This post lists our top 10 suggestions for things to do in Rome, including popular events, attractions, and festivals that are happening October 2019.
For more things to do, check out our popular Rome posts:
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO
Our top 10 list includes some free things to do, family-friendly activities, and events happening in the evenings.
(1) See a Live Football Match
October is an excellent time to catch a football match and you have two fantastic football clubs to choose from:
If you are in Rome mid-month, you can see professional golf at the Italian Open Golf Tournament.
Take a look at all the events in Rome this month.
Football matches are played in the evening so they make for a fun nighttime activity.
They are also a family-friendly thing to do. See our post on family-friendly activities in Rome for more ideas.
(2) Go See a Concert
Rome not only has opera and classical music performances all year long, but it also sees a number of pop/rock performers come through town.
Here are some performances in Rome in October:
- The Three Tenors | various dates throughout the month
- Don Giovanni | Sept. 28-Oct. 6
- Don Quixote Balletto di Roma | Oct 15-20
TIP: Terme di Caracalla (the Baths of Caracalla) is one of the popular ancient sites in Rome. If you are going for an evening performance there, consider visiting the Baths during the day. Find out more here.
Take a look at all the events in Rome this month.
(3) See a Broadway Musical — in Rome!
In October you can see Mamma Mia, the musical based on the music of ABBA, at Teatro Sistina from October 11th – October 31st.
At the end of the show, the audience is invited to sing along! This is definitely a show that is family-friendly! Purchase tickets here.
Another Broadway favorite, West Side Story, will be performed in an orchestral style by the Orchestra and Choir of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia. It plays between October 12-14. Purchase tickets here.
TIP: If you do see Mamma Mia, the Teatro Sistina is a short walk away from the Trevi Fountain which is simply stunning when lit at night.
On the first Sunday of every month, several museums and historical sites around Rome offer free admission. In 2019, the date is October 6.
Many of the most popular landmarks, like the Castel Sant’Angelo participate in this event.
Here are some of the more notable sites you can visit:
Check out our post on free things to do in Rome to find out about other opportunities to visit museums for free.
(5) Celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
Every year the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi is on October 4. Celebrate the life of the patron of animals by visiting the Church of San Francesco a Ripa Grande in Trastevere.
It was here, in 1209, that St. Francis of Assisi slept in a convent attached to the church when seeking recognition for his order from Pope Innocent III.
Provided you are dressed modestly (shoulders and knees covered, for example), as the custodian if you can see where St. Francis slept. You may even be allowed to touch the stone pillow he used!
Our guide on things to in Trastevere can help you plan your time in this charming, and also trendy, neighborhood.
(6) Go Sightseeing
Most people come to Rome for two things: eat the food and see the sights! The Colosseum is perhaps the most recognizable site in the city and on most people’s lists of must-see Rome.
A convenient way to travel between sights is to take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.
These tours allow you to see more of Rome than you could by just walking around. Spend time at the sights you want by hopping off.
See other sights while sitting comfortably on the bus with guided commentary.
If you would like to explore by foot, take a look at these tours of the city centre to find a tour that is right for you.
(7) Visit the Zoo in Honor of St. Francis of Assisi
As mentioned above, St.Francis is known for being the patron saint of animals. In keeping with the holiday’s spirit, why not visit Rome’s zoo, the Bioparco.
This is an especially good activity if you are traveling with children. Stop by to say ciao to the newly arrived 18 African penguins!
The Bioparc is located inside Villa Borghese. In addition to visiting the zoo, you can visit some of Rome’s best museums, rent bikes, go to the cinema and more.
See our post about things to do at Villa Borghese.
(8) Head to the Rome Film Fest
From October 17-29, 2019, you can attend one of the most prestigious film festivals, the Rome Film Fest. Around forty films by international filmmakers will be screened including Ron Howard’s latest movie, Pavorotti.
This year, actor and comedian Bill Murray will receive the lifetime achievement award. Other film celebrities will participate in discussion panels you can attend.
Come out and watch some of the best actors, actresses, directors and more walk down the red carpet!
Tickets cost between €5 – €30 per event. Get the details from the Rome Film Fest website.
(9) Rome Art Week
This event runs from October 21-26, 2019. During this time, more than 300 contemporary artists all over the city hold special events at their galleries and studios.
Activities include free guided tours, open studios, installations and more. Learn more here.
Rome’s museums are among the best in the world. Among the finest are the Vatican Museums. You can see masterpieces from Michelangelo, Raphael and more.
See #5 above to find out how to see some of these museums for free.
(10) Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
With a tourist attraction discount pass, you’ll get to see much more at a bulk discount – up to 55% for some popular attractions!
Some passes include skip-the-line tickets at specific locations, making it easier to save time while exploring the city.
Here are a few of the more notable activities offered by various Rome tourist passes:
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
- Vatican Museums
- Capitoline Museums
- Borghese Gallery
- The Colosseum
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Baths of Caracalla
- Gladiator Museum
- and More!
For more details, read our post covering Rome tourist attraction passes.
Attend the Roma Europa Festival
Throughout the month, the Roma Europa Festival will host performing artists and musicians at theatres and auditoriums around Rome.
Some events are free, others will an average ticket price of €15 – €40 per person. Get the details here.