With a massive Christmas market in the heart of Piazza Navona and dazzling illuminations running above the city's main shopping streets, the already vibrant Rome is at its most spirited over the holiday season. An elaborate and massive presepe (nativity scene) and Christmas tree at the center of St Peter's Square kicks off the month-long festivity in early December, as wintry activities and corner chestnut vendors populate the city's most iconic attractions. An outdoors ice skating rink in front of Castel Sant'Angelo and Christmas decorations along Via del Corso are two of Rome's most atmospheric holiday traditions.
Whether planning to attend midnight mass at St Peter's Basilica or marvel over New Year's Eve fireworks from a Piazza del Popolo rooftop, the best way to get festive is with a guided, holiday tour of the city. Discover Italian traditions while strolling along Piazza Navona's Christmas market (and perhaps, veering off to try some delicious pandoro holiday bread)—or opt for a Christmas day tour with attendance to the papal blessing, or a New Year's Eve tour including dinner.