Christmas in Rome 2019 is all about sharing time with family and friends and enjoying wonderful food! The city is increasingly filled with lovely holiday decor interspersed with beautiful nativity scenes. If you’re here over the holidays make a point of strolling around and tasting all the seasonal goodies. Here are some of my favorite Rome scenes this holiday.
Rome has two iconic Christmas trees that are absolute must sees. The Vatican always has a magnificent tree, along with a unique and lovely Nativity scene.
The second tree usually worth seeing is in Piazza Venezia. Unfortunately the past several years the municipality of Rome’s precarious financial situation has been reflected in the sad and barely alive Christmas tree the city displayed, nicknamed Spelacchio (barren tree) by the citizens of Rome. But thanks to this year’s generous Netflix donation the Piazza has returned to its traditional Christmas splendor!
Each year the Christmas carousel in Piazza Navona Is one of my favorite things to see, and a joy for children. The carousel was originally made in Germany and has its own rich history: it’s a lovely hand-painted antique carousel, built in Germany in 1896 by the Horst Und Webber company. If you happen to spend Christmas in Rome 2019 with children make sure to visit the carousel. Even without children it’s well worth a visit!
Christmas trees and decor in some of Rome’s best hotels
One of my favorite things during the holidays is simply to walk around Rome and feel the wonderful excitement of the season. Stop in to some of the lovelier hotels for some Christmas cheer, a bite to eat and to admire their Christmas trees and decor.
The Hotel Hassler steals the show this year with not just one, but two trees. The larger tree, just alongside their splendid staircase, is spectacular!
The tree in the hotel’s bar area is smaller but also very pretty.
You’ll find the Hotel della Ville Christmas tree on the second floor. It’s a beautiful tree designed and donated by top Italian designer, Missoni.
And last but not least the Hotel Ambasciatore has a lovely tree just as you enter the hotel.
Many Rome hotels go to great efforts to adorn their façades with Christmas cheer.
Two of my favorites this year are the Eitch Borromini, and the Hotel Raphael.
It’s not just the hotels that dress their facades up for the holidays.
Designer Fendi always does something interesting and unique for the holidays: This year they’ve chosen red, almost bubble-like lights. It’s not my favorite, but it’s fun and unusual!
Street Scenes: Streets in the major shopping areas of Rome usually pick a decorative holiday theme.
This year the Via del Corso has chosen a wispy spiderweb-like look for its Christmas decor.
Via del Babbuino has stayed with traditional gold Christmas lights.
Top designer street Via Condotti has gorgeous and elaborate Christmas lights in keeping with the overall style of this elegant street.
Don’t miss holiday store fronts and their wonderful displays and holiday gifts!
The true Christmas in Rome 2019 “gift of giving” comes from the heart and the hard work of volunteers!
During the holiday season there are many charitable initiatives going on to help those in need. These Santas, along with a few dozen more, visited Rome’s Gemelli Hospital to distribute gifts to those who won’t be home for the holidays.
Carolers sing each year at the Bambin Gesú Children’s Hospital.
And on Christmas Day there are a number of organizations like Sant’Egidio that work hard to feed the homeless.
Traditional Christmas holiday food in Rome.
These festive whole prosciutto make wonderful gifts!
Traditionally on Christmas Eve the meal is fish-based. One of our favorite things that you only find during the holiday season is pickled eel, or Anguilla. It’s positively delicious and well worth giving a try!
On Christmas day the meal is meat-based and usually starts out with homemade meat-filled tortellini in broth. I made about 300 for Christmas. The broth should also be homemade: made from luscious roast meat bones, some vegetables and fresh bay leaves.
Italians love roast lamb on Christmas so wherever you go you’ll certainly find lamb in abundance on every menu.
Panettone is the traditional Christmas dessert and also a traditional gift to bring your host and hostess. It’s an absolute joy to see all the gorgeous Panettone packages all over Rome, each one lovelier than the next.
I often make my own panettone and if you’d like to give it a try here’s my delicious recipe!
And an idea for any leftover panettone is to make French toast the next morning; it’s the most delicious French toast imaginable!
If you would like to do something extra special this holiday season you might consider getting tickets to the opera to see the Nutcracker or Swan Lake. The gorgeous gold and red of Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera is a sight to behold!