Festivals in Rome are not just about religious events, although those are celebrated with a great deal of fervour here. Because of the presence of Vatican City, festivals such as Easter, Good Friday and Christmas usually sees hordes of pilgrims coming into the city. In the ancient times, Romans were quite particular about celebrating festivals and apparently a whopping 150 days were demarcated just for Roman festivals. Although that has certainly toned down now, Romans are still eager to celebrate not just religion but also the arts and other cultural festivals.
If you’re in the city during any of these festivals, you’ll see a different side to Rome. There are rock concerts, film festivals, concerts and some of the city-sponsored events are free, and they take place outdoors. Some of them are along the banks of the Tiber and others are held in piazzas around the city. Here’s a list of some of the Rome events that you must not miss.
The festival of St. Joseph is also known as Father’s Day in Italy. Although no longer a public holiday, there are still several activities held near basilica di San Giuseppe al Trionfale, which is towards the north of the Vatican.
Rome celebrates International Women’s Day beautifully by offering free entry to women in several state-run museums and other attractions.
The Holy Week is taken very seriously in Rome. There are services and the pope’s open-air mass in St. Peter’s Square is well-attended. There are hordes of people in the Stations of the Cross and Mass at the Colosseum on the evening of Good Friday. On Easter Monday, there are loads of festivities where Romans get together and enjoy lavish food.
It might be peak summer, but for one week in April or May, entry into state-owned museums and monuments is free for the public.
On 21 April every year, Rome celebrates its National Day. Technically founded in 753 BC, Rome celebrates this day by bringing festivities around the ancient sites that continue to bring it fame. There are historical re-enactments and fireworks as well.
SOTC brings several offers and deals if you want to visit Rome during the many festivals it celebrates. Do remember to check the website for Rome Holiday Packages before booking your tickets.