Ah, Christmas in Rome! With the festive lights a-sparkling and families a-shopping, Christmas trees a-twinkling and nativity scenes a-...um, whatever nativity scenes do—well, it really is the most wonderful time of year.
Want to make the most of it? Here's my complete guide to Rome at Christmas.
Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo!
Rome Christmas basics: what will be open, what will be closed, and other burning questions
In the short video below, I answer some of readers' biggest questions about visiting Rome over Christmas.
Here's the breakdown of what holiday hours (and closures) to expect at museums, shops, restaurants, and with public transport in Rome.
The foodie folks over at the Rome Digest have a nice list of (good) Rome restaurants open for Christmas and New Year's in 2013.
What to do over Christmas and New Year's in Rome
Rome has lots of special events and activities over Christmas. Here are 10 top festive experiences in Rome from the end of November to the beginning of January, from ice-skating to Christmas markets.
You can always pay the (new!) pope a visit, too. Here's how to see the new pope over the holidays in 2013.
One of the best activities: just wandering the gloriously lit-up streets. In this photo essay, check out what it's looked like in past years.
The presepi (Christmas nativity) exhibit I wrote about for the New York Times a couple of years ago is still going strong. Now in its 38th year, "100 Presepi" runs until January 6. There's also a whole museum devoted to the craft of Christmas crib-making.
Christmas shopping in Rome
Get off of Via del Corso (no, really, please get off Via del Corso), and you'll find tons of hidden independent boutiques and artisanal workshops in Rome—great for finding the perfect gift.
Here are nine of my favorite shops for buying one-of-a-kind gifts in Rome. And here's one of my favorite streets for shopping in Rome.
Rome's markets are great for gift-shoppng year-round. More on gift shopping at Rome's best markets in my piece for the New York Times.