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Things to do in Rome this Summer

July 23, 2015 9:00 am by

Rome is a great place to spend time in the summer – the days are warm, the sun sets late and honestly there’s no better place to be outside when you’re surrounded by breath-taking historic landmarks and ruins. Despite the notion that all locals flee the city in the summer, it’s simply not true as there are so many events and celebrations going on that no one wants to miss!

Traditionally, festivals have always played an important part of Roman life – ever since the ancient Roman times when religious festivals made up a significant part of the Roman calendar. Whether they were public, private or holy days – they were all to be celebrated. Now, it’s much the same and the institution of celebrating has been upheld. Whilst the celebrations and festivities might take a different form these days than 2000 years ago, the excitement and anticipation is just as high!

If you’re visiting Rome in July or September, here are some summer highlights and events over the coming months:

Roma Incontra il Mondo – Villa Ada Festival

June – July 2015 @ Villa Ada, ​Via di Ponte Salario, 28, Roma – Italia

Villa Ada is one of the most picturesque parks in Rome and welcomes hundreds of picnickers over the summer months to take in the landscape. As of mid-June, however, here’s another reason to climb the hill and walk through the sprawling green meadows and lakes. The Villa Ada Festival is back another year and this year it looks to be better than ever. With an impressive line up of musical talents like the international Cocorosie, Angus & Julia Stone and De La Soul, the local festival also champions Italian musicians and pop favourites. If you’re a fan of the whole festival vibe, you can also enjoy longer weekend events such as Roma Bruicia and Rome Folk Fest to keep you going from morning til night!

Festa de Noantri

Wednesday 15th July – Thursday 30th July @ Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

The Festa de Noantri is one of the most humble but religious celebrations in the summer and is really a local festival – so definitely one to see if you’re wanting that authentic Roman experience. Typically held in Trastevere, the festival is supported by the residents of the Trastevere neighbourhood who all get together in a procession and parade the Madonna Fiumarola through the cobbled streets. The tradition comes from the myth whereby a wooden statue of the Virgin was caught in a net by some fishermen, many many years ago. The statue was then considered an object of veneration and ever since has been paraded through the streets. Now, this is also celebrated with free flowing food and wine at street vendors for the duration of the festivities.

Jazz&Image Festival

June – August 2015 @ Villa Celimontana, Via Alessandro Poerio, 112, 00152 Roma, Italy

This leafy park, Villa Celimonata, plays host to the Jazz&Image Festival throughtout the summer. Any jazz lover will adore the line up and will swoon at the variety of classical and modern names taking centre stage between June and August. When the sun sets, you’ll be wrapped up in a soft romantic setting, lit by candles and torches to accentuate the mood of the music. You can expect to see names like Incognito and Stefano Bollani, among many others. It truly is a magical experience if you’re into your musical moody blues!

Estate Romana

June – September @ various locations

Many of Rome’s main summer events are under the umbrella event of Estate Romana. This summer-long event has a packed timetable of films, bands and food festivals spread across the city. If you want to explore the rich events Estate Romana is hosting, head down to the popular piazze, palazzi and parks to catch a glimpse of what’s going on. Most events are free which is handy for those who just want to stop by, just make sure you bring enough small change for the local delicacies and artisanal souvenirs sold at the stalls and stands along the way.

Comophonies – Festival Internazionale di Ostia Antica

June – mid-September @ Teatro Romano-Scavi Archeologici di Ostia Antica, viale dei Romagnoli 717

Slightly outside Rome city centre is Ostia Antica. The stunning archaeological site provides the breath-taking backdrop to Cosmophonies, an international festival of theatre, dance and music. It’s not one to be sniffed at, headlining the Festival in the past have been Sonic Youth, Morrissey and Caetano Veloso. There few other, if any, festivals where you can sit in an ancient amphitheatre under the shadow of pine trees being entertained by live performers on a warm Rome summer night…

Terme di Caracalla 2015

23rs June – 8th August @ Terme di Caracalla, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Roma, Italy

The world-acclaimed Terme di Caracalla Festival is back with an incredible programme to take you through the summer once again for 2015. Held in the stunning and historic ancient public baths, the Terme di Caracalla were built between 212 – 217 AD during the reign of Emperor Caracalla so you’ll can’t beat the location for a true historic Roman experience. It’s definitely one to tick off your bucket list! The iconic arts festival started in the 1930s and has grown in popularity welcoming the likes of Elton John and Bob Dylan this year, among other world-class acts. 2015 also features Madame Butterfly and Pink Floyd Ballet on the packed programme.

As you can see there is plenty to take part in when you’re visiting Rome this summer. Romans love a celebration and festival, whether it be championing international and Italian music greats; feasting on great food and wine; or celebrating the lives of the holy saints they worship. Either way, each summer celebration and festival is a unique experience of true, Roman traditions!

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