A short guide to the best events and things to do in Rome during summer 2022.
Summer is in full swing in Rome as the city welcomes back a whole swathe of cultural events and festivals that were either cancelled or curtailed over the last two years due to Italy's covid restrictions.
Central to this bonanza of cultural activity is the city's Estate Romana programme, a broad spectrum of events including film festivals, theatre, opera, readings and live music, much of it taking place in the open air.
Rome's summer opera festival returns to its historic base among the ruins at the Baths of Caracalla, after two years at the Circus Maximus, with opera classics including Carmen and The Barber of Seville as well as performances by dancer Roberto Bolle and a series of concerts by Italian singer-songwriter Claudio Baglioni.
An international literature festival will take place over five evenings in July in the spectacular setting of the Palatine Hill with a line-up of award-winning writers reading from texts written specially for the occasion.
Film festivals include Il Cinema in Piazza, held in Piazza S. Cosimato as well as two other locations in the suburbs, and Isola del Cinema on Tiber Island. Both events take place outdoors and include films in their original language versions.
There are also film festivals in Piazza Vittorio, at the Parco degli Acquedotti – Rome's park of aqueducts, a return of the Floating Theatre at the lake in EUR, outdoor screenings at the Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese and even at the Temple of Venus and Roma, against the backdrop of the Colosseum.
One of the most anticipated cinematic events will take place on Via Veneto which will turn into an open-air cinema for the screening of the restored version of William Wyler's 1953 classic Roman Holiday. The free event on 24 July will be open to 600 people, with seats subject to availability.
Theatre fans can enjoy the Shakespearean festival at the Globe Theatre in Villa Borghese where Italian-language productions including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth will be presided over by new artistic director, the Oscar-winning composer Nicola Piovani.
There is theatre under the stars elsewhere too thanks to the Tor Bella Monaca Theatre Festival, along with summer theatrical programmes at Villa Pamphilj and Teatro India.
Rock and pop
Rome serves up an eclectic selection of rock and pop concerts during July thanks to the city's two main live music festivals, Roma Summer Fest – at the Auditorium Parco della Musica – and Rock in Roma – based at the Ippodromo delle Capannelle, the Cavea at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, and the Circus Maximus where Rome's Eurovision-winning rockers Måneskin will perform a sold-out show on 9 July.
The festivals' line-ups feature veteran acts including Simple Minds, Deep Purple and the Chemical Brothers alongside solo artists including Ben Harper, Rufus Wainwright and Patti Smith.
Jazz fans can enjoy outdoor performances by Italian and international jazz musicians at the Casa del Jazz, by acts including the Mike Stern Band, Roosevelt Collier, and Enrico Rava with the Fred Hersch Trio. There are also jazz and swing concerts each night at Villa Celimontana.
A musical highlight of the summer comes courtesy of Accademia Nazionle di S. Cecilia. Piero Monti conducts the S. Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus in a performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in the Cavea on 15 July.
Classical music concerts also take place against the lush backdrop of Rome's Botanic Gardens, thanks to the Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti, and the Theatre of Marcellus, as part of the annual Concerti del Tempietto programme.
The city hosts a unique fashion event on 8 July when the Spanish Steps will be transformed into a giant catwalk to showcase Valentino's autumn-winter collections, after which the luxury fashion house will open its historic archives in Palazzo Mignanelli from 10-12 July.
Rome's national and city-run museums open their doors free of charge on the first Sunday each month, with the next two appointments falling on 3 July and 7 August.
Some of the capital's big summer exhibitions include Titian at Galleria Borghese, Robert Doisneau at the Ara Pacis and Gianni Berengo Gardin at MAXXI.
The city has a new museum, at the Baths of Diocletian, housing ancient artefacts that were rescued after being trafficked out of Italy illegally. The Baths of Caracalla also has a new treat for visitors: a reconstructed second-century home with frescoes dedicated to Roman and Egyptian gods.
Each evening of the summer the Viaggi nei Fori project lights up the ruins of the Forum of Augustus and Forum of Caesar, with images, film and animation portraying life in ancient Rome. The spectacle can be watched from elevated seats alongside Via dei Fori Imperiali.
A novelty on the city's multimedia menu this year is the arrival of the Virtual Reality Bus that allows passengers to view the Imperial Fora, Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus and Teatro Marcello as they were in Roman times.
Last but not least, the city lays on some impressive religious pageantry over the summer too. The centuries-old Festa de' Noantri procession sees a bejewelled and elaborately dressed statue of the Madonna paraded through the streets of Trastevere on 16 July, returning by boat along the river Tiber nine days later.
However the most unusual religious event involves a snowfall during the height of summer outside the Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore. Every year on the night of 5 August the city relives a fourth-century miracle with the surreal spectacle of snow-like foam falling from the sky, accompanied with live music by the Carabinieri band.
For more details of events see our What's On in Rome guide while for information about the city's Estate Roma programme see website.
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