Rome events in January include New Years' Day and the all-important last day of the Christmas season, January 6, the Befana.
But there are a few other fun things happening this month, as well.
Find out all the things to see and do in Rome in January.
January is a great time to visit Rome for a lot of reasons, whether you are here at the beginning of the month for the holidays, or more towards the middle or end of the month for a more quiet experience.
Keep reading for more info about the best Rome events in January 2022:
Besides the obvious holiday dates New Year's Day and January 6, there are a few other important Rome events in January to note:
No matter what day of the week January 1 falls on, Rome is busy on the dates surrounding it and pretty much through about the first week of January.
At noon, you can head to St. Peter's Square to hear Pope Francis give the Angelus (free, lasting about 15 minutes.)
January 6 marks the end of the Christmas holidays. In some countries, including Italy, it's known as the Epiphany or as the Day of the Kings.
In Italy, it's also known as the Befana, who is an ugly but good witch who goes around bringing toys to children. In fact, many Italian children expect to open gifts on this day as opposed to December 25.
You can enjoy the atmosphere in Piazza Navona, when there is a Christmas market (which, in 2022, is not happening.)
You can also head to via della Conciliazione near the Vatican and watch a small procession of people in costume. See Vatican events below for more.
In Italy, we have big sales twice a year, once in summer and once in winter. Look for the signs that say "Saldi."
Winter sales used to start on the first Saturday in January.
In 2022, the first day of winter sales in Rome is on Wednesday, January 5.
Perhaps this strategic decision was made to move the date to just before the Befana, due to the lack of Christmas markets this year.
The last day of winter sales is February 22, 2022.
The cooler fall and winter months are a great time to take in the arts and some art indoors. Some museums stay open later on the weekends.
There are several Rome events in January at various museums around the city:
Palazzo Braschi - Museum of Rome
Klimt - This exhibition marks the return to Italy of some of his masterpieces from Vienna and other locations around the world.
Through March 27, 2022
Palazzo Braschi is on one end of Piazza Navona.
Open Mon - Fri 10 am - 8 pm; Sat - Sun 10 am - 10 pm.
13€ standard. 11€ reduced.
Scuderie al Quirinale
Inferno - in honor of the the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri.
More than 200 artworks depicting Hell. From public and private collections from across Europe.
Through January 9, 2022
Via XXIV Maggio 16.
Open: Sun - Thu 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sat 10am – 10:30pm.
Full € 15; Reduced (ages 18-25) € 13
Free for anyone under 18, and anyone disabled and their care-giver, with written medical proof.
Raphael and the Domus Aurea - the invention of the Grotesque.
Through 7 January 2022.
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.
Corsa degli Avanzi - Race of the leftovers
January 1, 2022, 10:15 am
This is a fun run with the goal of collecting any unopened leftovers you can donate to charity. It takes place at Rome's Ostia beach, and is followed by the New Years' Day swim - yes, in the ocean!
While January can be a cold month, it can still be a beautiful time to visit a park or garden in Rome, and they are all open in winter.
If you're looking for some fun Rome events in January that are free, the below are confirmed for 2022:
The first Sunday of the month, Rome's Civic Museums are free for everyone.
On Sunday January 2, 2022, you can visit the Capitoline Museums, Ara Pacis, Villa Torlonia, Trajan's Market and many others for free. For more details and booking, click the link below to visit the official site.
Green Pass is required.
As of January 2022, the Vatican Museums are bringing back the Free Sunday!
In 2022, the Vatican Museums will be free and open on Sunday January 30. Expect large crowds on this day, even in January.
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.
In January 2022, there are no free dates to visit the Colosseum.
The Colosseum will be free on the first Sunday of the month.
If you want to try to get tickets to attend any of these masses, visit my page about Seeing the Pope in Rome.
Starting at about 10am (but you should get there earlier for a decent viewing position), there will be a little procession, with people dressed in period costume, that will sort of re-enact the visit of the 3 Wise Men.
January 17, 2022 is the celebration of Sant'Antonio Abate in St. Peter's Square. I have been and it's absolutely wonderful!
It's the "Blessing of the Animals" and many farmers bring their farm animals, but also locals bring their pets. You will also see a big parade of officials on horseback, in all their regalia.
Outside the square, a cardinal gives a prayer and blesses the animals. It's quite festive. When I went once, a man brought his turtle and lo and behold, the cardinal blessed it!
In Rome in January the evenings can be pretty chilly and of course it gets dark early.
But that doesn't mean you cannot enjoy the city after the sun goes down!
For nighttime tours and Rome events in January, visit Viator.
Enjoy the opera in Rome in January, right in Rome's beautiful Teatro dell'Opera (Opera House.)
At the Rome Auditorium, you can attend wonderful concerts and other events.
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.
Visit the extraordinary Capuchin Crypt, then head into the recently restored church to listen to sacred music in a gorgeous setting.
Don't miss this unique opera + aperitivo on one of Rome's most amazing rooftops, the Borromini Terrace. Combine beautiful music, with the stunning baroque setting on Piazza Navona, and a special aperitivo, to make for a fabulous evening in Rome.
There's a maximum 30 people (including an art historian guide), to keep this experience exclusive and special.
Enjoy private access to one of Rome's most exclusive rooftops right on Piazza Navona, while sipping your aperitivo and listening to Italian opera classics from Verdi, Rossini, and Puccini.
Sunday early evenings.
See the "Three Tenors" in a beautiful church setting.
You will be treated to three of Rome's most famous tenors singing some of the best-known and loved songs of Neapolitan opera, accompanied by the Mandolin Orchestra.
Music from La Traviata, Rigoletto, Tosca, and many others.
Wednesday evenings. From 25€.
The singers are some of Rome's most talented, and they do credit to the original Three Tenors.
January 1, 2022, 9pm. From €45. Great for families; wheelchair accessible.
Sparkling wine after the concert is included.
Greet the new year in Rome with a beautiful lyrical concert of classic opera and concert music, performed by the renowned I Virtuosi dell'opera di Roma inside the Church of St Paul within the Walls.
Works include pieces by Puccini, Strauss, Rossini, Verdi, Mozart, and many more.
January 1, 2022. From €35. Great for families; wheelchair accessible.
Enjoy opera in the small, elegant auditorium of 17th century Palazzo Santa Chiara, known for its excellent acoustics.
Head to this hidden gem right behind the Pantheon, grab a cocktail at the intimate bar inside, then sit back and enjoy some beautiful music.
January 1, 2022, 7:30 PM (other dates also available).
Immerse yourself in Italian opera and enjoy compositions by famous composers such as Puccini, Bellini, and Mascagni.
This intimate concert is held in the Ponte Sant Angelo Methodist Church, a venue with exceptional acoustics just across from Castel Sant'Angelo.
January 1, 2022, 7:15 PM (other dates also available).
For more concerts and music Rome events in January, click here to visit Get Your Guide.
January can be really busy in the first part of the month.
So booking a tour is a good way to make sure you get tickets to the sites you want to visit, and also get to enjoy them without fighting the crowds too much.
And even if it's not too crowded, a tour is a great way to see the sights and get to know a bit about them as you go.
For tours to take in January, start here:
January is a wonderful time to take a day trip, especially if you want to try some food/wine ventures outside 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.
Whether you are visiting Rome in January for the holidays or just for a short getaway, if you are coming with kids, 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 January, and most central. For a complete list of Rome events in January, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.
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