explore Rome, Italy

What to do in Rome, Italy

Take in a show. There are lots of theatres, but you will need to know Italian to enjoy them. The main concert venue is the Auditorium in viale Pietro de Coubertin in the northern part of Rome. The Auditorium at Parco della Musica is a large complex composed of three separate halls whose shapes are inspired by musical instruments. These are positioned around an open air amphitheater that is used nearly every night in the summer for concerts. The Parco della Musica hosts a constant stream of classical, popular, and jazz music, featuring national as well as international musicians and groups. Really big names perform outdoors in the summer; usually in either the Olympic Stadium or in the Stadio Flaminio, which is next door to the Parco della Musica. In winter the Palalottomatica in EUR is an important pop concert venue.

To get full details of what is on, buy a copy of the La Repubblica newspaper on Thursdays, when it has an insert called TrovaRoma. There are a couple of pages in English but even with no Italian you should be able to decipher the main listings. This is not published in late July and August, when half of Rome heads to the beach. Both La Repubblica and Il Messaggero have daily listings.

Walk and feel the energy of Rome; sights are everywhere waiting to be discovered.

Explore the Trastevere district for some great cafes and trattorie, and a glimpse at a hip Roman neighbourhood.

Take in a game of football at the Olympic Stadium. Rome has two teams, A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio and they both play there.

Cinecittà Shows Off, Via Tuscolana 1055, Rome. Cinecittà Shows Off is a tour of the legendary Cinecittà Studios in Rome, revealing cinema secrets from the history of the famous studios. Original sketches by celebrated set designers, costumes worn by international stars, and monumental sets: it’s a journey into what was dubbed the “Dream Factory”. The exhibition also offers the option of a guided tour through the monumental sets that are still used today for shooting films as well as national and international TV shows. If you love movies, don’t miss it.

Food and Wine Tour. Take in some of the best food in the world with a professional tour.

Museum Tours. Rome has some of the best museums in the world, so museum tours are often very popular. Walks Inside Rome offers popular tours that features the notable museums of Rome.

Underground Colosseum Tours. You haven’t truly seen the Colosseum unless you’ve explored the tunnels beneath the amphitheater.

Tours on wheels Have a ride with a Fiat 500 or a Vespa will let you enjoy the eternal magic of Rome. Tours will give you the chance to experience Rome from a different point of view.

Holidays and Events

Anniversary of the Founding of Rome (21 April) – Since 1922, the city of Rome celebrates its founding. A national holiday between 1924 and 1945, the celebration is now limited to the city itself; during this day, admission to some of the municipal museums is free while historical parades, reenactments and other events take place.

Liberation Day (25 April) – On this day, Italy commemorates both the end of the Second World War, as well as the end of the German occupation (Turin and Milan were amongst the last cities to be liberated on the 25 April). Parades and other kinds of events take place in most major Italian cities.

Labour Day (1 May)  is a national holiday in Italy; Romans either leave town or attend a big rock concert in piazza San Giovanni. On this “day of the worker” much will be closed, but you may find parades and festivals all over Italy. Expect big crowds in popular areas.

Vatican guard swearing in (6 May) – This is the day when new groups of Swiss Guards are sworn in, marking the sack of Rome in 1506. Guards are sworn in by the San Damaso courtyard, Vatican City. The public is not invited, but you may steal a glimpse if you book a private guided tour of the Vatican.

Italian Open Tennis Tournament. For two weeks in May, Rome hosts one of the most important European clay-court tournaments, a warm-up for the French Open. 

Republic Day (2 June) – This is the Italian national holiday, commemorating the founding of the Italian Republic in 1946; in Rome, a grand military parade takes place from via dei Fori Imperiali to piazza Venezia and the gardens of the Quirinal palace are open to the public.

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) – This is a public holiday in Rome and a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Public buildings, along with many shops, will be closed; on the plus side, fireworks will take place that evening at Castel Sant’Angelo.

Estate Romana Festival (Roman Summer Festival) – from late June through early September, the city of Rome hosts various musical events of jazz, rock, and classical music, and film, sport, theatre and children’s fun.

White Nights (Notte Bianca). From early to mid-September, various events will take place until dawn, while shops, restaurants and museums will stay open. The Roman Notte Bianca hosts stages music, dance and theatre events. Expect enormous crowds; buses and trams will be packed to the brim. 

Opera at the Baths of Caracalla. Performances start at 21:00. If you are in Rome during summertime don’t miss the chance to experience an opera in the truly unique setting of the Baths of Caracalla (see Rome/Aventino-Testaccio). Programs have included Tosca, Carmen and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.