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Marymount - International School Rome

Best events and things to do in Rome this August

A quick guide to what's on in Rome in August 2023.

August in Rome sees hordes of tourists arrive on vacation in the Eternal City as a large percentage of local residents bail out of the capital for Italy's Ferragosto summer holiday.

Foreign visitors may be surprised to find some restaurants and businesses outside the centre closed in August however the city's museums and archaeological sites will stay open as normal.

Although many of Rome's summer festivals draw to a close in the first week of August, a number of popular events stay open all summer.

These include the annual Lungo il Tevere initiative, with pop-up restaurants, bars and cultural events along the banks of the river Tiber, as well as a jazz music festival with a backdrop of the Colosseum and more jazz concerts as part of the Caracalla Festival.

There is also cinema under the stars at Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese with a free festival of Italian and international movies, screened in their original language version with subtitles.

One of the novelties in Rome in summer 2023 is the recent opening to the public of the archaeological site at Largo Argentina.

However visitors to Rome should note that the Pantheon now charges an entry fee and visits must be booked in advance online.

Also new this summer is This is Wonderland, an immersive light experience based on Alice in Wonderland, at the city's waterfall gardens in the EUR district every evening.

Rome's summer opera festival at the Baths of Caracalla ends on a high note with two Verdi masterpieces: La traviata, until 9 August, and Rigoletto, from 3-10 August.

Theatre fans can enjoy a Shakespearean festival at the outdoor Globe Arena whose Italian-language productions include The Tempest (2-6 Aug), A Midsummer Night's Dream (9-27 Aug) and Othello (31 Aug-17 Sept).

On the concert front, the Circus Maximus will host Imagine Dragons on 5 August, followed by Travis Scott on 7 August, while Carmen Consoli & Elvis Costello will perform at the Auditorium Parco dell Musica on 28 August.

There are also open-air concerts of classical, jazz and folk music every night at the archaeological site of Teatro di Marcello, as part of the annual Concerti del Tempietto programme.

One of Rome's most unusual summer traditions takes place on the night of 5 August when the city recreates a miracle snowfall that occurred in the fourth century, outside the Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore.

Some of the capital's big summer exhibitions include Gladiators in the Arena at the Colosseum, Michelangelo Pistoletto at Chiostro del Bramante, Sembra Vivo! at Palazzo Bonaparte, and Vita Dulcis. Fear and Desire in the Roman Empire at Palazzo delle Esposizioni.

The capital's national and city-run museums and archaeological sites will be open for free on Sunday 6 August.

Italy's state museums and archaeological sites normally open for the Ferragosto holiday which this year falls on Tuesday 15 August. 

The Colosseum holds its popular moonlight tours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout August. The 'Luna sul Colosseo' experience lasts about an hour, with tours on offer in Italian and English.

Finally, for those who wish to cool off, here are our guides to this year's Blue Flag beaches in the Lazio region, lakes near Rome and the best outdoor pools in the Eternal City this summer.

For updated events in Rome see our What's On guide.

Cover image: Giardino degli Aranci. Photo Wanted in Rome.

Marymount - International School Rome
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