1: The Weather. It’s no secret that Roman summers are sweat-filled affairs. When you couple the heat (temperatures often in the 90s Fahrenheit) with waiting in lines, navigating traffic, and the more limited use of air-conditioning, your experience can feel less and less like la dolce vita.
The fall ushers in a cooler period that’s perfect for travelers eager to be out and about in Rome: The mornings and evenings are brisk, but the daytime is warm enough for a pleasant passeggiata.
On a late September morning, I was able to walk into St. Peter’s Basilica half an hour after its 7am opening without standing in line. When I made my way up to the dome and lookout, there were barely any other visitors who climbed the hundreds of stairs to the top. And you can rest assured that the climb was more bearable in an autumnal climate.
For some taste testing, take a spin through a produce market like Testaccio or San Giovanni di Dio and visit the family-run Salmueria Roscioli. Also keep an eye on menus to see how restaurateurs—back from their August holidays—are creatively incorporating fall foods.