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Festivals in Rome

Rome has a long tradition with festivals, and ever since Ancient Rome, there have been a number of celebrations and festivals celebrated. It’s no secret that Romans and Italians in general love a good party and it’s often said that the locals in Rome are perennial fun-seekers. With only ten public holidays in Rome to celebrate the different festivals and feasts, the Romans make sure they do it well. When celebrating in the local way, you’re guaranteed a good time, because there are a lot of local things to do in Rome during these festive days. You’ll get to eat the authentic Roman food to mark the holiday, and of course there’s a lot of dancing, singing and drinking involved as well! Being the most Catholic place in the world, Rome comes to a standstill when there are important religious celebrations such as Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas. Each district of Rome has its own patron saint, so there are also smaller-scale fests being celebrated in and around Rome throughout the year. Although a major hub, Rome has been able to maintain its tradition, especially when it comes to religious events in Rome, so unlike other capital cities of the world there’s less commercialization. Instead of strings upon strings of bright florescent Christmas lights, you’re more likely to see a few tasteful fairy lights and a large nativity scene.

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Top 10 Festivals in Rome, Italy

  • Rome’s birthday on April 21st attracts huge crowds celebrating the founding of Rome in 653 BC. There’s a huge lively gala with music, dancing, fireworks, and plenty of market stalls.
  • Fiesta is in the hot summer months. This is a great laidback festival to attend if you love listening to eclectic Latin inspired music. Be prepared to dance the night away.
  • Luglio Suona Bene in July attracts lovers of all music from pop to jazz and folk to rock. This outdoor music festival goes well into the night and attracts people from all over Italy.
  • The International Horse Show in Rome is a time for horse lovers to congregate, take part in equestrian classes, show off their show-jumping skills and sip on wine at exclusive parties.
  • The Jazz festival at Piazza della Navicella is a favorite summer festival in Rome. Enjoy an evening music festival where you can sit under lit canopies, eat gourmet cuisine and enjoy good wine.
  • May Day on the 1st of the month is celebrated in front of the Laterano’s Basilica. It’s a free popular event, which attracts big-name Italian performers.
  • Pentecost on Whitsunday is a huge Catholic celebration. There are parades, shared open music concerts and the Pantheon’s Oculus is rained on with pretty colored rose petals.
  • Easter Week in Rome is huge. There’s a large religious procession on Good Friday, and on Easter Sunday in Rome, there’s the customary blessing from the pope at St. Peter’s balcony.
  • Christmas Eve in Rome and everywhere else in Italy is celebrated in the church for midnight mass. It’s an important mass for every Roman Catholic, but you must buy a ticket for Saint Peter’s.
  • Carnival marks the last time of indulgence in Rome before Lent. Parades, parties, fireworks, and pranks are a common thing and young and old get involved in the fun.

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Top Celebrations in Rome, Italy

  • All major sites in Rome are closed on Christmas Eve. Rome at Christmas is the place to be. There’s no commercialism, and instead the locals flock to Saint Peter’s to hear the Christmas Midnight Mass from the Pope. On Christmas Eve at Saint Peter’s a real-life nativity scene’s unveiled. Every local Roman will drop what they’re doing to attend.
  • All major tourist sites in Rome are closed on May Day, which is Labor Day. The government puts on a free concert that the majority of Romans try to attend. Starting at 2pm, this free concert in Rome goes late into the night, and the huge crowds create a real party atmosphere.
  • Held from mid-May through to mid-July Latin lovers can relish in Europe’s biggest Latino festival at Parco Rosati. Every year the festival attracts a great lineup of famous Latino singers including DJ Chino, Los Van Van, Kimbo Boris, and Gilberto Santa Rosa. Fun and partying is guaranteed! Tickets to different concerts range anywhere between free to €10.