Celebrating Ferragosto in the Fori Imperiali

The whole of Via dei Fori Imperiali, from Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum, is to be a pedestrian zone from 15-18 August to mark the public holiday of Ferragosto.

The area closed to cars (ZTL) in the historic centre of Rome (excluding the Fori Imperiali) will also be suspended for the same period. This means that people who stay in Rome over the mid-summer holiday will be able to drive and park in the historic centre and then enjoy a vehicle-free walk through the archaeological heart of the city.

The Metro B stop at Colosseum will also be closed and buses diverted.

Most of Rome's important museums, such as the Capitoline, Colosseum, Galleria Borghese, Palazzo Barberini, Pantheon, Villa Giulia, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo and the Baths of Diocletian will all be open.

However the Vatican Museums are closed 14 and 15 August and again on Sunday 18 August.

Ferragosto originates from a Roman summer holiday started by the emperor Augustus in 18 BC. Since 1950 it has been marked by the Roman Catholic Church as a feast day of obligation to celebrate the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary to heaven. In Italy it is the main mid-summer holiday, when public offices, banks and factories shut, and it is often extended into a long-weekend.