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

Rome events in September mostly involve the city coming back to life after the summer holidays.

september sunsets are spectacularSeptember is one of my favorite months for catching spectacular sunsets in Rome, like this one at the top of the Spanish Steps.

Romans start flooding back home, any shops or restaurants that closed in August reopen, and it's the time of year when new shows and exhibits open.

September is in fact one of the busiest months of year in Rome.

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

Rome events in September - What's happening

September is a beautiful month to visit Rome.

It somehow manages to cool down just enough from the August heat and humidity to make it perfect sight-seeing weather. There is no specific holiday in Rome in September, but there is a lot happening.

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

Holidays in Rome in September

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

But there are some interesting Rome events in September.

pantheon sepember 4 light beamOn September 4 at 1 pm, you can catch this amazing phenomenon inside the Pantheon when the light beam from the oculus fits perfectly over the door. Read on to find out the significance of this event.

Pantheon - Arc of light on September 4

One of the many amazing things about the Pantheon is the way the sunbeam that comes in through the oculus moves around the inside of the dome and the rest of the building throughout the year.

Several times a year, the sunbeam moves over the door to interesting effect (we presume there were specific reasons for this when the Pantheon was built in ancient Rome).

At 1pm on September 4 (and maybe 1-2 days on either side of this date), the sunbeam perfectly encompasses the arc over the doorway, creating a ribbon of light on that arc, and a burst of sunlight through the doorway.

The theory is that this was to celebrate one of the most important, if not THE most important deities of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter Optimus Maximus. 

There is a similar phenomenon in early April to honor another important Roman deity, Cybele.

For me this is one of the best and most fascinating Rome events in September.

For more about this, click here to read the academic paper about it.

Current exhibits at Rome's museums in September

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

Nero Domus Aurea Egypt

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

Buy tickets here

La Roma della Repubblica

Capitoline Museums

The exhibition, in the rooms of Palazzo Caffarelli on the side of the Capitoline hill illustrates, through a series of archaeological themes and contexts, the characters and transformations of Roman society over five centuries, from the birth of the Republic to the creation of the Empire.

The exhibit runs through 24 September 2023

Buy tickets here


Chiostro del Bramante

Infinity. Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Contemporary art without limits.

Through 15 October 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.

Advance booking required.

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 September - Free things to do

If you're looking for some fun Rome events in September that are free, there are very few so far confirmed for 2023.

The below are either confirmed or pending for 2023.

Please check back as I will be monitoring all these and other possible events:

European heritage day logo

On Saturday and Sunday, 23 and 24 September, 2023, some Rome museums and archeological sites will participate in European Heritage Day, "Giornate Patrimonio Europeo" in Italian.

A lot of sites and museums will be open Saturday September 23 until midnight, either for free or at a reduced rate, usually of a symbolic 1 Euro. One of the best sites available on this day is Palazzo Farnese. Check the website below for details.

Sometime in early September, they will release information about which sites are open late and participating. You can follow the event on social with hashtags: #GEP2023 #museitaliani #europeanheritagedays #patrimonioculturaletuttiinclusi

You may also wish to visit the official website of the Beni Culturali, which shows the many appointments for special tours that day in Rome (Italian only.)

Visit Rome's Parks and gardens

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

Sporting Rome events in September 2023

Whether you want to participate or watch, there are a few exciting sporting things to do in September in Rome:

longines global champions tour

In astounding news, the Longines Global Champions Tour, the prestigious horse world's show jumping circuit, is returning this September to the Circus Maximus.

This means that after last year's event, which was the first time in nearly 2,000 years the Circus Maximus was used as it once was, for horse racing (think Ben Hur), we get to experience it again!

And best of all, it's free (but you must register. Visit the official site here.)

What an amazing opportunity to see history repeat itself.

September 15-17, 2023

Free Sunday Rome events in September 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.

After a pause in this scheme due to Covid restrictions, the Free Sunday is back for 2023!


In September 2023, the Free Sunday is September 3.

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 September 2023, the Vatican Museums Free Sunday is September 24.

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.

Nighttime things to do in Rome in September

The first 3 weeks of September are still summer and in fact, it feels a lot like summer.

So, many of the summer nighttime events, in particular those held outdoors, are still going on.

The below nighttime Rome events in September 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.

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

colosseum night

Visit the Colosseum Underground by moonlight!

In September 2023, you can visit the Colosseum at night. I'd say this is one of the very best Rome events in September 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.

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€.

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

Ready to plan your trip?

Rome events in September - Concerts, operas, shows

Jazz at the Colosseum

A summer music festival offers open-air jazz concerts with panoramic views of the Colosseum by night, runs through 15 October 2023.

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.

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

Enjoy outdoor concerts at Teatro di Marcello in Rome's Jewish Ghetto.

From July through to October 2023

Advance booking required.

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.

Wednesday evenings.

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 early evenings.

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

Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!

Tours to take in Rome in September

It's a good idea to take a tour in September. First of all, it can be hot, and a good tour will both take your mind off the heat and also keep you focused and spending limited time outside.

Second of all, September really 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 September, start here:

Day trips to take in Rome in September

September 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 September

September 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.

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

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