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Rome's Top 10 : Cultural Festivals - Top 10 Religious Festivals

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  1. RomaEuropa Festival

    A fast-growing performing arts festival with a pronounced emphasis on the provocative, held every autumn in various superlative venues, including the French Academy, Palazzo Farnese and the Spanish Academy. All kinds of music, dance and theatre, including several international artists.

    • end-Sep–early-Dec

  2. Testaccio Village

    This well-run multi-event happens all summer long in a purpose-built area near an old slaughterhouse. Every evening there’s live music until midnight, followed by several discos, each featuring a different type of music, and lots of food choices. There’s a new decor theme every year, often quite elaborate.

    • Via Monte Testaccio 16

    • 06 5730 1420

    • Jun–Sep 8:30pm–3am nightly

  3. Festa dell’Unità

    Put on by the DS, the former Communist Party, this is a lively evening event, featuring music, films, dancing, games and more. The venue changes every year, as do the dates, but it’s usually held in a central park, sometime around July, for about a month.

  4. Rome’s Birthday

    Every 21 April there’s a gala civic observance in the Piazza del Campidoglio, celebrating Rome’s traditional founding in 753 BC . Music, fireworks and a speech by the mayor mark the event, but the best news is that the Musei Capitolini  are free of charge and open until 10pm.

  5. Summer Opera Festivals

    Not only does the Rome Opera Company offer its usual summer programme in the Baths of Caracalla , but there are also a number of other opera programmes all over the city, with singers from around the globe.

  6. ¡Fiesta!

    Celebrating all forms of Latin music, this festival takes place every night throughout the summer. In recent years, world, jazz, rock and pop music have been added to the schedule. The event is held in the vast grounds of a converted racetrack.

    • Ippodromo delle Capannelle, Via Appia Nuova 1245

    • Metro Colli Albani then bus

    • 06 718 2139

    • mid-Jun–mid-Aug

  7. Luglio Suona Bene

    This “July Sounds Good” concert brings pop, jazz and folk music artists to Auditorium Parco della Musica’s outdoor arena.

  8. International Horse Show

    Villa Borghese’s annual splash-out for the equestrian classes. International show-jumping in a garden setting. Much of the park is closed off for the event and parties.

    • Piazza di Siena, Villa Borghese

    • last week May

  9. Villa Celimontana Jazz

    A magnificent setting among dramatically lit umbrella pines, where you can enjoy gourmet cuisine and jazz every night all summer long.

  10. May Day Concert

    Held in front of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano , this is a vast, free event, boasting a line-up of top Italian popstars and the occasional international luminary. It’s in celebration of socialist Italy’s “Day of the Worker”, when just about everything shuts down.

    • Piazza S Giovanni

    • 1 May

Top 10 Religious Festivals

  1. Pentecost

    Rose petals shower down through the Pantheon’s oculus , followed by pageantry.

    • Whitsunday

  2. Christmas Market

    Sugar candy, nativity figurines and all the Christmas trimmings.

    • Piazza Navona

    • 1 Dec–6 Jan

  3. White Night Festival

    Museums, monuments and churches open through the night hosting a variety of cultural events.

    • Sep

  4. Easter Week

    Events include the Good Friday Procession of the Cross at the Colosseum and the Easter Sunday blessing from the balcony of St Peter’s.

  5. Madonna della Neve

    Commemorating a papal vision of an August snowfall in the 4th century, white petals float down from the ceiling of S Maria Maggiore.

    • 5 Aug

  6. Christmas Eve Midnight Mass

    Most churches celebrate the Saviour’s birth, but tickets are required for St Peter’s.

  7. “Urbi et Orbi”

    The noontime Christmas Day blessing by the pope from St Peter’s balcony.

  8. Carnival

    Dressing up, parties and pranks.

    • Late Jan–Feb

  9. All Saints’ Day

    Romans visit the graves of loved ones.

    • 1 Nov

  10. Feast of Sts Peter and Paul

    Fireworks and partying to celebrate the founders of the Catholic Church.

    • Piazza S Paolo and Via Ostiense

    • 28–29 Jun

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