24 Popular Festivals In Rome, Italy - Updated 2022

festivals in rome
Aarti
Aarti 
Updated

The capital city and special commune of Italy, Rome is recognized as one of the world’s most ancient and finest cities. Rome’s history spans over 2,000 years and it has been a strong center of culture, politics, and power. Roman emperors from different eras and Caesars have once ruled this beautiful city. And with time, the Roman empire grew and various monuments, sacred places, and palaces have erupted, which now stands as the amazing tourist attractions that visitors love paying a visit to. The city of Rome is known for its festivities, community, and various other celebrations. It hosts many events throughout the year where locals and visitors from around the world get together in one place. If you’re visiting Rome anytime soon, please refer to this list to experience the best of Roman culture, music, and food. Scroll down to know more about popular festivals in Rome, Italy.

1. Carnevale Di Roma

Carnival
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Carnivals in Rome have been popular since the Middle Ages. One of the most quintessential festivals in Rome, Carnevale Di Roma is an eight-day festival that takes place all over the city. It ends before Lent at Martedi Grasso or Mardi Gras. Depending on when Easter falls on the calendar, the celebratory dates change accordingly and usually fall somewhere between February 3rd and March 9th. Some of the major festival highlights are the parades held at Piazza del Popola. The celebration goes through Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona. This parade is accompanied by magicians, vibrant floats, musicians, and more. This festival provides entertainment for children as well.

Carnevale Di Roma

Takes place: Usually held February to March

2. Lungo il Tevere

Airscreen
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Held in June, Lungo il Tevere is an annual Roman summer festival that goes on until September. This festival features fun events such as movies showcased outdoors on Isola Tiberina, special meals served at the bars and restaurants along Tiber River, and many other unique shows held throughout the month within the city. Some of the most unique and interesting events take place near cultural sites such as the Teatro Marcello or Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza church where you get to witness various concerts.

Lungo il Tevere

Address: Lungotevere Ripa, 6, 00153 Roma RM, Italy

Website: Lungo il Tevere

Takes place: June to September

3. Sagra dell'Uva /Festival of the Grape

Wine festival
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Sagra dell'Uva, also known as Marino wine festival or Festival of the Grape is usually held in September or October. This festival is an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country to the Roman hills. This event features music, a procession, and people dressed in period costumes, but the best part about the festival is when the town’s ‘Fountain of the Four Moors’ stomps down on the grapes to get white wine, which is then distributed amongst the entire crowd for free. Visitors can also buy meat, wine, and white bread to keep the fun going.

Sagra dell'Uva /Festival of the Grape

Takes place: October

4. Rock in Roma

Incubus 2012
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Anna Osbat used under CC BY 2.0

Rock in Roma or Romarock Festival (the 2008 edition) is an annual musical event held at Capannelle Racecourse. The event is usually held either in June or July. It is a music festival where several groups from different cultures and musical genres perform for a month. Some of the artists that have played previously in the event are Slash, ZZ Top, Subsonica, Radiohead, Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen, Arctic Monkeys, and many other notable artists.

Rock in Roma

Address: Ippodromo delle Capannelle, Via Appia Nuova, 1245, 00178 Roma RM, Italy

Website: Rock in Roma

Takes place: Usually held June or July

5. Saint Anthony's Day

2013 08 94th St. Anthony's Feast in Boston's North End
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user North End Waterfront used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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Held on January 17th each year, Saint Anthony’s Day is a feast day that celebrates the Patron Saint and Protector of Animals. The festival, which is held at the Church of Sant'Antonio Abate on the Esquiline Hill, features an exhibit where people showcase animals, including cows, sheep, horses, hens, dogs, and more. Along with farmers and animals, this day also celebrates the patron saint of basket weavers, gravediggers, and butchers. According to a legend in Northern Italy at a place called Veneto, on the night of January 17th, animals got the ability to speak; and to this night, each year, people are told to stay away from the stables to avoid listening to the animals talk as they are considered as a bad omen.

Saint Anthony's Day

Takes place: January 17

6. International Literature Festival

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Since its inception in 2002, International Literature Festival brings the world’s most remarkable literary talents to this Roman fare. International Literature Festival has invited over 200 international and Italian authors who have painted a certain picture to the literary scene. Each edition of the event sees a new theme where it inspires the authors to write a specially composed, unpublished work during the event and share it with the visitors. Some of the names that have graced the event previously are Valerio Massimo Manfredi and Roberto Saviano, among many other notable authors.

International Literature Festival

Takes place: July

7. Rome Jazz Festival

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Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pål-Nils Nilsson used under CC BY 3.0

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Although many jazz festivals take place every year in Rome, Rome Jazz Festival is renowned as the biggest musical event in Rome. It attracts some of the best musicians and up-and-coming artists from all over the world. Organized by the International Music Festival Foundation, the event takes place around three weeks in November, with different themes each year. The themes could be social, cultural, and even historical. There is also an exhibition held at the festival.

Rome Jazz Festival

Website: Rome Jazz Festival

Takes place: November

8. Festa dei Noantri

Procession
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Festival for the Rest of Us, for the English-speaking folks, or Festa dei Noantri for the Romans, is a festival that celebrates the Madonna of Mount Carmel. This event is held towards the end of July, which features a long procession where the Virgin Mary’s statue is carried from Sant'Agata in Trastevere through San Crisogono Church. After eight days of the procession, the statue is returned to its original place thought a boat that will float along Tiber River.

Festa dei Noantri

Takes place: July

9. Easter

Easter Mass (5986709703)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Erik Drost used under CC BY 2.0

Spending Easter week in Rome is undoubtedly the best way to celebrate the true essence of the Easter festival. Led by Pope Francis in Vatican City, this Holy Week in Rome is considered one of the busiest times of the year. Many religious events are held throughout the week to mark the death and the resurrection of Jesus. Along with the Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square, events such as Palm Day Procession, Holy Saturday Vigil, and Picnicking for Pasquetta are held during Easter Week.

Easter

Takes place: April

10. Opera at the Baths of Caracalla

Rome - "Aida" at Baths of Caracalla (2919918490)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Roger Wollstadt used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate warm summer nights watching ballet and opera at the Baths of Caracalla while out and about in Rome? The Baths of Caracalla were renowned for being a vibrant social and cultural hub in Ancient Rome. It was the equivalent of a community day spa where the Romans would go to relax, socialize, and bathe. Thousands of years later, the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla have transformed into an open-air stage where thousands of tourists and locals from the country get together to watch mesmerizing performances every summer.

Opera at the Baths of Caracalla

Takes place: July to August

11. Spring Attitude Festival

EDMcrowd
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mani9flores used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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If you’re an electro-head, you cannot even think of missing out on Spring Attitude Festival that takes place in the Italian capital. This annual electronic music festival brings thousands of people together from all over the region to form massive energy in this late-night dance scene. Psychedelic, electronic, and post-rock artists from around the world come together to perform in multiple neighborhoods in the city. Some of the previous years’ line-ups included Altarboy, Andrew Weatherall, Massimo Pericolo, and Rancore, among other artists.

Spring Attitude Festival

Website: Spring Attitude Festival

Takes place: Usually held in October

12. Festival of Green and Landscape

'...Up and down and in the end it is only round and ... '. Wooden ladders, Green and Landscape fair, Rome
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Albarubescens used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Since its inception in 2011, the Festival of Green and Landscape has had over two million visitors from all over the world. This festival acts as the international and national hub in the landscaping world. The event helps visitors experience, learn, and discover the landscape at 360 degrees; thanks to the friendly and mutual exchange between the visitors and the professionals. The Festival of Green and Landscape is considered as one of the fundamental elements of Rome that help in the development of the city and the community.

Festival of Green and Landscape

Takes place: May

13. Taste of Roma

Food festival
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Exploring Rome around September? Make sure to head to this fun festival called Taste of Roma. This festival is what it sounds like: a food festival! It is also a great way to satiate your bellies and taste buds. Eat to your heart’s content and make your way through this festival by tasting or sampling the best of Rome’s cuisines prepared by up-and-coming food personalities and the top chefs from the capital city. Visitors can take part in wine-tasting, gourmet courses, and more. This is also a great opportunity for you to meet other foodies.

Taste of Roma

Website: Taste of Roma

Takes place: September

14. Ides of March

Rome togas
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In Rome, the Ides of March, otherwise known as March 15, marks the anniversary of the death of Julius Caesar. He was one of the most distinguished dictators of Rome who got murdered during a meeting in 44 BC by the senators that represented him. The murder took place at an archeological site called Largo di Torre Argentina. Each year, during the event, thousands of visitors come to see many artists dress up in Roman togas and participate in several animated discussions. Other celebrations include a Roman-themed feast with wine, cheese, and grapes.

Ides of March

Takes place: March 15

15. International Rome Film Festival

Lazar Ristovski at the Prague Independent Film Festival (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Elena Ringo used under CC BY-SA 4.0

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Held in October, International Rome Film Festival, also known as Festa del Cinema di Roma for the Italian folks, is a festival that promotes international films to raise awareness in the field of entertainment and art within an industry. There’s massive media coverage, along with having world-famous artists, in the event. Also, you’ll get to see a selection of feature films, films from a different genre, world premiers, and new trends from Italian cinema.

Rome Film Festival

Website: International Rome Film Festival

Takes place: October

16. Christmas in Rome

The Colosseum during Christmas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jakob Montrasio-Fan used under CC BY 2.0

‘Tis the season to be jolly… in Rome! Spending a magical Christmas in Rome is the best way to celebrate the holiday season. Christmas in Rome starts as early as the first week of December and sees a variety of Christmas markets selling treats, food, crafts, and more. It also features an ice-skating rink, concert halls, theaters, and several bars and restaurants. No Christmas would be complete without the statue of baby Jesus. Head to Sala del Bramante near Piazza del Popolo, where nativity scenes are placed from around the globe.

Christmas in Rome

Takes place: December

17. Città della Pizza / City of Pizza

Pizza
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The event, Citta della Pizza, or City of Pizza for the English-speaking folks, is a three-day event dedicated to the iconic food of Italy that’s also a part of its culinary tradition - pizza. It is organized by Vinoforum Factory and it takes place in Rome. Città della Pizza features meetings that talk about the evolution of pizza and offers multiple workshops and other programs that talk about the new trends. Visitors can learn all the secrets related to pizza such as cooking, dough-making, seasoning, ingredients, and more. Additionally, they can also choose whether to opt for the traditional pizza or a creative pizza, which is accompanied by organic wines and Italian craft beers.

Città della Pizza/ City of Pizza

Takes place: April

18. Epiphany

Rome's Birthday Parade 2012 - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Art Anderson used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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According to the Catholic tradition, Epiphany is the day the three wise men finally reached the baby Jesus to give him worship and presents of gold, myrrh, and frankincense. To this day, this Italian festival is celebrated for the children. In Italian folklore, it is celebrated with La Befana, an old lady who arrives on a broomstick to put candy in children’s stockings and shoes. The streets of Rome and other parts of Italy are filled with street fairs and parades. In Venice, boat races are held where the racers participating will be dressed up as La Befana.

Epiphany

Take place: January 6

19. Fiesta in Rome

Salsa dancing, Cambridge, July 2010
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Every April since 1995, a summer event is held in Rome. This festival is known to celebrate Latin dances. It is where people of all ages who share a love for Latin dance come together to perform and show off their passion with some Latin footwork. If you’d like to get into the groove or if you love Latin dances such as bachata, salsa, or reggaeton, you shouldn’t miss out on this festival.

Fiesta in Rome

Takes place: July

20. Rome Summer Fest [Previously known as Luglio Suona Bene] [Last event in 2019]

Mika-5
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ren Hekkonens used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Held in June, Luglio Suona Bene is a musical event that takes place in the stunning Auditorium Parco della Musica, which is one of the most scenic outdoor spaces in Europe. This multiple-day event sees an array of musical styles, including jazz, rock, electronic, and more. Visitors will see Italian music artists such as Francesco De Gregori, who set the stage on fire in 2016, and other renowned international stars. Some of the artists that have performed in the event during the previous editions include Sting, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Mika, among others.

Luglio Suona Bene

Takes place: July

21. The International Horse Show in Rome

Horse show
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The International Horse Show held at Piazza di Siena is a four-day event that is acknowledged for being one of the most beautiful horse shows worldwide. This event features horse riders from around the world participating in polo matches, show-jumping, and traditional riding displays. Along with these activities is a gala dinner that shows a fine example of what elegance and style look like among top-class festivities. The name Piazza di Siena, where the event is held, originated from the city where one of the most ancient and noble families lived in Rome - the Borghese.

The International Horse Show in Rome

Takes place: May

22. Pentecost or Whitsunday

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Celebrated on the 50th day after Easter Sunday, Pentecost or Whitsunday is a major festival in Christianity. This Christian holiday marks the descent of the Holy Ghost of the Apostles and the followers of Jesus Christ who followed his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. This holiday has other names, too - Whitsun, Whitsunday, and White Sunday in the UK, where the following day, Monday, is also a public holiday. People of Rome gather outdoors to play sports and set up picnics. It is also celebrated by getting together with friends and family by eating delicious food and drinking wine; most families even hold baptisms and christenings on Pentecost or Whitsunday.

Pentecost or Whitsunday

Takes place: May

23. Feast of Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Puenteareas 2017 - 35005966530
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Contando Estrelas used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Although the Feast of Corpus Christi is not a public holiday in Rome, churches hold special services and processions on the days this festival is held. It usually takes place either in May or June. The local people of Rome decorate the streets leading to the church with flowers before the procession takes place. The highlight of the festival is when Pope Francis celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi in the Roman neighborhoods.

Feast of Corpus Christi

Takes place: June

24. Feast of the Madonna Della Neve

Celebration
Source: Pxhere

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The Feast of the Madonna Della Neve, also known as Our Lady of the Snow, commemorates the legend of the miraculous snow falling in Rome in August during the 4th century. Snow doesn’t usually fall in the summer, which is why this moment was considered to be unique and something to be celebrated. This event displays a re-enactment of the whole story that is carried out with a light show, artificial snow, and special sound effects.

Feast of the Madonna Della Neve

Takes place: August 5th

Rome's year-round festivities

Between exploring legends, mythology, buildings, and food traditions, why not take time to make use of Rome’s year-round festivities? No matter when you pay a visit to this Italian capital city, you’ll be able to experience live music, vibrant cultural dances, an electrifying atmosphere, and not to forget - the delicious food of Italy. Rest assured, when you take a trip back home, you’ll feel re-energized and filled with unforgettable memories that will inspire you to return to Rome again to be a part of the celebrations.

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Born in Mumbai and brought up in Bangalore, India, Aarti is a full-time freelance writer by profession. She is a lover of everything the ‘blue dot’ offers—world cultures, off-the-beaten tracks,...Read more

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