Wondering what is happening in February in Rome? The truth is that this is one of the quietest periods to be in the city if you are a visitor. After the peak around Christmas and through early January, things settle into a predictably slow winter pattern. Even though the crowds are gone, there are still plenty of February 2020 events in Rome to keep you busy.
February is the peak time for carnevale, so be sure to try the seasonal sweets like frappe and castagnole while dodging sugar-hyped kids in costumes. This is also your last chance to take advantage of winter sales or saldi.
Some of the world-class exhibits currently in Rome are also coming to a close – which should be enough to tempt you out of the house even on these short, gray days.
February 2020 Events in Rome
2 February: First free Sunday is officially back. You can get into sites like the Colosseum and Capitoline Museums for free today. Expect lines, but they might be manageable considering this is low season in the city.
3 February: Former UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and poet Ella Duffy will have a reading at St. Stephen’s School at 7 pm. Admission is free but you must register here and bring ID.
3 February: Unfortunately, there is a 24-hour transport strike in Rome which will impact buses, the metro, and local trains. Here’s what strikes mean in Italy.
7 February: Today is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day! Now, fettuccine alfredo is NOT a national dish in Italy. However, Alfredo alla Scrofa, the restaurant which claims to have invented the original (cream-free) version is located in Rome. They are having a fundraiser for charity but you can go any day to sample their cheesy fettuccine.
8-9 February: Formaticum, an event dedicated to rare Italian cheeses, returns to Rome this weekend. Bored with Parmigiano Reggiano and mozzarella? This is the place for real cheese heads to be.
14 February: February 14th is San Valentino in Rome, as well! Be sure to book a romantic restaurant and enjoy the day with your sweetie. For something a bit different, you can also make a pilgrimage to see the skull of St. Valentine, which is located in the same church as the Mouth of Truth.
15 February: Tonight you can catch Liam Gallagher in concert at Palazzo dello Sport in EUR.
22 February: Italy plays Scotland in Rome today as part of the Six Nations Rugby tournament. Expect to see a few kilts around the city.
25 February: Today is the official celebration of carnevale in Rome. Be sure to check the Roma website for information on events (as there is often something held at Piazza del Popolo but it was not confirmed at the time of writing this post).
26 February: Today is Ash Wednesday, a religious holiday and the start of Lent in the Catholic Church. Events will be held at St. Peter’s.
Exhibitions in Rome February 2020
Bacon, Freud, and the School of London: There are only a couple of weeks left to see the highly anticipated exhibit of works by artists Francia Bacon and Lucian Freud. The paintings from London are only on display at Chiostro del Bramante through 23 February 2020.
Villa Medici: The French Academy in Rome is collaborating with the Louvre on a show known as A Modern Antiquity through 1 March 2020.
Impressonisti Segreti: This exhibit of 50 impressionist paintings from private collections that are rarely seen in public is one of the best shows that I have seen in Rome in a long time. It is also a wonderful chance to see The palazzo is right on Piazza Venezia and the show runs through 8 March 2020. The paintings are all displayed in the former apartments, so the pricey show (€15 a ticket) is worth it to experience to the grandeur of the palace in addition to the rare artwork currently on its walls.
Palazzo Rhinoceros: Head to the Alda Fendi Esperimenti art space to see a masterpiece by El Greco on loan from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The painting can be seen for free through March 15, 2020.
Note: This post will be updated as more information on February 2020 Events in Rome are released.