Halloween in Rome

Though Hallowe'en may not be a traditional Roman holiday, fear not, you can still get your fair share of scare in the Eternal City; finding the places may be a bit of a trick, but the reward will be quite the treat.

But first, what to wear? Studio 13 thoroughly addresses that question. It has you covered for costume, make up and accessories, and is located at Piazza Cavour. Also MAS on Via della Statuto 11, near Termini, has long been a favourite for fancy dress occasions.

To avoid being all dressed up with nowhere to go, plan to drop by some spooky soirees. The pubs are the city’s party place; venues like Scholars Lounge on Via del Plebiscito 101/b, Abbey Theatre on Via del Governo Vecchio 51, Finnegan’s on Via Leonina 66, and the Fiddler's Elbow on Via dell'Olmata 43 are points of interest where one can have more than a pint of fun.

Clubs also throw bashes designed to raise your heartbeat. Get your boogie on the Fashion Bar in Piazza Antonio Meucci 4 for their Halloween Disco Party. Tables are also available for reservation, tel. 393/1818498. The Orion, Micca and Circolo degli Artisti are all holding Hallowe'en events too.

If it’s an all night affair you seek, indulge in dinner and dance at 33 Testaccio, while other venues hosting Hallowe'en events are the Old Station pub in Piazza S. Maria Maggiore, Jet Set in Piazza Umberto Elia Terracina, Club Shari Vari at Via di Torre Argentina 78, and Kirby’s Pub at Via Casilina 1800.

Looking for something for the kids? Zoohalloween returns this year with ghoulish games, challenges and workshops during Hallowe'en weekend. Those nine to 12-years-old can sign up for “Museum of Fear” and embark on a torchlight adventure around the dark parts of the Museum of Zoology. The Irish Club of Rome is holding a Children's Halloween Party on 31 October from 18.30-20.00 at the Druid's Den, Via di S. Martino ai Monti, while the next day the club is organising a Post-Halloween Breakfast/Brunch at the Old Marconi, Via S. Prassede 9/c (just off Piazza S. Maria Maggiore), at 12.30.

As an ancient city, Rome has some authentically scary sites to check out. For a bone-chilling excursion visit Via Veneto's Capuchin crypt, constructed from the bones of 4,000 monks. The catacombs on Via Appia Antica, the Jewish catacombs on Via Torlonia, and the Vatican Necropolis, where St Peter and other popes are buried, are all outings to die for.

Say your prayers before going to the Museum of Purgatory in Sacra Cuore Suffragio near Castel S. Angelo where artefacts thought to be touched by tormented souls reside. Gape at the open-mouthed door of the Monster House on Via Gregoriana near the Spanish Steps, and if you are a maniac for monsters, take a day trip to Bomarzo, near Viterbo, and stroll through the scary statues of the town's Monster Park.

Sarah Barchus

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