Top Events

Carnevale Romano, February

Natale di Roma, April

Lungo il Tevere, June to September

Festa de' Noantri, July

Romaeuropa, September to December

January

As New Year celebrations fade, the winter cold digs in. It’s a quiet time of year but the winter sales are a welcome diversion.

Shopping Sales

Running from early January, typically the first Saturday of the month, to mid-February, the winter fashion sales offer savings of between 20% and 50%.

February

Rome’s winter quiet is shattered by high-spirited carnival celebrations and weekend invasions by cheerful rugby fans in town for the annual Six Nations rugby tournament.

Carnevale Romano

Rome goes to town for carnival, with horse shows, costumed parades, street performers, fireworks and kids in fancy dress. Action is centred on Piazza del Popolo, Via del Corso, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona.

Six Nations Rugby

The Stadio Olimpico hosts Italy's home games during the Six Nations rugby tournament, held each year from early February to late March.

March

The onset of spring brings blooming flowers, rising temperatures and unpredictable rainfall. Unless Easter falls in late March, the city is fairly subdued and low-season prices still apply.

Maratona di Roma

Sightseeing becomes sport at Rome’s annual marathon, held in late March or early April. The 42km route starts and finishes near the Colosseum, taking in many of the city’s big sights. Details online at www.maratonadiroma.it.

Giornate FAI di Primavera

Palazzi (mansions), churches and archaeological sites that are generally closed to the public open their doors for a weekend of special openings, courtesy of Italy’s main conservation body, the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI).

April

April is a great month in Rome, with lovely, sunny weather, fervent Easter celebrations, azaleas on the Spanish Steps and Rome’s birthday festivities. Expect high-season prices.

Easter

Easter is a big deal in Rome. On Good Friday the pope leads a candlelit procession around the Colosseum, and there are other smaller parades around the city. At noon on Easter Sunday the Pope blesses the crowds in St Peter's Square.

Mostra delle Azalee

From mid-April to early May, the Spanish Steps are decorated with hundreds of vases of blooming, brightly coloured azaleas.

Natale di Roma

Rome celebrates its birthday on 21 April with music, historical re-creations and fireworks. Events are held at Via dei Fori Imperiali and the city's ancient sites.

May

May is a busy, high-season month. The weather’s perfect – usually warm enough to eat outside – and the city is looking gorgeous with blue skies and spring flowers.

Primo Maggio

Thousands of fans troop to Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano for Rome’s free May Day rock concert. It’s a mostly Italian affair with big-name local performers, but you might catch the occasional foreign guest star.

June

Summer has arrived and with it hot weather and the Italian school holidays. The city's festival season breaks into full stride with many outdoor events.

Festa dei Santi Pietro e Paolo

On 29 June Rome celebrates its two patron saints, Peter and Paul, with flower displays on St Peter’s Square, fireworks at Castel Sant'Angelo and festivities near the Basilica di San Paolo Fuori-le-Mura.

Isola del Cinema

From mid-June to September, the Isola Tiberina sets the picturesque backdrop for a season of outdoor cinema, featuring Italian and international films, some shown in their original laguage. Tickets cost €6.

Lungo il Tevere

Nightly crowds converge on the river Tiber for this popular summer-long event. Stalls, clubs, bars, restaurants, cinemas, even dance floors line the river bank as Rome's nightlife goes alfresco.

Roma Incontro il Mondo

From late June to mid-September Villa Ada is transformed into a colourful multi-ethnic village for this popular annual event. There’s a laid-back party vibe and an excellent program of gigs ranging from reggae to jazz and world music.

Estate Romana

From June to October Rome's big summer festival involves everything from concerts and dance performances to book fairs, puppet shows and late-night museum openings.

July

Hot summer temperatures make sightseeing a physical endeavour, but come the cool of evening, the city’s streets burst into life as locals come out to enjoy summer festivities.

Festa de' Noantri

Trastevere celebrates its roots with a raucous street party in the last two weeks of the month. Events kick off with a religious procession and continue with much eating, drinking, dancing and praying.

Opera at the Terme di Caracalla

The haunting remains of the 2nd-century Terme di Caracalla provide the spectacular setting for the Teatro dell'Opera's summer season. Also ballet and the occasional rock concert.

Concerti del Tempietto

The Teatro di Marcello and Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere are among the atmospheric venues used to stage concerts during the Concerti del Tempietto summer series.

August

Rome melts in the heat as locals flee the city for their summer hols. Many businesses shut down around 15 August but hoteliers offer discounts and there are loads of summer events to enjoy.

Festa della Madonna della Neve

On 5 August rose petals are showered on celebrants in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore to commemorate a miraculous 4th-century snowfall.

September

Life returns to the city after the August torpor. The kids go back to school and locals return to work but there's still a relaxed summer vibe and the weather's perfect. High-season rates apply.

Romaeuropa

Established international performers join emerging stars at Rome’s premier dance and drama festival. Events, staged across town from late September through to early December, range from avant-garde dance performances to installations, multimedia shows, recitals and readings.

October

Autumn is a good time to visit – the warm weather is holding, Romaeuropa ensures plenty of cultural action and, with the schools back, there are far fewer tourists around.

Festival del Cinema di Roma

Held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in late October, Rome’s film festival rolls out the red carpet for Hollywood hotshots and bigwigs from Italian cinema. Consult the program on its website.

November

Although the wettest month, November has its compensations – low-season prices, excellent jazz concerts and no queues outside the big sights. Autumn is also great for foodies with artichokes coming into season and market stalls full of bumper autumnal produce.

Festival Internazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra

Over several days in early November, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and other top ensembles perform a series of classical concerts in Rome’s papal basilicas and other churches. Check the programme on www.festivalmusicaeartesacra.net.

Roma Jazz Festival

For jazz fans, the Auditorium Parco della Musica is the place to be in November as performers from around the world play to appreciative audiences during the three-week Roma Jazz Festival. See www.romajazzfestival.it for further details.

December

The build-up to Christmas feels festive, as the city twinkles in anticipation. Every church displays its own presepe (nativity scene), from intricate small tableaux to life-size extravaganzas.

Piazza Navona Christmas Fair

Rome’s most beautiful baroque square becomes a big, brash marketplace as brightly lit market stalls set up shop, selling everything from nativity scenes to stuffed toys and teeth-cracking torrone (nougat).