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Rome events in August 2023 - Holidays, exhibits, concerts, and other things to do

Rome events in August start with the big one - ferragosto, August 15.

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.

roman forum view in augustEven if August in Rome can be hot and quiet, there is still a lot happening and a lot to do.

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 2023!

Rome events in August - What's happening

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 2023:

Holidays in Rome in August

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.

rome august restaurant closingSome classic Rome restaurants still close for the entire month of August, but you won't be without great places to eat.

Yes, some shops and restaurants close in August, but more and more are staying open for longer, so you won't be without places to eat or shop.

And most sites are open on August 15, with the exception of the Vatican Museums.

Click here to read more about Ferragosto, what it means, and how it started.

Current exhibits at Rome's museums in August

There are several Rome events in August at various museums around the city. These are confirmed for 2023:

capitoline rome of the republic exhibition image

Capitoline Museums

The Rome of the Republic

This exhibition tells the story, through a series of themes and archaeological contexts, of the transformation of Roman society over the course of five centuries, from the birth of the Republic to the formation of the Empire. 

13 January 2023 - 24 September 2023

Entrance is included with your general Capitoline Museums entrance ticket - see all details here.

Infinity Chiostro del Bramante exhibition image

Chiostro del Bramante

INFINITY - Michelangelo Pistoletto

Made up of fifty works and four large site specific installations, contemporary art exhibition INFINITY covers more than 60 years of art and almost 90 years of life for Michelangelo Pistoletto.

18 March 2023 - 15 October 2023

For tickets and further details, visit the website of the Chiostro del Bramante here.

The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.

Visit my dedicated pages for all the summer months in Rome

Rome events in August - Free things to do

If you're looking for some fun Rome events in August that are free, the below are confirmed for 2022.

rome tiber summerfest

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. 

loggia of santa maria maggiore with mosaic

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.

meteor shower

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.

No matter what season you visit Rome, here are 4 things never to leave at home:

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Visit Rome's Parks and gardens

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 August 2023 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.

Free Sunday Rome events in August 2023

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 2023 the Free Sunday date is: Sunday August 6

You can expect the Colosseum to be pretty much a mob scene. I'd highly recommend visiting one of the other sites that is also free on this day, like the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill, or Ostia Antica.

sistine chapel

August 2023 - the free date to visit the Vatican is Sunday August 27

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.

Nighttime things to do in Rome in August

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.

Click here to book your tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel on Friday night.

colosseum night

Visit the Colosseum at night.

In August 2023, 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!

gladiator battle show

When in Rome . . . why not attend a gladiator battle? This fantastic show is produced by the Gruppo Storico Romanowith 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€.

gay village

Isola del Cinema 2023 - Dates Pending 

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:

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Ready to plan your trip?

Rome events in August - Concerts, operas, shows

baths caracalla summer opera

The opera/concerts are now back to Baths of Caracalla (see below for schedule and tickets.) 

Click here to see a schedule of concerts and shows and to purchase tickets for August 2023.

The Baths of Caracalla

Rigoletto | August 3-10 2023

celimontana jazz

Celimontana JazzDates pending for 2023

See the program here.

opera pass

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.

concerts at marcellus theater

Jazz at the Colosseum

A summer music festival offers open-air jazz concerts with panoramic views of the Colosseum by night.

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.

Tours to take in Rome in August

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:

Day trips to take in Rome in August

August is a wonderful time to take a day trip, especially if you are looking to beat the heat in Rome.

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.

Activities with kids in Rome in August

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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