When touring a new city, encountering bad weather can be rain on anyone’s parade. Especially in a city like Rome, where many of the sights can be covered on foot, throwing some rain into the mix, can really put a damper on your day. However, luckily, there are plenty of great things in the Eternal City, that one can see and do indoors and allow you to stay dry at the same time!
The Spiraling Staircase at the Vatican Musuems — Photo courtesy of jiuguangwOne of the first things on your list of things to see and do in Rome, will be undoubtedly the Vatican Museums. Coming to Rome and not going to see the Vatican Museums is almost well, sinful. Therefore, if you happen to find yourself in Rome on a rainy day, spending a day where the some of the world's most precious sculptures and Renaissance masterpieces can be found, is not so bad! Each year, millions of tourists and pilgrims flock to Vatican Museums to witness not only some of the greatest Roman, Greek and Egyptian sculptures but also to catch a glimpse at the breathtaking Sistine Chapel.
Though, as the lines tend to literally wind and wrap around the corner, especially during peak tourist season, it's best to buy your tickets online. Either most people don't know about it or others prefer to say a buck or two; buying your tickets online can save you lots of headaches and time lost spending in the line. Normally, tickets will cost you €15. But if you buy the tickets online, they’ll cost you €19. Even though the tickets cost you slightly more, buying the tickets online not only save you time but will also keep you dry!
Believe it or not, the Pantheon is one of the few monuments in Rome where it's actually prettier to see when it's raining rather than when it's sunny. Why's that, you ask? For starters, it's one of the best-preserved monument in Rome. The building was originally commissioned by Marcus Agrippa to serve as a temple for the gods of Ancient Rome and then was later rebuilt by the great Emperor Hadrian around 126 AD. Many years later,it was turned into a Catholic Church around the 7th century and dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs".
The monument itself and its gargantuan dome is certainly something to gaze at. But during a rainfall in Rome, one can witness drops of rain entering the large oculus at the top of the dome. Magically, the rain drains away before flooding the marble floor inside. Experts say floors of the Pantheon will never experience flooding due to the successful ancient drains that run at a slant, allowing for rain water to properly drain.
Another good thing about the Pantheon? It's free and open everyday.
Explore the MAXXI museum on a rainy day — Photo courtesy of GuerneFor those of you who don't like monuments, a good stop while staying dry can be made at the MAXXI Museum (Museo Nazionale Delle Arti del XXI Secolo). This 60-million dollar museum was created by celebrity Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid. It opened in the Flaminio area in 2010 and offers a great compromise for art and architecture lovers. The museum is divided into two sections: "MAXXI Art" and "MAXXI Architecture" which feature collections and works from some of the best Italian and international artists and architects.
When all else fails, going and sitting in a lovely cafè and having a cappuccino, always makes things better. After all, Italy is the capital of the world when it comes to coffee and when you it's this good, you just can't get enough of it. For a quiet place to grab a cup and soak in some nice scenery, check out Caffetteria d'Arte al Choistro del Bramante. Another cafè good for people-watching is Caffè della Pace near Piazza Navona. Otherwise for a quick caffè just to warm you up from the cold rain, Tazza d'Oro near the Pantheon is your place.