The Best 6 Things to Do in Rome on a Rainy Day

While staying in bed and ordering in may sound tempting, think again—there are many great ways to spend a rainy day in Rome.

Although Rome is known for its great weather and sunny days, autumn and spring can bring pouring rain. And let’s face it: walking along slippery cobblestone roads on a rainy day isn’t exactly the best of ideas (unless you love rain, in which case, more power to you!). 

But luckily, the Eternal City is filled with amazing things to see and do on a rainy day. Apart from overindulging at great trattorias and getting drinks in cool bars, here are six other ideas to make your rainy day in Rome a special one!

Things to do in Rome on a rainy day

1. See an exhibition

Head to one of Rome’s many museums and explore the myriad of artwork that makes Rome one of the best cultural cities in the world. If you’re into classic art, don’t miss out on the stunning Borghese Gallery, boasting sculptures and artworks by Bernini (reservation is mandatory). For contemporary art lovers, the MAXXI Museum designed by the late Zaha Hadid is a must, as is a stop at its new restaurant, Mediterraneo

Want to visit of the oldest public museums in the world? Put the Capitoline Museums on your list. And for the latest exhibitions, check out Scuderie del Quirinale, Palazzo Bonaparte and Chiostro del Bramante, among others. 

Insider’s Tip: Visiting the Vatican Museums on a rainy day in Rome is NOT a good idea—the whole world will be there!

Exterior of the Maxxi museum in Rome
Rome’s MAXXI museum is the city’s premier temple of modern art. Photo credit: Roberto Ventre

2. Hit the movies

Who doesn’t like going to the movies? You pick a great film to watch, you grab your huge bucket of popcorn (at least I do) and you’re ready to go! 

If you don’t speak Italian, don’t worry: there are plenty of original language movie theaters in Rome. Be sure to check out Cinema Nuovo Olimpia in the historic center, Cinema Intrastevere in the Trastevere neighborhood and Multisala Barberini right on Piazza Barberini. 

3. Escape into the gourmet paradise that is Eataly

Everyone knows about the multilevel gastronomic center that is Eataly, and Rome happens to have the biggest one of all! 

Head to this gourmet paradise in the Ostiense neighborhood to browse the market, stop for delicious food at one of its many restaurants—or better yet, take a cooking class, a wine class or meet some culinary icons. Eataly often hosts wine and food festivals, too, so be sure to check out their program!

Interior of Eataly, a great place to stop on a rainy day in Rome.
Eataly is a great place to start learning all about Italian cuisine. Photo credit: Fiammetta Bruni

4. Head to the spa

So it’s raining outside and you don’t feel like doing anything. The best thing to do? Pamper yourself! Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect massage or treatment, or you’re in the mood to relax in the jacuzzi or take a steam bath, Rome has many great spas for you to relax in. 

Footsteps from the Pantheon, you’ll find the amazing BAHR (they even have a private room for you to rent with a hammam treatment, sauna and jacuzzi!). If you’re in the Jewish Ghetto, Acquamadre is one to put on your list, renowned for its hammam treatment. And if you’re in the cool Monti neighborhood, there’s no place like Argiletum Spa. Don’t forget to reserve if you can!

5. Catch an opera or ballet performance

Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera has become quite famous and definitely brings its A-game with its seasonal program. While during the summer opera and ballet performances are held in the open-air Terme di Caracalla theater, during the rest of the seasons you’ll get to enjoy performances at Teatro Costanzi, footsteps from Monti. From Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, to La Traviata and Carmen, get ready for an evening to remember! 

6. Visit the city

If it’s not too rainy and you don’t mind getting a little wet, you can try to see the glass as half full: visiting Rome on a rainy day means visiting Rome without the crowds! That means the piazzas will be all yours, the sidewalks will be deserted and it’s the perfect moment to get lost and enjoy Rome. 

Just a heads up: while the piazzas will be empty, the streets will be packed with cars. By all means, try not to drive in Rome on a rainy day!

St. Peter's Basilica on a rainy day in Rome
The crowds run for cover when it starts to rain in Rome, so it’ll almost feel like you have the city all to yourself.

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