You’ve been planning for your Rome trip for so long and when you’re finally here.. it rains!
Despite Rome being associated in everyone’s mind as a city with sun-shining all year long, you’ll be surprised to find out that Rome has more rain than London! In fact the average rain Rome gets in a year is 878mm, while London average is 690mm!
This is because the rain in Rome is concentrated in a smaller amount of days throughout the year, while London gets lighter rain and distributed over more days, so it feels like it rains more.
Anyway, do not despair if it rains while you’re here, because there’s actually tons of things to do in Rome on a rainy day.
Save this list especially if you’re traveling to Rome during rainy months like November or December. So that you’ll be ready with a B-plan in case of sudden weather change!
Here’s some things to do in Rome on a rainy day.
The Pantheon’s dome is the biggest solid concrete dome in the world. And it still stands today thanks to the hole on top of the dome.
This is because the ancient Romans learned that arches in architecture discharge the weight of the building to the ground. And if you put two arches together.. You have a circle!
What happens when it rains? Does the rain fall inside the Pantheon, through the hole? Yes, it does!
There are urban legends among the Romans (that have never been inside the Pantheon when it rains) saying that the rain droplets break while entering the hole, but that is not true.
The rain falls in and it drains through some draining holes on the floor, right in the center of the Pantheon.
We had no doubt that the Romans thought of everything!
2. HEAD TO A MUSEUM
There’s so many museums in Rome that it is very hard to choose one! Some museums require advance booking (because they sell out faster) such as Borghese Museum
Others give the possibility to either book tickets in advance or on site.
During rainy days we recommend booking tickets in advance when you can, as most of the people will want to be indoors.
One of our favorite museums when it rains is the Borghese Museum or Capitoline Museums.
In the Capitoline Museums not only do they have a super collection of ancient Roman statues, but also an incredible (sheltered) view over the Roman Forum, which you might be curious to see also in rainy situations, without getting wet.
A real journey through Ancient Rome!
3. VISIT AN UNDERGROUND SITE
Whether it’s raining or really hot outside, going underground is always a really good idea!
Some underground sites will be quite damp and the temperature cooler, so dress accordingly. The Underground site which we recommend visiting are:
- Domus Aurea (tickets must be purchased in advance, there is no ticket office on site)
- Domitians Stadium (underground Piazza Navona)
- Basilica of San Clemente
- Palazzo Valentini – The Underground Forum
- Case del Celio – (tickets must be purchased in advance, there is no ticket office on site)
4. GO TO A VERY SPECIAL CINEMA
There is a cinema in Rome which is called “Welcome to Rome” and it is located between Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona, so in the historical center of Rome. Inside you will discover what ancient Rome looked like, through an immersive cinema and four different reconstructions. As you enter the site, they give you an audio guide which will synchronize as you enter the different rooms.
5. GO FOR A COFFE OR AN APERITIVO IN AN INDOOR BAR
How cozy is it to sit in a coffee shop and have a coffee, a hot chocolate or an aperitivo while it rains outside? We love it! You can stop by at the cafeteria in the Chiostro del Bramante (near Piazza Navona), or in the fancy bar in Caffè Doria (near the Pantheon), or the classic Caffè Mariani. There’s really a lot of coffee shops around Rome, so it will be hard to go wrong!
6. GO FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE WELNESS EXPERIENCE
In an archaeological thermal spa complex in the heart of the city center!