The Festa di Roma, Rome's celebrations for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, includes a 24-hour programme of free concerts and cultural events, beginning at the Circus Maximus at 21.00 on 31 December, known in Italy as Capodanno. All performances take their inspiration from the Moon, on the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing. Revellers should be aware however of the city's ban on glass bottles and firecrackers.
The party begins with the multi-ethnic Piccola Orchestra di Tor Pignattara, then Vinicio Capossela with a show for words and music titled In difesa della Luna, followed by a 3-D urban theatre show by Kitonb featuring dancer-acrobats and hydraulic cranes. The party continues after a fireworks display at midnight with live dj sets by Achille Lauro and Dimensione Suona Roma.
Romaeuropa The Romaeuropa Foundation takes part in La Festa di Roma with live music, dance, performance, acrobatics and video-mapping, in a cultural programme described as "a day animated by listening, perceptive and sensorial experience, by movement, by sharing."
New Year's Day in Rome Promising 24 hours of cultural events, the city says there will be more than 100 performances by 1,000 artists from 46 countries, taking place in the area around Circus Maximus, from the magic moon installation in the Giardino degli Aranci on the Aventine hill to Tiber Island, throughout 1 January 2019, New Year's Day.
New Year's food
The traditional Italian New Year’s Eve meal consists of cotechino (a product similar to salami), zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter), and lentils which are meant to bring luck for the coming year, all of which is washed down with a glass or two of prosecco or spumante. If you wish to dine out on New Year's Eve it is best to reserve your table well in advance – for inspiration see Wanted in Rome's restaurant listings.
New Year's Eve traditions
A well-known but almost-extinct tradition (in Rome at least) associated with Capodanno involves people throwing old objects out the window, symbolising their readiness to welcome in the new year.
We Run Rome
For more energetic readers, the eighth edition of the We Run Romemarathon takes place on 31 December from 14.00-18.00. Runners can register for the 10-km course, which starts and finishes at the Baths of Caracalla area, via the We Run Rome website.
Also worth checking out is the South Carolina Mass Choir performing for the Roma Gospel Festival at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on 31 December.
All metro services run until 03.30 on New Year's Eve (early hours of 1 Jan), substituted from 03.30 until 08.00 with nightbuses. On New Year's Day the entire ATAC and Roma TPL network resumes at 08.00 and follows normal festivo timetable.
New Year's Day parade
Some of America's best-known high school marching bands will stage a free, family-orientated parade in central Rome on 1 January to celebrate New Year's Day. The 13th edition of the annual event involves a dozen American marching bands joining forces with renowned Italian musical folk groups to perform alongside majorettes, street performers and dancers, starting in Piazza del Popolo at 15.30.
Plunge into the Tiber?
One of the city’s most unusual and popular spectacles on the morning of New Year’s Day is the Tuffo nel Tevere. At midday, immediately after the cannons fire on the Gianicolo, daredevil divers thrill the crowds by making the 17-metre plunge off Ponte Cavour into the icy waters of the Tiber below.
Wanted in Rome wishes all its readers a fun New Year and a very happy 2019.