With its massive quantity of attractions, history, and beautiful landscapes, Rome is one of those cities where you can spend memorable time almost all year long. Depending on what you are looking for, the offer changes, and we are here to offer some guidance about the best season in Rome!
PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRAVEL
September started, temperatures begin to drop, and maybe you are also facing reality: holidays are ending, and you have to go back to the real life?! STOP! Breath, and have a look on our little escape plan, because the “Ottobrata Romana” could be exactly what suits you.
Luckily for all, October is an exceptional month in Rome, thanks to a mix of natural and historical conditions.
THE BEST MONTH TO VISIT ROME
The Roman October is very famous: here in the capital and in its surroundings you can still enjoy very beautiful and warm days; the sunset will create enchanting landscape enlightening the city with incredible colors; the so-called “gite fuori porta” are to be expected… and above all it’s very likely that you can find higher temperatures than in the rest of Italy.
Which weather you’ll find?
The anticyclone of the Azores in fact brings in the center of Italy a huge mass of warm air. Rome is exactly in the middle of this air pressure; therefore – thanks to the Appennini mountains that protect her – offers you the last days of summer… but in full autumn season!
Temperatures can get till 20° and more, and it’s common to see people still enjoying the beach and the countryside. Last but not least: the tourists’ crowd already get thinner, so no more three-hours-lines for you and no more swarm of people moving up and down the historical center!!
If you think this are the reason why we recommend you October as the best month to visit Rome, well, sorry but you’re wrong! This were just some essential introductory remarks: now let’s enter deeper in the roman traditions, to understand better what this month got of special.
THOUSANDS OF YEARS BUT ROME DIDN’T CHANGE TOO MUCH!
Ask any Italian what’s the defining characteristic of people from Rome, and we bet everybody will answer: “They love to eat and drink!”. That’s 100% accurate. In the second position, they love to do what we call “gite fuori porta”: one-day excursions in the countryside to enjoy authentic food, local wine, and the relax on the farm.
The surroundings of Rome are full of the villas of the past Emperor, Popes, invaders, or lords! Ancient-roman education indeed was including agriculture as one of the essential subjects that a perfect roman should knows. After a full life of fightings, i.e. soldiers were dreaming to have a piece of land, and a house to retire with the family and make wine, oil, honey, and so did politicians, leaders, philosophers.
Thanks to weather and ground conditions that make the hills so perfect for farming, the winemaking tradition is thousands of year old in this area. Also, ancient roman knew how to enjoy life, and this attitude never died and they are proud of it: as they still sing in the traditional osterie, “A noi ce piace de magnà e beve!” (we love to eat and drink) (how surprising!)
But now you are maybe wondering: how does this story related to your travel plan? What does this have to do with the “ottobrata romana”?!
OTTOBRATA ROMANA: HISTORY AND TRADITION
There is at least one other important fact happening when fall starts that we can’t forget to let you properly understand the season up to come: the harvest! Depending on weather conditions, beginning from the first part of September, farmers start to collect the grapes and get ready to the annual miracle that nature offer us: transforming this magic fruit in one of the oldest drink of the history, that accompanied the born of our culture from immemorial times.
As well as in the ancient Greek culture, even in the Roman Empire people used to celebrate the “Baccanali”, propitiatory rites dedicated to Bacco (Dionisio in Greece), the god of wine and harvest. The cult of this god, that in Italy is as old as the second century b.C., was later forbidden due to the disturbances that it was causing (as well as for political reasons). This celebrations therefore disappeared from the Roman traditions, till when, centuries later, they rise again in a new, milder form.
From the Baccanali to the Gite Fuori Porta
During the nineteenth century, the so called Ottobrata Romana appeared strictly connected to the harvest time. After the hard work in the field, indeed, people just enjoyed the last sun exiting the cities and enjoying the good season. This brief excursions were known as “gite fuori porta” (out-of-the-gates excursions), because they use to exit the city from Porta Pia or Porta San Giovanni, heading to the closest mount where to enjoy the field trip.
One of the favorite destination was the Monte Testaccio, an incredible two thousands years old monument created by the rests of clay amphoras that since the age of Augusto has been trashed there for centuries. Taking advantages of the clay’s properties, Romans started to dig caves at the bottom of the mount, creating canteens where the temperature was always regularly around 10° C. That’s why this became the perfect place to open the famous local “osteria” (popular restaurants) and to stock the wine, making it the best location to enjoy the Ottobrata Romana.
Dances, games, food and rivers of wine from the Roman Castles were the ingredients to cheer up this brief field trip: this traditional costume was bringing together nobelty and people, bringing to life strange parades leaded by decorated carriage. Was not rare to see the riches and the poors sharing food and wine, compete in games, singing and dancing together the “stornelli”…
ENJOY THE WINE & GRAPE FESTIVAL, THE ITALIAN OKTOBER FEST!
Time goes by, but still the end of the summer is more than endurable thanks to the beautiful traditions that since thousands of years resist. Between September and October, if you’ll visit us, you’ll got the chance to make the harvest with us, enjoying breathtaking sunsets on the Roman Castels and try and explosions of tasting that flood Rome and its surrounding to give a proper welcome to the autumn. In particular, the countryside of Rome is very full of events related to food and wine in this moment of the year: renowned are the Wine and Grape Festival, aka the italian Oktober Fest, namely the Sagra dell’Uva, where people says that wine exits even from the fountains, strictly local experience that you can’t miss if you travel in Italy the first week end of October… and – big surprise!!! – Zagarolo is very famous for its Wine Festival!!!
So get ready, ‘cause here the Autumn is about to start and to bring us all its benefits!!! We wait you to enjoy together our ottobrata romana!