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

Rome events in October include these amazing sunsets we get, referred to as the Ottobrata Romana.

October sunset in romeOctober in Rome is very special because of a phenomenon called the "Ottobrata Romana", which means we get these incredible sunsets like these.

It's also one of the busiest times of year in Rome. The weather is wonderful, the days are still long, and everything is open and happening.

Find out all the things to see and do in Rome in October.

Rome events in October - What's happening

October is a beautiful month to visit Rome.

The days are warm, sunny, and comfortable, making it perfect sight-seeing weather.

There is no specific holiday in Rome in October (other than Halloween, which is not really an Italian thing), but there is a lot happening.

Keep reading for more info about the best Rome events in October 2023:

Holidays in Rome in October

There are no bank or religious holidays per se in October in Rome.

But there are some interesting Rome events in October.

Halloween in Rome

While Halloween is not really a thing in Italy, in recent years it's grown more popular. 

pumpkin halloween cakes at roscioliThese "Halloween" cakes at Roscioli bakery are made with pumpkins and they look like pumpkins.

If you are in Rome for Halloween and want to get into the Halloween mood, you might want to visit one of Rome's beautiful and historic cemeteries, or you could take a Rome Ghost Tour!

End of Daylight Saving Time

roman clock

In Europe, we turn our clocks back one hour on the last Sunday of October, and return to Standard Time.

In 2023, we turn the clocks back and gain one hour on Sunday 29 October.

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Current exhibits and events at Rome's museums in October

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

Nero Domus Aurea Egypt

Domus Aurea

Domus Aurea 

The beloved Isis. Nero, Domus Aurea and Egypt

150 objects that recount the relationship between Rome and Egypt during the first century AD

from 22 June 2023 to 14 January 2024

Tickets here

Capitoline -Pompeii-light

Capitoline Museums

A virtual trip into the atmospheres and the lighting systems of the ancient world through more than 180 original bronze exhibits from the cities of Vesuvio and Roma.

from 5 July 2023 to 8 October 2023

Advanced booking is required


100 Pittori on Via Margutta

October 28 - November 1, 2023

The five-day art festival features 100 Italian and international artists on site to meet the public, each day from 10 am to 8 pm.

Via Margutta, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

For more information click here.

Visit Appia Antica

Appia Day

October 1st is Appia Day: an opportunity to celebrate the charm and enchantment of Appia Antica. For more information visit the link.

FAI illustration for fall events

October 14th and 15th, the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (the National Trust for Italy) offers visits to some special places around Italy. For each visit, they request a small contribution.

The places include villas, churches, palazzos, castles, archeological sites and more.

You can see the list of places to visit on their website, which is in Italian only (there is an English language version of the generic portion of the website.)

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.

Rome events in October - Free things to do

If you're looking for some fun Rome events in October that are free, the below are  confirmed for 2023.

capitoline museums she wolf

The first Sunday of the month, Rome's Civic Museums are free for everyone.

On Sunday October 1, 2023, you can visit the Capitoline MuseumsAra PacisVilla TorloniaTrajan's Market and many others for free.

For more details and booking, click the link below to visit the official site.

Advance booking is required.


In October, you may visit Rome's catacombs for free. The annual "Day of the Catacombs" offers visitors the chance to visit, and tour, some of the miles and miles of catacombs around Rome.

See their website for the itinerary and booking information.

Saturday October 7th 2023

roseto rose garden

Rome's special Roseto Comunale Rose Garden, on the Aventine Hill overlooking the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill, is normally only open briefly in spring.

Since 2016, they open this lovely garden again in October, as the roses are in their second bloom.

Dates confirmed October 7 - 22, 2023

tiber river

Tiber Day/Tevere Day

For 3 years in a row, Rome has celebrated "Tiber River Day", a day in which activities along the river are promoted, in an effort to bring awareness to this important site in Rome. This year the event will be celebrated over three days, October 6-8.

The lifeblood of Rome since long before the Roman Empire, the Tiber River is often neglected and forgotten. "Tevere Day" is an effort to promote and protect the river.

There will be events on October 6th , 7th and 8th all along the river banks. You can learn more on their Facebook page here.

This year for 2023 the events are October 6-8.

Visit Rome's Parks and gardens

October is a beautiful time to visit a park or garden in Rome.

No matter when you visit Rome, there are five things you should always bring:

A hat

If you're visiting Rome in the fall, you'll be happy to have a rain hat with you.

Comfortable shoes

Even if it's a bit warm in the beginning of fall, I'd suggest close-toed shoes. Even better if they are waterproof, just in case.

No matter what, they must be comfortable for all the walking you will do.

A scarf

Romans wear scarves year-round.

In autumn, you will be glad you have a scarf for chilly days and evenings.

I suggest a wool scarf for warmth.

A backpack

A pickpocket-proof backpack is the ideal way to sight-see.

It leaves your hands free for picture-taking, holding onto rails, and riding a bike or scooter if you decide to rent one.

Travel/trip insurance

I know this is not a thing to pack per se, but it's such an important part of travel these days.

If you think you are already covered by your credit card's insurance, you should double check the fine print. It's not likely to cover what you really need when travelling.

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Free Sunday Rome events in October 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 October 2023, the Free Sunday is October 1.

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

In October 2023, the Free Sunday at the Vatican Museums is October 29.

On the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are open and freeHours 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.

Nighttime things to do in Rome in October

The below nighttime Rome events in October are both indoor and outdoor things to do.

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.

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

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€.

colosseum night

Visit the Colosseum by moonlight!

From now through December 31, 2023, you can visit the Colosseum at night. I'd say this is one of the very best Rome events in October 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.

For more nighttime tours and Rome events in October, visit Viator.

Ready to plan your trip?

Rome events in October - Concerts, operas, shows

rome cinema festival logo

If you are a movie buff, enjoy the movie-stars and new releases at the Rome Film Festival then this festival is for you! The events are held throughout October.

The festival takes place in many locations around Rome. For details, click the picture to visit the official site.

rome opera

There is lots of wonderful opera in Rome in October, right in Rome's beautiful Teatro dell'Opera (Opera House.)

rome auditorium

The Rome Auditorium is open and you can attend wonderful concerts and other events.

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.

capuchin crypt

Visit the extraordinary Capuchin Crypt, then head into the recently restored church to listen to sacred music in a gorgeous setting.

Thursday afternoons.

rooftop aperitivo and opera

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.

Friday evenings.

3 tenors - nessun dorma

The Three Tenors - Nessun Dorma

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. 

Saturday evenings. From 25€.

rooftop and aperitivo piazza navona

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 evenings.

For more concerts and music Rome events in October, click here to visit Get Your Guide.

Tours to take in Rome in October

It's a good idea to take a tour in October.

October is peak peak season.

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.

For tours to take in October, start here:

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Day trips to take in Rome in October

October is a wonderful time to take a day trip, especially if you are looking to escape the crowds in the city.

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 October

October is usually when many kids have gone back to school, but there are still plenty of tours and activities in Rome geared to children of all ages. There are also lots of school breaks in Europe in October.

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 October, and most central. For a complete list of Rome events in October, visit the website of the Rome Tourist Board.

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