Outdoor Summer Events You Must See in Rome

Summer in Rome brings with it plenty of sunny days and warm nights. In other words, exactly the kind of weather needed for outdoor events. Add in incomparable archeological sites and sprawling parks, and you have the perfect setting for summer events in Rome.

While some events skew to favor a younger, party-hungry crowd, many of the summer events in Rome are seriously cultural. Where else do you find a major city’s opera moving outdoors, at the same time that entire neighborhoods come together to watch a movie under the stars? There is truly something for everyone if you know where to look!

Best Summer Events in Rome:

Opera at the Terme di Caracalla: I appreciate the Opera, but I am not the kind of super fan who goes regularly. However, it is hard to say no to the summer setting of the Rome Opera. During the warmest months of the year, the opera sets up a stage among the ruins of Terme di Caracalla. The archaeological site is already impressive, and seeing it as a backdrop to a world-class performance is even more stunning. Here is the full schedule in English, the trick is to look for events marked ‘Caracalla.’

Concerts at Teatro Marcello: I have written about how Teatro Marcello is one of my favorite smaller monuments in Rome because it is free to visit and such an interesting example of how the history of the city has slowly woven itself together over the centuries. Many of the summer concerts feature classical piano music. A full list (updated seasonally) is available here. Make sure that the concert specifies it will take place in “Parco Archeologico del Teatro Marcello” in order to sure it is outside.

Movies in the Piazza: The local Trastevere highlight in June and July, Piazza is at San Cosimato – where the square is transformed into an open-air cinema in the heart of Rome neighborhood. The San Cosimato market still takes place during the day, but the projector is what comes to life after dark. You will have to be there early if you want to snag a free seat, but many people also bring their own chairs or blankets to set up along the edge of the piazza. A full schedule is available here.

Roma Incontra Il Mondo: A series of cultural and musical events take over Rome’s second largest park every summer. Set next to the laghetto in Villa Ada, Roma Incontra Il Mondo always has an interesting lineup of contemporary theater and concerts on an outdoor stage seven days a week, throughout July and running into early August. A full program is available here.

Estate Romana: From mid-June to the first days of August, the banks of the Tiber river become host to pop-up shops, bars, and restaurants. Though hardly glamours, Rome’s river bars have a decidedly novel appeal. The best are usually located on Tiber Island, where an outdoor cinema screens movies after dark.

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Globe Theater: Want to up the culture factor? Well, did you know that Rome has its very own replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater? Located in Villa Borghese, the open-roof theater shows the Bard’s plays throughout the summer. Most are in Italian, but there is always at least one play performed in the original language. A schedule is available on their website.

Other venues to keep an eye on throughout the summer include the Ex-Dogana (which regularly hosts art and music events). And…? (Sadly, the Ex-Dogana closed in 2019). Do you have other suggestions for summer events in Rome?

Photo credits: Opera di Rome; Festival: Trastevere Rione del Cinema

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