I am a couple of days late writing about the best May 2018 Events in Rome because May is already that busy. There is so much happening in Rome that it can be hard to know where to start. SO, I have narrowed down the events to select some of the coolest openings, fun street food festivals and cultural events of the month.
Whether to want to eat, gaze at art or sip some vino Italiano – here is everything to do in Rome this month.
May 2018 Events in Rome
Every weekend until 12 May: Outdoor Festival is still taking place at the Mattatoio in Testaccio. The theme is urban culture and each day there are various events and installations dedicated to art, music, and television. More on the festival here.
2-6 May: The Nordic Film Festival returns to Rome, with screenings of contemporary films from Nordic countries at Casa del Cinema.
3-6 May: Craving street food? There is a festival dello street food taking place in Garbatella from noon until midnight every day in Piazza di Santa Eurosia. In addition to food trucks with all their goodies available for purchase, there will also be live entertainment for kids and adults.
3-8 May: The Spanish Film Festival (Festival del Cine Español) is taking place in Rome this week. Come see the best of new Spanish films at the Cinema Farnese on Campo de’ Fiori. A full schedule is here.
4 May: Villa Medici – the French Academy of Rome – is hosting a discussion about the freedom of expression, followed by dinner. The event begins at 7 pm.
6 May: The first Sunday of the month always means free openings at the state museums and major attractions such as the Colosseum. Check out Domenica al Museo for a full list of openings.
7-20 May: Tennis lovers? You will want to get your tickets to the Internazionale BNL d’Italia tournament.
12 May: Testaccio Market is hosting its next open day. The market normally closes around 2 pm, but on Saturday it will be open until midnight – with live music and lots of food and drinks. I recommend going around 7 pm or a bit later. Here is more on what it is like.
12-13 May: Open House Roma returns for its 7th edition. The initiative was started by a group of architects who wanted to explore some of Rome’s more interesting but private spaces. Here you have the chance to visit buildings usually off limits to the public. A full program and list of spaces is here.
17-20 May: Race for the Cure is in Rome with various events and a lot of walking planned around Circo Massimo.
19 May: If the open houses and free museums earlier in the month were not enough, you can also take advantage of Notte dei Musei, when cultural heritage sites and museums will be open from 8 pm to 2 am with a €1 entrance fee.
20 May: Tiffany Parks will be presenting her Rome-inspired book Midnight in the Piazza at 4 pm at the Otherwise Bookshop. You can learn more about the event and RSVP to the book launch here.
20 May: It is Pentecost Sunday which means your one and only chance every year to see it rain rose petals at the Pantheon. It is best to go early to make sure you get in! It will be crowded but it is such a unique chance to sethe petals tossed down from the occulus.
26-27 May: Cortili Aperti (open courtyards) offers the rare chance to visit 27 of Rome’s most beautiful private palaces.
May 2018 Exhibits in Rome:
Turner: The top of my must-see list for art this month is the Turner exhibit currently on show at Chiostro del Bramante. This is the first Turner show in Rome, with more than 90 artworks from the Tate in London. You can find pieces ranging from studies, to sketches and oil paintings, currently on display through 26 August 2018.
Monet: Monet’s beautiful impressionist paintings can be seen through 3 June. There are 60 pieces from Paris’ Musée Marmottan Monet now on show at the Vittoriano.
Citazioni pratiche: Fornasetti a Palazzo Altemps: There are only a few May days left to see the exhibit of over 800 items from the Fornsetti design archives is currently on display at the already lovely Palazzo Altemps. It ends on May 6, 2018.
Magnum Manifesto: The Ara Pacis is hosting a photography exhibit highlighting the most historically poignant photos from 70 years of Magnum photojournalism archives. The exhibit will run through June 3rd.
Canaletto: From April 11 – August 19 Palazzo Braschi will host a retrospective of Venetian artist Canaletto. The exhibit will include 68 works by Canaletto to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his death.