Rome is an amazing destination at any time of year, but over Christmas and New Year it absolutely is the place to be! 

Even before New Year’s Eve arrives, you can enjoy admiring the breathtaking Christmas tree at the Vatican in St Peter’s Square and visiting the Christmas markets in Piazza Navona.

Here you can find 5 tips to celebrate Christmas time and NYE in the eternal city!

1. Christmas Shopping - Many shops have extended hours from early November to the 6th of January, opening on Sundays or staying open through lunch when they don't normally. Don't miss this unique occasion!

2. Try the traditional Christmas sweets - By now you have probably noticed the colorful boxes of large round cake-bread stacked in every available corner of Rome. You will find pandoro and panettone everywhere, since they are the typical Italian Christmas desserts.

3. Visit the Christmas Market - At the Christmas Market in Piazza Navona, you will find many stands selling all kinds of Christmas sweets, including big donuts that can be filled with nutella and nougat or torrone, ornaments and decorations, la befana (doll figures of this Italian Christmas witch), nativity scenes and gifts. There is also a big-merry-go-round and Santa Claus (Babbo Natale) sometimes makes an appearance at night.

4. Christmas Trees - Two of the largest are erected in Piazza Venezia and near the Colosseum. And of course shops, hotels, and restaurants display small trees as part of their holiday theme. Lights are the most common thing to adorn the trees as opposed to ornaments. Christmas Trees are made in Italy style everywhere!

5. Opera concerts at Caravita Church - Opera concerts in Churches represent the unmissable Italian tradition. Enjoy the New Year's Eve in one of the most ancient Churches in Rome, between Fontana di Trevi and Pantheon in via del Caravita 7. The amazing voices of The Three Tenors will perform the most beautiful Opera Arias and Christmas Songs.

Giusi Cuccaro