In fact, you could almost say that the whole month of August in Rome and the rest of Italy revolves around this one day. And in a way it's true.
But aside from being thought of as the month Italians take their vacations, there's actually a lot to do in Rome in August, like concerts, night visits, and the Summerfest along the Tiber.
Find out all the things to see and do in Rome in August.
August can be a great month to visit Rome. Yes, it is hot in August but it also tends to be a quiet month, since so many Italians leave the city. And despite a few restaurants and shops closing, there is still a lot to see and do.
Keep reading for more info about the best Rome events in August 2021:
There is one holiday in August, and only one, that counts - Ferragosto, August 15, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
It used to be that the entire country of Italy would almost completely shut down for the whole month of August, but these days, you'll really only find things closed on August 15.
And most sites are open on August 15, with the exception of the Vatican Museums.
There are several Rome events in August at various museums around the city. These are confirmed for 2021:
Raphael and the Domus Aurea - the invention of the Grotesque.
Through 31 December, 2021.
Monday - Thursday, accompanied site visit. 12€ adult.
Friday - Sunday, guided visit including the workspace. 18€ adult.
Free for anyone under 6, and anyone disabled and their care-giver, with written medical proof.
EXTENDED! - Capitoline Museums
The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces.
Visit this stunning exhibit of one of the most important private collections of ancient sculptures.
Through 9 January, 2022 the exhibition I marmi Torlonia, Collecting masterpieces is open in the new exhibition space of the Capitoline Museums, in Villa Caffarelli.
Colors of the Romans. Mosaics from the Capitoline Collections.
Through 15 September 2021.
Open Tuesday - Sunday 9 am - 7 pm. Closed Mondays.
16€ regular priced tickets.
Tempo Barocco - visit the newest 8 rooms in this stunning, usually empty museum, with a focus on the Baroque, including masterpieces by Bernini, Guido Reni, Domenichino, and many others.
Through 3 October, 2021.
Open Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 6 pm. Closed Mondays.
10€ standard. 2€ reduced (Europeans 18 - 25). Free for anyone under 18.
Napoleon and the Myth of Rome
Through 7 November, 2021.
Coinciding with the 200th year of Napoleon Bonaparte's death, this wonderful exhibit showcases the emperor's relationship with Rome and the ancient Romans.
If you're looking for some fun Rome events in August that are free, there are very few so far confirmed for 2021.
The below are either confirmed or pending for 2021.
Please check back as I will be monitoring all these and other possible events:
One of the best Rome events in August is the Roma estate Lungotevere.
From early June through the end of August, enjoy the annual outdoor festival, Roma Estate Lungotevere, along the banks of the Tiber River.
Entry is free, but you can also eat, drink, listen to music, watch movies and shop. Prices vary. On both sides of the Tiber, between Ponte Garibaldi and Ponte Sublicio (entries near Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere.) Click the photo to the left for a full program including cinema showings.
August is a beautiful time to visit a park or garden in Rome (and cool down!)
Do you want to see Pope Francis in Rome in August? You may be in luck! In recent history, popes have spent their summers outside of Rome, in the Papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. However, Pope Francis has yet to take a summer holiday there.
Since August 2015 Pope Francis has held audiences throughout August in the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican.
No tickets are necessary to attend the Papal audience during the month of August. The same plan is in place for 2021 (not yet confirmed).
And on August 15, a major Catholic holiday, you may attend the Angelus in St. Peter's Square for free. It begins at noon.
Click here to read more about seeing the Pope in Rome.
In recent years, we've enjoyed the "Free Sunday," in which state sites and museums were free the first Sunday of the month, and the Vatican Museums were free the last Sunday of the month.
In August 2021, we will not have any free dates, but hopefully this will return by August 2022.
In August 2021, there are no free dates to visit the Vatican.
On the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are open and free. Hours are reduced (9:30am - 2pm, with last entry at 12:30pm). Expect long lines. If you are on a budget , or have limited time, this can be a great opportunity. You cannot buy tickets in advance for the Free Sunday, but you can book a tour of the museums through the Vatican . If you don't want to book this tour, just come early. By early I mean by 8am. But otherwise I recommend you book your visit ahead of time and pay to go another day.
The below nighttime Rome events in August are mostly outdoor things to do in Rome (except for visiting the Vatican Museums on Fridays.)
They are not free and should be booked in advance.
The Vatican Museums are open Friday and Saturday until 10:30 pm (Mon - Thu until 6:30 pm). Last entry 2 hrs prior to closing time.
The ticket is a regular ticket and must be booked in advance.
This is a fantastic visit inside the Imperial Forums, and one of my favorite Rome events in August. You'll have a short guided walk through Trajan's Forum and the Forum of Julius Ceasar. It's all lit up and there are some effects to bring the space to life.
It's a truly fantastic immersive visit to Ancient Rome.
June 24 - September 26, 2021, every night. Visit are every 20 minutes, spaced from 18:30 - 21:50, and last 1.5 hours. Max 9 people per visit.
4€ adults, free for MIC card holders.
Visit the Colosseum at night.
From now through October 31, 2021, you can visit the Colosseum at night. I'd say this is one of the very best Rome events in August as you get to see the Colosseum lit up at night, and it's much less crowded than during the day.
Entry for night visits to the Colosseum is NOT part of the Roma Pass.
NB - They don't usually open this on Coopculture until right before the event so if you don't see availability for when you want to go, check back.
When in Rome . . . why not attend a gladiator battle? This fantastic show is produced by the Gruppo Storico Romano, with professional re-enactors, and real weapons and armor.
Take your seat in the re-constructed arena, not far from the Colosseum, and enjoy realistic gladiator fights, and other shows including ancient dances, rites of the Vesta, and more.
At the end of the show, you'll be treated to a small aperitif consisting of food and drink made with recipes from Ancient Rome.
Fridays and Sundays. 25€.
From early June through mid September 2021, everyone is welcome to Gay Village, one of Rome's largest LGBT festivals of the year, held in EUR.
Open daily, there will be dance, music, nightclub and other live outdoor events. Sunday - Wednesday, from 6pm. Thursday - Saturday, from 7pm.
Restaurants and cocktail bars are also on-site.
Click the photo on the left for events schedule, directions and tickets.
For more nighttime Rome events in August, start here:
The opera/concerts normally held at Baths of Caracalla will be held in Circus Maximus (see below for schedule and tickets.) The schedule for the baths has been postponed to 2022 and beyond.
The Rome Opera House is OPEN. Some shows are being held at Circus Maximus.
The Rome Auditorium is OPEN.
Summer Jazz at Casa del Jazz
Now through 26 September 2021.
Jazz at the Colosseum
August 12 - September 28, 2021, Rome's famed jazz club, Alexanderplatz, is hosting outdoor jazz overlooking the Colosseum.
To book, phone or send WhatsApp to +39 338 7070737, or send them an email.
Now through 10 September, 2021.
100 free jazz concerts. Open nightly and Sundays for brunch (a first!)
Plenty of food and drink to purchase.
Get your Rome Opera Pass to choose from a number of shows inside a scenic and suggestive setting in central Rome (locations vary).
These wonderful opera singers put on a mini-production of various operas, often in full costume.
Enjoy outdoor concerts at Teatro di Marcello in Rome's Jewish Ghetto.
From 1 July - 30 September 2021.
For more concerts and music Rome events in August, click here to visit Get Your Guide.
August is such a hot month that taking a tour can be a great way to maximize your time and limit your exhaustion.
Most tours are 2-3 hours at most, and go either early morning or late afternoon. A good guide will keep you focused so you enjoy the sites and get back out of the heat.
For tours to take in August, start here:
We have lots of options for places to visit which you can easily reach within 1-2 hours of Rome. For organized day trips, visit Get Your Guide.
August is when many families travel to Rome thanks to school breaks. There are plenty of tours and activities in Rome geared to children of all ages.
If you're looking for some fun activities with kids, start here:
I've listed some of what I think are the most fun and interesting Rome events in August, and most central. For a complete list of Rome events in August, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.
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