of history in photography that you will find below the Ara Pacis until March 2024.

More info and tickets:

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

Museum of Dreamers

exhibitions in december in rome

Museum of dreamers is an immersive exhibition dedicated to the dreamlike world. It consists in 21 installations of great visual impact and it will run until January 28th at the PratiBus district.

For info and tickets:

Escher exhibition in Palazzo Bonaparte

escher exhibition rome

From October 31st 2023 until April 1st 2024, Palazzo Bonaparte hosts the biggest exhibition ever made on Escher, with more than 300 of his artworks! 🤩

Escher was a Dutch graphic designer who moved to Rome 100 years ago. He lived in Rome for about 12 years. And it’s in his Roman house in the Monteverde neighborhood that he made one of his most famous artworks, the Hand with Reflecting Sphere (see pic above)

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


Fabulous Calvino exhibition

calvino exhibitions december rome

Who is Italo Calvino?

He is one of most famous Italian writers, and this year he would have turned 100 years old. He has been one of the most translated Italian artists of his time.

Calvino was a journalist, he wrote novels and short-stories, many of them being whimsical and imaginative fables. The baron that decided to live on a tree, the viscount that is cut in two halves by a cannon ball and becomes half good and half bad, and other fairytales.

Fairytales are real” he said, “they are, all together, an explanation of life which was born in ancient times“.

This year Calvino would have turned 100 years old. For this occasion a fabulous exhibition was inaugurated at the Scuderie del Quirinale. You can learn about Calvino and his works and get lost in the whimsical journeys across reality and fantasy.

And maybe start reading one of his books. We recommend trying the Ancestor’s Trilogy (Baron of the Trees, Nonexistent Knight and the Clover Viscount)

You can visit this exhibition until February 2nd, 2024. More info and tickets:

“We Run Rome” marathon – December 31st

events in rome december 2023 marathon

On December 31st at 2pm you can take part to the “We Run Rome” marathon, the most beautiful marathon in the world! What makes this marathon so special is the landscape in which it takes place: the itinerary of the race covers the center of Rome, starting and ending by the Caracalla baths and including the Colosseum, via dei Fori Imperiali, the Monti district, Piazza di Spagna, Circo Massimo and more!

To participate to the marathon follow this link:

New Year’s Eve concert

rome new year's eve concert 2024

This year, for NYE 2024, the plans include a big free concert in the most spectacular location in Rome for New Years Eve: Circo Massimo.

The confirmed artists for this concert will be three Italian singers: Blanco, Lazza e Francesca Michielin.

The concert will start at 9:30PM. After the midnight toast, the party will continue with a DJ set by Dimensione Suono Roma.

Buses and trams will operate until 9pm. The metro will remain open until 2:30AM, and after that time there will be night buses.

Live a unique experience with us!

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 Rome, underground sites and a super local street food tour. 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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  1. Lorraine

    Great information. Grazie

  2. Hansoli

    Is there still a large christmmas tree at Piazza Venezia?

    • Federica

      This year it will be moved to Piazza del Popolo. This is because of the construction works for the new metro station in Piazza Venezia.


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