A guide to New Year's Eve in Rome
As New Year’s Eve approaches, Wanted in Rome highlights a selection of events taking place on the Festa di S. Silvestro or Capodanno, as it is known in Italy, as well as some traditions associated with new year.
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 of prosecco or spumante. The other 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.
For the more energetic readers, the fourth edition of the We Run Rome marathon takes place on 31 December at 15.00. Runners can register for the 10-km course, which starts and finishes at the Baths of Caracalla area, until midday on 30 December.
On the night of New Year's Eve the city holds a free concert in the Circus Maximus featuring numerous Italian acts such as Rome neo-folk group Spiritutal Front, Turin rock band Subsonica, rappers Gemitaiz & Madman, and singer Mannarino, from 21.30 until late. Just before midnight, the show will be interrupted for the countdown which is followed by a giant fireworks display. The celebration then continues late into the night with a live dj set by English musician Daddy G from Massive Attack.
There is also a free Swing Vintage Circus Party on Via dei Fori Imperiali, offering a "musical journey through time from the 1930s to the 1960s", created by the Swing Circus group. The action is based around two stages, one at the Forum end of Via Cavour on Largo Corrado Ricci, and the other at Piazza Venezia. The range of music being performed includes swing, rhythm & blues, soul, funk and rock’n’roll, and the city promises orchestras, djs, dancers, clowns, and a marching band, with fun for all ages. The event starts at 20.00, with fireworks at midnight, and the dancing continues until 02.00. For more details see city website.
Some of the most atmospheric places to ring in the new year around Rome include Piazza del Popolo, Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona, while there are many parties taking place in Rome’s clubs such as Circolo degli Artisti, Room 26, Micca, and Atlantico.
There are always plenty of parties at expat pubs such as the Abbey Theatre, Finnegan's, Fiddler's Elbow and Scholar’s Lounge, and many of the capital's hotels, such as the Ponte Sisto, hold special events for Capodanno too.
Also worth checking out are Kevin Lemons and Higher Calling performing for the Roma Gospel Fest at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, at 22.00.
The city's metro lines always stay open late on New Year's Eve, usually until 02.30 on 1 January, however the city’s bus, trams and light-rail services normally finish on 31 December at around 21.00, with no night bus service. The metro, buses and tram services begin again on 1 January, usually at 08.00, and follow a holiday timetable. Updates are posted during the days beforehand on Rome's mobility website Muoversi a Roma.
Meanwhile one of the city's most unusual and popular sights 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.