My pick of the best events in Rome

The Italian capital is not only known for its awesome sites and tremendous history, but is also a dazzling city brimming with vibrant music & film festivals, and incredible culture. Here’s my pick of the best annual events to look out for.


Rock in Roma

Now in its 6th year, this is a rock festival of a different kind. Spanning for over a month in July, some of the worlds most renowned rock acts are scheduled to play at the Ippodromo delle Capannelle racecourse- located just south-east of Rome. For any rock lover, this is a dream! Metallica, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Prodigy and the Black Keys are just a handful of top artists set to perform this year. Check out the website for the line-up.

Rock in Roma


Primo Maggio

Known to us as May 1st and a national holiday for Italy as Labor Day Weekend. For the Romans who choose to stick around town, a free, open-air concert showcasing both national and international artists is held at Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, which plays host to 700,000 revellers each year.  The concert starts mid-afternoon, right up until the early hours. I’d say- get there early if you want any chance of seeing the stage.



An Italian national holiday celebrated on August 15th and the official start of the summer holidays. Most Italians pack a picnic and head to the coast. Even in the major cities, most businesses would close, however in recent years, shops, restaurants and attractions have remained open. This is a fabulous time to visit Rome. You could spend the whole day just wandering from one piazza to the next, each showcasing different acts. You’ll find everything from tango to fireworks and hip-hop to rock.

Primo Maggio


Il Natale di Roma- April 21st

A fabulous buzz fills the city around April 21st- also known as Roma’s birthday! The celebration is normally held the weekend which falls closest to the 21st. All sorts of special events are presented across the city, which include theatre, parades, re-enactments of scenes from Roman history, dance & music acts and spectacular fireworks over the river Tiber. Ancient Roman sites such as the colosseum are lit up in grandeur and as an added bonus, many museums and archaeological sites are free to enter.



Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma

In early November, Rome film festival spans over 10 days and it’s not unusual to see a celeb or 2 roaming the streets. The Auditorium-Parco della Musica plays host to dozens of screenings with the expected glamour of international movie stars and the red carpet. The event attracts extensive media coverage and provides a stage for upcoming directors and offers workshops and many other industry related events.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Rome anytime soon and want to revel in something other than sightseeing, these dates are well worth considering. Enjoy!

Written by Kelly of Journeys to Italy

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