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What's on in Rome this summer?

A quick guide to the best events in Rome during summer 2023.

Summer is in full swing in Rome with the capital hosting a swathe of cultural events and festivals, many of them taking place in the open air.

Central to this bonanza of cultural activity is the city's Estate Romana programme, a broad spectrum of events including film festivals, opera, exhibitions, literature and live music.

Opera

Rome's summer opera festival returns to its historic base among the ruins at the Baths of Caracalla, with opera classics including La Traviata and Rigoletto as well as performances by dancer Roberto Bolle and a series of concerts by rock and pop singers.

Literature

An international literature festival takes place over five evenings in July in the spectacular setting of the Palatine Hill with a line-up of award-winning writers, including Margaret Atwood, reading from texts written specially for the occasion.

Cinema

Open-air film festivals include Cinema in Piazza, held in Piazza S. Cosimato and two other locations in the suburbs, showing films in their original language versions.

Il Cinema in Piazza

 

There are also film festivals in Piazza Vittorio, the Parco degli Acquedotti and Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese, outdoor screenings in the shadow of the Colosseum, and the Floating Theatre on the lake in Villa Ada.

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 – with big name acts including Bob Dylan and Sting at the Auditorium Parco della Musica – and Rock in Roma – whose line-up at the Ippodromo delle Capannelle includes Arctic Monkeys.

 

The Circus Maximus hosts a series of concerts this summer

 

The Circus Maximus hosts veteran rockers Guns N' Roses in a sold-out show on 8 July, followed by Italy's Sanremo-winner Marco Mengoni on 15 July and Imagine Dragons on 5 August.

Also in July the Stadio Olimpico welcomes Depeche Mode, Muse and Måneskin, while a series of summer concerts takes place at the Teatro Romano in Ostia Antica.

Jazz

Jazz fans can enjoy outdoor performances by Italian and international jazz musicians at the Casa del Jazz, as well as nightly jazz and swing concerts at Villa Celimontana.

Classical

Classical music concerts take place against the lush backdrop of Rome's Botanic Gardens, thanks to the Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti, and at the Theatre of Marcellus as part of the annual Concerti del Tempietto programme.

 

Auditorium Parco della Musica hosts Summer Music Fest

 

Museums

Rome's national and city-run museums open their doors free of charge on the first Sunday of each month, with the next two appointments falling on 2 July and 6 August.

Some of the capital's big summer exhibitions include the display at the Quirinale of ancient bronze statues discovered last year at the San Casciano thermal baths; and Etruscan, Roman and Greek treasures at the Baths of Diocletian.

Largo Argentina

A novelty on the city's cultural menu this year is the opening of the sunken archaeological area at Largo di Torre Argentina - best known for being the scene of Julius Caesar’s assassination - which until now could only be viewed from street level above.

Audiovisual

Videocittà, the festival exploring the most advanced forms of audiovisual and digital art, will be held at the Gazometro in Ostiense from 13 to 16 July. The festival comprises four days of video art, talks, live music, dj sets, videomapping and performances by leading audiovisual artists.

Formula E

The fifth edition of the Rome E-Prix takes place on 15-16 July, with the world’s fastest electric cars battling it out over two days on the streets of the EUR district.

Religion

Last but not least, the city lays on some impressive religious pageantry over the summer. The Festa de' Noantri procession sees a bejewelled statue of the Madonna paraded through Trastevere on 22 July, returning by boat along the river Tiber nine days later.

Festa de' Noantri

However the most unusual religious event involves a snowfall during the height of summer outside the Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore. 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.

We will update this guide over the summer as more events are announced.

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