At first glance, it may seem that travelling in Europe in February is not really the best idea - we still have a long way to go before the beginning of the swimming season, and walking in the rain in nearly empty cities may lack some excitement. There is a certain grain of truth in this, but only if we are not talking about Rome and its 29 centuries of exciting history! And if you don’t like crowds of tourists and can tolerate some rainy days during your vacation, then let’s go and find out what kind of entertainment the Italian capital can offer us at the end of winter.
February in Italy, and in Rome in particular, is a deep off-season with a relatively modest influx of foreigners. This is because the weather in Rome in February is far from ideal. Despite the fact that the thermometer stays well above zero Celsius, this period can be fully and completely counted as a winter season due to heavy rains and the continuing dampness. If in the southern regions February resembles a full-fledged spring, "flavored" with an abundance of sunlight, here its approach is not yet felt. Despite the fact that the coldest month of the year is January, the differences with it are quite symbolic.ROME WEATHER
One of the main attributes required for outdoor walks is a durable umbrella. According to meteorologists, in the last third of winter, 9 to 12 days with precipitation are expected. Moreover, they can be both drizzling and protracted, and short-term. They almost always start suddenly. If in the morning the blue sky, slightly covered with cloudy haze, adorns the sun, then it is possible that by lunchtime gray gloomy clouds will run over it, which will soon "charge" the rain with buckshot. Sometimes a hopeless series of cloudy days is abruptly interrupted by surprisingly clear and warm weather, which makes you forget what time of year is actually on the calendar.
In general, we do not recommend blindly trusting the long-term February weather forecast. It can be very deceiving, as the mood of nature changes very quickly. In some years, at this time, lawns turn green with might and main, flowering cherry trees smell sweet, and birds start iridescent trills. Sometimes Rome experiences severe cold snaps. So, the first decade of February 2012 was remembered for the climatic anomaly - the fall of snow, which is so rare for the capital. Then this led to a complete stop of city life: the work of public transport stopped, many government offices and shops were closed, several flights were canceled.
Fortunately, such deviations from climatic norms are extremely rare. Therefore, when collecting things for the trip, you should be guided by the average data obtained by forecasters during long-term observations: the daytime air temperature is within the range of +10 ... + 13 ° C, night - within the range of +2 ... + 6 ° C. You also need to take into account possible fluctuations in both directions by 3-4 ° C. A little clarification is required here. Against the background of an increased level of relative humidity, reaching 78%, the indicators we voiced create the effect of a full-fledged winter, significantly sharpening their perception. So there should be a sufficient number of warm outfits in the wardrobe. Here we advise you to rely on your own feelings. For example, Italians flaunt in fur coats and tied with scarves right up to April. Visitors with an average heat exchange get by with a jacket on a padding polyester, under which they put on a sweater in the evening.
“There is never too much of Rome” - this is the opinion of almost everyone who is fortunate enough to visit the place where “all roads lead to”. Therefore, they are happy to go to this city at the first opportunity, including in the off-season. Rome in February, with its sometimes slushy weather, is also chosen for the first visit. As a rule, these are those who are on a tight budget. Do not think that February Rome is dull and unfriendly. The absence of many hours of queues at the ticket booths and crowds in the streets, traditional for spring and summer, give it even greater charm. This is almost the only period when you are imbued with the true atmosphere of the "eternal city", its energy and culture, feeling like a true Italian.
In February, due to the prevailing cloudiness, you have to carefully consider leisure activities for indoor spaces. Rainy, windy days are a good reason to thoroughly explore interesting museum collections and gallery funds, which, as a rule, do not have enough time in summer. For acquaintance with living history, the National Roman Museum is preferable, consisting of 4 huge rooms. And to enjoy painting - Villa Borghese and the papal Pinakothek in the Vatican. In this tiny state, the Sistine Chapel and the Museum Complex with a huge collection of architectural, cultural and religious monuments also deserve close attention.
While on vacation with your child, you will not regret if you include in your plans a visit to the National Museum of Pasta, which covers about 8 centuries of its existence, and the interactive museum Explora, where your child will try on various professions - from a cook and a firefighter to a TV presenter... A great way to save on entrance tickets, and at the same time on travel in the metro and buses is to buy a tourist card "Roma Pass". Dry fine days can be devoted to admiring the masterpieces of Italian architecture, exploring the ancient catacombs in the open air, examining the ruins of forums and pre-Christian temples, and leisurely walks along the embankment along the Tiber river.
When you feel tired, sit on a bench in Piazza Navona, contemplating the architectural splendor that surrounds you, or at the most majestic fountain in Rome - Trevi, where, according to tradition, a coin is thrown. There is a belief that this "ritual" contributes to the return to the "eternal city". If your trip falls in the first half of February, one of the great options to start getting to know him is to arrange a "race" through the shops. As a rule, until the 15th, the season of generous discounts operates, allowing you to buy clothes from famous brands at ridiculous prices. Via del Corso and Via Nazionale are the main trade arteries.
In February, Rome does not lag behind Venice and also organizes a grandiose carnival on the eve of Lent. Its history goes back centuries, but for a long time it was not carried out. And only in 2010, by a government decision, its tradition was renewed again. The holiday opens with a spectacular procession of masks, and continues with theatrical performances and costumed processions from Piazza del Popolo.
The celebration ends the day before Ash Wednesday. In churches during Mass, a priest sprinkles ashes on the heads of parishioners. Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th. On this day, lovers exchange gifts, confess their tender feelings and invite each other to a romantic dinner.
Low demand for hotel rooms, air tickets and services determines the cost of the February holiday. Overall, tours are 40% cheaper than the busy spring and summer months.