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Christmas Lights Near the Pantheon

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 | 6 comments

Per request of Snapshutter, I went out on a little giro (i.e. walk) around the historical center to capture a bit of the Christmas spirit. Since Christmas is much less commercialized in Italy, it’s a very different vibe. And to be honest, since Rome is a larger city, I don’t find it as Christmasy as other towns in Italy during Christmas. In Padova, since the historic center is so small, everyone is milling around and carts are out and filled with gifts. Similarly with it’s huge tradition of nativity scenes, Naples is bursting with Christmas cheer, even though it is bigger. I’ve also hear Turin and other northern cities are quite festive. Since Rome is a large city, once you go outside the historic center, it’s not as though lights are up everywhere. Unlike in the US, where everyone strings up lights, most people don’t go over the top with their decorations. So lack of decorations, coupled with no snow, make it a strange atmosphere for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice here for Christmas, but being away from your own traditional Christmas makes you miss things you didn’t even realize meant something to you.

I must say, however, that wandering around the center, you can find that spirit. Light are up (though not in an over the top way), people are out shopping, and the stores are open late.

I’ll post more shots in the coming days, but here’s a photo of a street near Piazza della Rotonda, where the Pantheon is located. It might be via del Seminario, but I can’t remember. NYC/Caribbean Ragazza also posted some snaps around Rome the other day if you’d like to see some other lights. Buon natale!


  1. I love the lights at the holidays in Italy, thanks for capturing them for those of us that can’t be there.

    Have you seen of those santas that scale the building?

  2. No problem, it’s my pleasure. Oh god, those Santa’s are being sold in every store. I actually didn’t think of them being Italian per se. Are they?

  3. Hi there. Thanks for going out on the shoot. Hope you do find more christmassy stuff for that sense of Christmas. Here in Minneapolis we’ve had bitterly cold and snowy weather. It’s definitely a white Christmas. I do wonder just where there is a most christmassy atmosphere combined with moderate weather. Germany seems like a good candidate to me but that’s probably because I grew up there.

  4. Snap – Germany moderate weather? Only someone from Minnesota can say that! Northern Italy is probably quite Christmasy. Trento Alto-Adige is a region very close to Austria so has a mix of Austrian and Italian.

  5. Thanks for the link. I know it’s not that cold here but I’m still freezing. ha.

  6. You lived in Cali too long! I hope you had a nice Christmas.

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