St Patrick's Day in Rome 2018

Rome's Irish community celebrates St Patrick's Day on 17 March.

St Patrick’s Day in Rome begins officially on Saturday 17 March at 10.00, with the annual Mass for Lá Fhéile Pádraig being celebrated by the rector of the Pontifical Irish College, Mons. Ciarán O'Carroll, with homily by Fr Mícheál MacCraith, at St Isidore's on Via degli Artisti 41. The Mass is always well-attended by the city’s Irish community and friends of Ireland, who join together in a misty-eyed rendition of Hail Glorious, St Patrick

Rugby fans in Rome will have the opportunity to combine St Patrick's Day celebrations with the free-entry Festa di S. Patrizio at the Tre Fontane sporting complex from midday until the wee hours. In addition to screening the three final Six Nations games: Italy-Scotland (13.30), England-Ireland (15.45) and Wales-France (18.00) on a large-screen, there will be "rivers of beer" and live music. The sports ground is located on Via delle Tre Fontane 5, about 200m from EUR Magliana metro station on the B Line. 

In the evening the Colosseum will once again be illuminated in green lights in honour of Ireland's patron saint, as part of Tourism Ireland's international Global Greening initiative. This year also marks the first St Patrick's Day in Rome for Ireland's new ambassador to Italy, Colm Ó Floinn. 

Red, the bistrot at Feltrinelli bookstore on Via Tomacelli 23, is holding an event dedicated to Finnegans Wake by James Joyce at 18.00. Led by the book's Italian translators, the event will include readings, Italian and Irish food, beer and live music. Tto book tel. 0669347261, email or see Facebook page.

Festivities continue at 19.30 with the 27th edition of the Celtic Ball, Rome’s biggest social occasion in Irish circles. This year the annual black-tie ball returns to Hotel Parco dei Principi, with the promise of “great Irish food and drink, music and plenty of craic, late into the night”, according to Irish Club of Rome president Helen Harrington. 

If you plan to raise a toast to St Patrick with a pint of Guinness over the weekend, some of the pubs most favoured by the capital’s Irish expats include the Druid’s Den, the Fiddler’s Elbow, Finnegan’s, and Scholars Lounge. All of these bars will be screening Rome's Six Nations rugby match between Scotland and Italy, whose coach is Irishman Conor O'Shea. 

Lastly, those interested in Rome's Irish history can pick up a copy of the recently-reissued second edition of Irish Rome-Roma irlandese, by Vittorio and Roswitha Di Martino. The book is on sale at select bookshops in Rome, in addition to being available at the IrishFilmFesta in late March. For more details contact