As New Year’s Eve approaches, Wanted in Rome highlights a selection of events taking place on the Festa di S. Silvestro, as it is known in Italy, as well as some traditions associated with new year.
The third edition of the marathon “We Run Rome” takes place on 31 December at 14.30. The 10-km course through the historic centre starts and finishes at the Baths of Caracalla.
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.
The other well-known but almost-extinct tradition (in southern Italy at least) associated with capodanno involved people throwing old objects out the window, symbolising their readiness to welcome in the new year.
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 there are many parties taking place in Rome’s clubs: Circolo degli Artisti, Palazzo dei Congressi, Escopazzo, Art Cafe Roma, La Cabala, White, Piper, 45 Giri, and Spazio 900.
Other events include a performance by Emmanuel Djob for the Roma Gospel Festival at the Auditorium, and Italian comedians Lillo e Greg at Teatro Olimpico, while there are plenty of parties at the city’s expat pubs such as the Abbey Theatre, Scholar’s Lounge and the Fiddler’s Elbow.
This year the city holds a free concert at Circo Massimo, beginning at 21.30. The event will be dedicated to women and will feature Roman bands and DJ sets. There will also be a giant fireworks display on Via dei Fori Imperiali which this year is completely pedestrianised from 25 December until 6 January.
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.