What To Do In Rome When It Rains? Top Activities to Enjoy

What To Do In Rome When It Rains? Top Activities to Enjoy

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When we think of Rome, we often envision basking in the warm Mediterranean sun, exploring ancient ruins under clear blue skies. But what happens when the rain starts to fall in the Eternal City? Is Rome doomed to be a dreary and uneventful destination on those wet days? Not at all! In fact, when it rains in Rome, a whole new world of indoor activities opens up, offering unique experiences and hidden treasures that will make your rainy day in Rome just as memorable as any other.

So, put away the umbrella and join us on a journey through on what to do in in Rome when it rains. From exploring world-class museums and architectural gems to immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant food scene, you’ll discover that even on a rainy day, Rome has an endless array of indoor adventures to offer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t let the rain dampen your spirits in Rome – there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy.
  • Explore the city’s impressive museums and art galleries, including lesser-known options.
  • Embark on a church-hopping adventure and marvel at the magnificent architecture and art.
  • Discover the fascinating underground wonders of Rome, from ancient catacombs to Emperor Nero’s grand palace.
  • Indulge in the city’s culinary delights by visiting covered food markets and savoring traditional Roman cuisine.

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Museums to Explore on a Rainy Day

When it comes to rainy day activities in Rome, museums provide the perfect indoor escape. While the Vatican Museums and Capitoline Museums tend to be popular choices, you can avoid the crowds and still experience impressive collections by visiting lesser-known museums in Rome. These hidden gems offer a chance to appreciate art and culture without the typical tourist rush.

1. Palazzo Altemps

Located near Piazza Navona, Palazzo Altemps houses the National Roman Museum’s impressive collection of classical sculptures. Explore the beautifully preserved rooms and marvel at works such as the Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus and the Boncompagni Ludovisi Throne.

2. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

Discover ancient Roman art at Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, another branch of the National Roman Museum. Admire magnificent frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures, including the renowned Boxer at Rest and the Discus Thrower.

3. Villa Farnesina

Step into the Renaissance at Villa Farnesina, a beautiful villa adorned with exquisite frescoes. Marvel at the masterpieces by Raphael, including the famous Galatea and the frescoes in the Loggia of Psyche.

4. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

Experience the grandeur of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, a private palace turned museum. Explore its opulent rooms filled with art treasures, including works by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Velázquez.

5. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art)

For those interested in modern and contemporary art, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna is a must-visit. Discover works by renowned Italian and international artists, including Van Gogh, Monet, Klimt, and Morandi.

6. MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Arts

MAXXI is another contemporary art museum that showcases innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions. Explore the vast collections and temporary exhibits that encompass various artistic disciplines, including architecture, design, and photography.

No matter which museum you choose to explore on a rainy day in Rome, you’ll be treated to a wealth of cultural treasures and artistic wonders.

Palazzo Altemps
  • Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus
  • Boncompagni Ludovisi Throne
Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
  • Boxer at Rest
  • Discus Thrower
Villa Farnesina
  • Galatea
  • Frescoes in the Loggia of Psyche
Palazzo Doria Pamphilj
  • Works by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Velázquez
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna
  • Works by Van Gogh, Monet, Klimt, and Morandi
MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Arts
  • Various contemporary art exhibits
rome trip

Churches to Visit on a Rainy Day

Rome, with its 900 churches, offers a plethora of options for those looking to explore stunning art and architecture while seeking refuge from the rain. While St. Peter’s Basilica tends to be bustling with tourists, there are several ancient churches slightly off the beaten path that are worth a visit. These churches provide a tranquil setting to admire the exquisite works of art they house. Some notable options include:

  1. Santa Prassede: Located near the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, this church is renowned for its spectacular mosaics that date back to the 9th century.
  2. Santa Sabina: Situated on the Aventine Hill, this church features early Christian artwork and breathtaking views of Rome from its garden terrace.
  3. Santa Clemente: Step back in time at this multi-layered church, where you can explore a 12th-century basilica built on top of a 4th-century church and a 2nd-century Mithraic temple.

For art enthusiasts, don’t miss the opportunity to admire Caravaggio’s masterpieces within Rome’s churches. San Luigi dei Francesi is home to three extraordinary Caravaggio paintings depicting scenes from the life of St. Matthew, while Santa Maria del Popolo showcases two other captivating Caravaggio works.

Explore the Underground Wonders

When it rains in Rome, you can escape the weather by exploring the city’s underground attractions. The catacombs of S. Callisto, S. Sebastiano, S. Agnese, Domitilla, and Priscilla offer a unique glimpse into ancient Roman burial sites. Another option is the Domus Aurea, which showcases the remains of Emperor Nero’s grand palace. These underground sites provide a fascinating experience away from the rain.

Underground Sites in Rome:

Catacombs of S. CallistoAncient underground burial site with intricate frescoes and rich history.
Catacombs of S. SebastianoOne of Rome’s oldest Christian cemeteries, known for its catacomb tunnels.
Catacombs of S. AgneseHome to the impressive basilica of Saint Agnes and fascinating catacombs.
Catacombs of DomitillaExplore the vast network of underground tunnels and tombs in Domitilla’s catacombs.
Catacombs of PriscillaFamous for its stunning frescoes and early Christian burials.
Domus AureaDiscover the grand palace of Emperor Nero and its renowned architectural features.

These underground sites offer a unique perspective on ancient Roman history and provide shelter from the rain while you explore the intriguing world beneath the surface of Rome.

Visit Covered Food Markets

When it’s raining in Rome, don’t let the weather dampen your appetite. Instead, head to one of the city’s covered food markets where you can stay dry while exploring a world of delicious flavors and aromas. While some of Rome’s famous food markets, like Campo de’ Fiori, are outdoors, there are plenty of covered markets to choose from.

Esquilino Market

One such option is the multicultural Esquilino Market, located near Termini Station. Here, you’ll find a vibrant array of ethnic food stalls offering a variety of cuisines from around the world. Sample exotic herbs and spices, indulge in Middle Eastern sweets, or enjoy a flavorful Asian dish. This bustling market is a melting pot of culinary delights.

Mercato Testaccio

If you’re looking for a taste of authentic Roman cuisine, head to Mercato Testaccio. Located in the Testaccio neighborhood, this market is a local favorite for both its quality produce and street food options. Browse the stalls to find a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, and fish. Don’t miss the opportunity to try classic Roman street food like supplì (fried rice balls) and porchetta (roast pork).

Farmers’ Market near Circus Maximus

For those seeking organic and locally sourced products, the farmers’ market near the Circus Maximus is the place to be. Here, you’ll find a delightful selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses, freshly baked bread, and more. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you shop for high-quality ingredients to create your own Roman-inspired dishes.

So, don’t let a little rain stop you from enjoying the culinary wonders of Rome. Visit one of these covered food markets and indulge in a gastronomic adventure, all while staying dry.


Enjoy Indoor Activities with Kids

If you’re visiting Rome with kids, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep them entertained on a rainy day. Explora Children’s Museum and the Museum of Illusions are two fantastic attractions that offer engaging experiences for children of all ages.

Explora Children’s MuseumExplora Children’s Museum is a must-visit destination for families. It’s an interactive museum where kids can freely explore and learn through play. The museum offers a variety of hands-on exhibits that cover topics such as science, art, and technology. From building structures to experimenting with water, there’s something to engage every curious mind.
Museum of IllusionsThe Museum of Illusions provides a mesmerizing experience for young visitors. Kids will be amazed by mind-bending optical illusions, holograms, and 3D paintings that challenge their perception. This interactive museum encourages creativity and imagination, making it a perfect rainy day activity for families.

These attractions offer a mix of education and entertainment, ensuring that children have a memorable and enriching experience. From hands-on learning to mind-boggling illusions, Explora Children’s Museum and the Museum of Illusions are perfect choices for a family-friendly day out in Rome.

Pantheon Experience

When the rain starts to pour in Rome, one of the most unique experiences you can have is at the Pantheon. This ancient Roman temple-turned-church offers a mesmerizing sight as you witness the rain falling through its iconic oculus. The circular opening in the center of the Pantheon’s dome allows the rain to enter, creating a surreal atmosphere inside the grand structure.

Previously, visitors had the opportunity to stand in the rain and witness this natural spectacle. However, due to safety precautions, it is no longer possible. Nevertheless, the Pantheon remains a popular spot for those seeking shelter from the rain while still enjoying the beauty of the weather. You can admire the raindrops glistening in the sunlight as they descend through the oculus, casting a magical ambiance over the interior.

The Pantheon, with its stunning architecture and historical significance, is an essential attraction to visit in Rome regardless of the weather. But when it rains, it offers a unique and captivating experience that adds an extra touch of wonder to your trip.

Inside the Pantheon

As you step inside the Pantheon, you’ll be in awe of its massive dome, the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. The interior is bathed in a warm glow from the natural light streaming through the oculus. The intricate details of the marble floors, Corinthian columns, and altars dedicated to various gods and goddesses are a testament to the architectural marvel that the Pantheon is.

“The Pantheon is a living testament to the ingenuity of ancient Roman engineering and design. It has weathered the test of time and stands as a reminder of Rome’s rich history.”

Whether it’s raining or not, take the time to explore the Pantheon’s interior and admire the craftsmanship that went into its construction. Marvel at the intricacies of the coffered ceiling and the unity of its architectural elements. The Pantheon truly is a masterpiece that showcases the glory of ancient Rome.

Discover the surreal beauty of the rain falling through the Pantheon’s oculus, an experience that can only be enjoyed when it rains in Rome.

Visiting Information and Opening Hours

If you’re planning a visit to the Pantheon, here are some important details to note:

Opening HoursEntry FeeAddress
Monday – Saturday: 8:30 AM – 7:30 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
FreePiazza della Rotonda, 00186 Rome, Italy

Experience the rain inside the Pantheon and immerse yourself in Rome’s architectural and historical wonders.

Indulge in Roman Cuisine

Rome’s rainy days provide the perfect opportunity to savor the city’s cuisine. Take the time to enjoy a long lunch or dinner in a trattoria or restaurant, sampling traditional Roman dishes and wines. The city is also home to many cozy wine bars where you can while away the afternoon with a glass of wine.

Traditional Roman Dishes to Try:

  • Carbonara – A creamy pasta dish made with eggs, pecorino cheese, guanciale, and black pepper.
  • Cacio e Pepe – A simple yet delicious pasta dish made with pecorino cheese and black pepper.
  • Amatriciana – A pasta dish with a tomato-based sauce, guanciale, pecorino cheese, and chili flakes.
  • Supplì – Fried rice balls with a gooey center of mozzarella cheese, coated in breadcrumbs.
  • Osso Buco – Slow-cooked veal shanks served with a flavorful sauce.
  • Saltimbocca alla Romana – Veal cutlets topped with prosciutto and sage, cooked in white wine.

Roman cuisine also offers a variety of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. Don’t miss the chance to try classic treats like tiramisu, ricotta tart, and cannoli. Pair your meal with a local wine, such as a refreshing Frascati or a bold Amarone, for a truly indulgent experience.

Trattorias and RestaurantsAddressContact
La CarbonaraVia Panisperna, 214+39 06 895 7603
Da EnzoVia dei Vascellari, 29+39 06 581 2260
Taverna TrilussaVia del Politeama, 23+39 06 581 8918
Armando al PantheonSalita dei Crescenzi, 31+39 06 688 03034

Whether you’re seeking classic Roman dishes or innovative culinary creations, the trattorias and restaurants in Rome offer a diverse range of options to satisfy your taste buds. So, embrace the rainy day ambiance and immerse yourself in the flavors of Rome.

Less-Visited Museums

When the rain dampens your plans to visit the popular museums in Rome, there are lesser-known options that offer art and history without the usual crowds. Explore these hidden gems and enjoy a more intimate experience:

Doria Pamphilj Gallery

The Doria Pamphilj Gallery is a treasure trove of Renaissance and Baroque art. Located in a majestic palace, this museum houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Marvel at masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Velázquez in a serene atmosphere.

H.C. Andersen sculpture museum

Dedicated to the beloved Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, this museum showcases an extensive collection of sculptures inspired by his fairy tales. Discover enchanting characters like the Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and the Ugly Duckling as you wander through the beautiful garden.

Giovanni Barracco Museum

The Giovanni Barracco Museum exhibits a remarkable collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. Housed in a charming 16th-century building, this museum offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of classical art.

These hidden museums provide a peaceful and enriching experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in art and history while avoiding the usual crowds. Make the most of your rainy day in Rome by exploring these off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Church-Hopping in Rome

When it comes to exploring Rome on a rainy day, consider skipping the typical bar-hopping experience and embark on a journey of church-hopping instead. With over 900 churches scattered throughout the city, each one holds its own artistic and cultural treasures waiting to be discovered.

While the grandeur of St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-see, there are plenty of lesser-known churches that offer unique experiences away from the crowds. One such hidden gem is Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, located atop the Capitoline Hill. This medieval church is adorned with stunning mosaics and intricate frescoes, providing a glimpse into Rome’s rich history and religious heritage.

Another noteworthy stop is Santa Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome. Its beautifully decorated interior showcases stunning Byzantine mosaics and a grand apse that exudes an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility.

As you hop from one church to another, take the time to appreciate the intricate architectural details, awe-inspiring artworks, and the peaceful ambience that surrounds you.

Cooking Classes for a Rainy Day

If you’re looking for a productive and delicious way to spend a rainy day in Rome, consider taking a cooking class. Learn to make traditional Roman dishes and warm up with a bowl of fresh pasta. There are many cooking classes available, ranging from market to table experiences to pasta-making sessions.

Why Take a Cooking Class?

Taking a cooking class in Rome offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s culinary traditions. You’ll not only learn how to prepare authentic Roman dishes but also gain insights into the local ingredients, flavors, and techniques. It’s a hands-on experience that combines education with enjoyment.

What to Expect from a Cooking Class

A typical cooking class in Rome starts with a visit to a local market, where you’ll select fresh ingredients for your dishes. Accompanied by an experienced chef, you’ll have the chance to explore different food stalls, learn about regional specialties, and engage with local vendors. After the market tour, you’ll head to the cooking school, where you’ll receive step-by-step guidance on preparing traditional Roman recipes. From making pasta from scratch to creating mouthwatering sauces, you’ll get hands-on experience with the guidance of professional chefs.

Sample Recipe and Cooking Class Details

One popular recipe in Roman cuisine is Cacio e Pepe, a simple yet flavorful pasta dish. In a cooking class focused on this recipe, you’ll learn the art of creating the perfect sauce with just a few ingredients. Here’s a sample recipe for Cacio e Pepe:


  • 200g spaghetti
  • 50g Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the grated Pecorino Romano cheese with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. When the spaghetti is cooked, reserve a cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
  4. Transfer the drained spaghetti to a pan over low heat and gradually add the cheese and pepper mixture.
  5. Toss the pasta well, gradually adding pasta water to create a creamy sauce.
  6. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve hot.

Cooking classes in Rome are offered by various providers, including local cooking schools, specialized culinary institutes, and even some well-known chefs. Prices and durations may vary, with options available for individuals, couples, and small groups. Booking in advance is recommended to secure your spot and ensure a tailored experience.

Benefits of Taking a Cooking Class on a Rainy Day

On a rainy day, there’s nothing quite like the comfort of being indoors and cooking up a delicious meal. Taking a cooking class not only allows you to stay dry but also provides an engaging activity that combines learning, creativity, and culinary joy. It’s a perfect way to make the most of your time in Rome when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Cooking Class ProviderLocationDurationPrice
Cooking with NonnaTrastevere4 hoursfrom €100/person
Cook ItalyCentro Storico5 hoursfrom €150/person
The Roman FoodieTestaccio3 hoursfrom €80/person

These are just a few examples of cooking class providers in Rome. Prices and availability may vary, so it’s advisable to check the websites or contact the providers directly for the most up-to-date information.

rome tips


When it rains in Rome, there is no need to worry about your plans getting washed away. The city offers a wide range of indoor activities that cater to different interests and preferences. Whether you are an art lover, history enthusiast, foodie, or simply looking for some family-friendly fun, Rome has something for everyone.

Start by exploring the city’s impressive museums, such as Palazzo Altemps, Villa Farnesina, and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, which showcase a diverse collection of art and artifacts. Visit the ancient churches like S. Prassede and S. Clemente, where you can admire stunning architecture and renowned artworks by Caravaggio.

Don’t forget to discover the hidden underground wonders of Rome, such as the catacombs of S. Callisto and the Domus Aurea, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Indulge in the culinary delights of Rome by visiting covered food markets like the multicultural Esquilino Market and the bustling Mercato Testaccio.

Whether you are traveling alone or with kids, Rome guarantees a memorable experience even on rainy days. So, the next time you find yourself in the Eternal City when it rains, embrace the opportunity to explore its indoor wonders and create unforgettable memories.


What are some indoor activities to do in Rome when it rains?

Some indoor activities to do in Rome when it rains include visiting museums, exploring churches, exploring underground attractions, and enjoying indoor food markets.

Which museums can I explore on a rainy day in Rome?

Some museums you can explore on a rainy day in Rome include Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Villa Farnesina, Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, and MAXXI.

What churches can I visit on a rainy day in Rome?

Some churches you can visit on a rainy day in Rome include S. Prassede, S. Sabina, S. Clemente, S. Luigi dei Francesi, and Santa Maria del Popolo.

What underground attractions can I explore in Rome when it’s raining?

Some underground attractions you can explore in Rome when it’s raining include the catacombs of S. Callisto, S. Sebastiano, S. Agnese, Domitilla, Priscilla, and the Domus Aurea.

Are there any covered food markets in Rome where I can stay dry?

Yes, there are covered food markets in Rome where you can stay dry on a rainy day, such as the Esquilino Market, Mercato Testaccio, and the farmers’ market near the Circus Maximus.

What are some indoor activities to do with kids on a rainy day in Rome?

Some indoor activities to do with kids on a rainy day in Rome include visiting Explora Children’s Museum and the Museum of Illusions.

What makes the Pantheon a unique experience on a rainy day in Rome?

The Pantheon offers a unique experience on a rainy day in Rome as you can witness the rain falling through the oculus of this ancient Roman temple-turned-church.

How can I indulge in Roman cuisine on a rainy day in Rome?

You can indulge in Roman cuisine on a rainy day in Rome by enjoying a long lunch or dinner in a trattoria or restaurant, or by visiting cozy wine bars.

Are there any less-visited museums in Rome that are perfect for a rainy day?

Yes, there are less-visited museums in Rome that are perfect for a rainy day, such as the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, H.C. Andersen sculpture museum, and Giovanni Barracco Museum.

What can I do if I want to explore churches on a rainy day in Rome?

If you want to explore churches on a rainy day in Rome, you can go church-hopping and visit famous churches like St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as lesser-known churches like Santa Maria in Ara Coeli and Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Can I take a cooking class in Rome on a rainy day?

Yes, you can take a cooking class in Rome on a rainy day and learn to make traditional Roman dishes, such as fresh pasta.