A guide to enjoying 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.
This year the city's celebrations have been in doubt in recent days but it now looks as though the annual concertone will go ahead. Rome's commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca was not in favour of holding a city New Year's Eve event but was reportedly encouraged to reconsider, following the intervention of Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini.
Concert plans still uncertain
The concert venue has yet to be confirmed but it will likely be one of three places: Circus Maximus, Via dei Fori Imperiali or Piazza del Popolo. Details of the line-up have not yet been released either but pop act Negramano and rock band Litfiba are among the names currently being mentioned. There are also plans to hold smaller events at the metro stations Battistini and Anagnina, Rebibbia and Laurentina, the end-stops of Line A and Line B respectively.
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 of prosecco or spumante. If you wish to dine out on New Year's Eve it is best to reserve your table far in advance – see our Rome restaurant guide for inspiration.
Out with the old, in with the new
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.
We Run Rome
For the more energetic readers, the fifth edition of the We Run Rome marathon takes place on 31 December at midday. Runners can register for the 10-km course, which starts and finishes at the Baths of Caracalla area, until 30 December via the We Run Rome website.
Dancing the night away
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 to dance the night away check out Rome’s night clubs such as Lanificio, Shari Vari, Vicious, Rashomon, 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 Scholars Lounge, as well as the Hard Rock Cafe on Via Veneto.
Or an evening of music
The city’s metro lines normally 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 tend to 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.
Anyone for a quick swim?
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.