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 2022:
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 2022:
Cursus Honorum. The government of Rome before Caesar
Four male and one female voice perform the republican period and reveal the nature of the political activities of the ancient Roman Republic.
Through October 2, 2022
Caesar's heritage and the conquest of time
The Fasti Capitolini, extraordinary calendars engraved in marble, narrate the history of Rome from its origins to the dawn of the imperial age thanks to multimedia.
Through October 2, 2022
Domitian Emperor. Hatred and love
An important archaeological exhibition dedicated to the figure of the emperor Domitian (51 AD - 96 AD), co-produced by the Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Heritage and the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden of the Dutch city of Leiden.
from 13 July 2022 to 29 January 2023
CRAZY: Madness in Contemporary Art
Through 8 January 2023.
Chiostro del Bramante is just behind Piazza Navona.
Monday to Friday 10 am - 8 pm
Saturday and Sundays 10 am - 9 pm
The box office and show entrance close one hour before.
15€ Weekdays. 18€ Saturdays and Sundays.
Disney. L’arte di raccontare storie senza tempo
April 15 - September 25, 2022
Open Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 6 pm. Closed Mondays.
10€ standard. 2€ reduced (Europeans 18 - 25). Free for anyone under 18.
1932, l’elefante e il colle perduto
A selection of about 100 pieces, including archaeological objects, graphic designs, art objects and videos, some of them exposed for the first time, describes the story of the lost Velia and 'its' elephant.
Through October 2, 2022
A fantastic and fascinating visit in augmented and virtual reality of the largest place of entertainment of ancient times and one of the City’s undisputed landmarks: Circo Maximo Experience reopens to the public, an immersive walking itinerary divided into 8 stops, lasting approximately 40 minutes.
From 29 April 2022 to 28 August 2022
The Borghese Gallery
Tiziano. Dialogues of Nature and Love
from 14 June 2022 to 18 September 2022
Jago exhibit palazzo Bonaparte
If you're looking for some fun Rome events in August that are free, the below are confirmed for 2022.
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.
If you are in Rome on August 5, you can visit the papal basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major), and join in the fun as they re-create the miraculous snowfall that happened in the year 352, which was a sign to Pope Liberius that he should build a church on the spot where it snowed.
The photo depicts the 13th century mosaic in the loggia that tells the story of the miraculous snowfall.
Either attend Mass (10 am) or Vespers (5 pm) inside the basilica, where you will see white flower petals rain down from the ceiling, or come to the piazza outside for a 9 pm "snowfall" created by a foam machine.
San Lorenzo was martyred in Rome on August 10, 258 CE by being burnt on a grill (the grill is visible in one of the many churches dedicated to him, San Lorenzo in Lucina.)
On the nights between August 10-13, more or less, you should be able to see some falling stars that are part of the Perseid meteor shower. This phenomenon is associated with the saint as it's said shooting stars are his tears.
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 2022 (the August 2022 schedule is 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.
After a pause in this scheme due to Covid restrictions, the Free Sunday is back for 2022!
August 2022 - the free date to visit the Vatican is Sunday August 28
On the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are open and free. Hours are reduced (9:00am - 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.
For more nighttime tours and activities, visit Viator.
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.
The wonderful Viaggio Nei Fori, a nighttime light show on the via dei Fori Imperiali, showcasing the life of Rome's first emperor, Octavian Augustus, is back! This is one of the best Rome events in August - you'll get to enjoy a light show, keep cool at night, all while soaking up some Roman history.
June 10 - October 2 2022.
This is a fantastic visit inside the Imperial Forums, and one of my favorite Rome events in July. You'll have a short guided walk through Trajan's Forum and the Forum of Julius Caesar. 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 10 - October 2, 2022, every night, with varying times depending on the specific time of year.
Advanced booking strongly recommended - visit their website for all the details and pricing, you can do a combo ticket for this visit and the Augustus Forum light show as well.
Visit the Colosseum at night.
In August 2022, you can visit the Colosseum at night on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Entry for night visits to the Colosseum is NOT part of the Roma Pass.
NB - Sometimes there is availability for this only a few days in advance, 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 2022, 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.
Isola del Cinema 2022
The summer of cinema and culture is back with the traditional festival on the Tiber Island, a magical and suggestive place between the two banks of the Tiber.
The festival celebrates its 28th edition with a completely renewed look and an extraordinary program: eighty evenings full of news with outdoor screenings, exhibitions, special events, awards, masterclasses and meetings with Italian and international guests.More information on the official website
For more nighttime Rome events in August, start here:
The opera/concerts are now back to Baths of Caracalla (see below for schedule and tickets.)
The Baths of Caracalla
Notre-Dame de Paris | July 21 - August 3, 2022
Carmen | July 15 - August 4, 2022
Il barbiere di Siviglia | August 2-9, 2022
The Rome Opera House is OPEN. Some shows are being held at Circus Maximus.
The Rome Auditorium is OPEN.
June 4 - August 28, 2022
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.
Jazz at the Colosseum
A summer music festival offers open-air jazz concerts with panoramic views of the Colosseum by night, from 2 July until 2 October.
Jazz & Image Live is staged in a semi-forgotten corner of Parco Celio, near the tram line, overlooking the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine.
The festival hosts live concerts by high-level Italian and international musicians, with performances taking place at 21.30.
To book, visit their website.
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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