Discover Things to Do in Rome in 2017April 6, 2017 10:00 am
The Italian capital has a busy events calendar, here are some of the best things to do in Rome in 2017!
From sporting events and annual cultural festivals to street performances and more, Rome is a fun-filled capital that never seems to stop buzzing! Check out some of the best things to do in Rome this year, with our comprehensive guide to the city’s favourite events! If you happen to be in town during these events, be sure to mark your calendar because you won’t want to miss them!
As one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the Rome Marathon attracts runners and spectators from all over the world. With a 42 kilometer run for serious runners and a 5km Roma Fun Run for casual joggers, there’s also a number of fun activities happening at the Marathon Villages. Runners will race past iconic landmarks like the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and St Peter’s Basilica and be able to squeeze in some sightseeing while achieving their personal best times.
Dates: 2 April
Natalie di Roma
Happy birthday to Rome! This vibrant celebration honours the founding of Rome in 753 BC, which is said to have been the work of the twins Romulus and Remus for which the capital is named. All day, re-enactments of their story, fireworks and parades brighten up the streets (especially around Campidoglio) and fills the city with a festive atmosphere.
Dates: 21 April
Held in the Trastevere neighbourhood, this holiday celebrates the discovery of a Madonna statue during a storm by fishermen. The cedarwood statue was then donated to the church St Agata and during the Festa de’Noantri, it is taken and carried to the larger St Tiber church in a beautiful religious procession. After eight days, it is returned to St Agata by boat. As with any great Roman festival, music, dancing and theatrical performances characterise the neighbourhood’s joyful transformation.
Dates: 18 July
Papa Audiences at St Peter’s Basilica
See the Pope at some of the Vatican City’s public masses and audiences, held famously at St Peter’s Basilica where the papal throne is housed. The Pope regularly conducts the Angelus prayer from his window in the basilica and anybody can watch him speak from the square, however it is worth arriving early to save a good spot. For traditional masses, visitors will have to secure tickets to enter the basilica which are all free of charge. When you’ve finished, spend some time exploring the basilica and its historical tombs – it’s one of the best things to do in the Vatican City.
Dates: See the full 2017 papal calendar here.
Settimanta Santa and Pasqua at the Vatican City and Colosseum
Easter is a hallowed time for the Vatican, with numerous services and celebrations held all week long. One of the most important Catholic traditions is Good Friday’s Via Crucis – the Stations of the Cross – which is a procession that re-enacts Jesus Christ’s struggle to carry his crucifix to his place of death. The procession begins early in the morning at the Colosseum where a prayer is recited, then winds through Vatican city to thirteen additional stations such as St Peter’s Basilica before finishing with a public mass at the Colosseum. Make sure to return to the Colosseum on a quieter day to wander its crumbling tiers and learn about its gladiatorial past through its fascinating exhibition.
Festival della Letterature
The Roman Forum is a must-visit for any Rome traveller with stunning relics dating back to ancient times held within its halls. Aside from celebrating Rome’s ancient culture, it also honours the best that Rome’s modern literary scene has to offer at the Festival della Literature. This popular cultural festival is held annually at the atmospheric Basilica of Maxentius over a number of days, featuring readings by internationally renowned writers such as Zadie Smith, William Finnegan and more. It works a little differently than other literature events – a theme for the festival is announced and then writers create something that pertains to that theme, which are then read aloud.
Dates: To be announced, usually May/June
While this isn’t an event per se, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums’ stunning artistic collection are the pinnacle of Roman culture and not to be missed. Open all year round, the Sistine Chapel is most notably famed for Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment which arcs across its ceiling and the Vatican Museums for Botticelli’s frescoes. Visitors are required to book tickets in advance.
Dates: Open year round
A ten-week open-air bonanza that makes summer the pinkest season of the year: bars, restaurants, live acts, discos, cinema – a great place for boys and girls alike. Venue and contact details change from year to year, but the website reveals all as the date approaches.
Where: venue changes from year to year
Dates: late June-early Sept 7pm-3am daily
Festa de Noantri
Though few traces of Trastevere’s working-class roots remain today, the area’s residents celebrate its humble origins with gusto during the Festa de’ Noantri. Festivities kick off with a procession held in honour of the Madonna del Carmine, to whom the whole shebang is theoretically dedicated. Two weeks of arts events and street performances follow, and fireworks round off the closing night.
Where: Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere/piazza Mastai
Dates mid-end July