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Things to Do in Rome in August

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This post provides several different ideas for things you can do in Rome during the month of August. In addition to a top 10 list, we will also include some free attractions, things to do at night and family-friendly activities.

 

 


TOP 10

This list will include our top 10 things to do and places to visit in Rome throughout August. Whenever appropriate, we will make a note of family-friendly activities, free attractions and great events taking place at night.

Be sure to check out our guides to Rome tourist discount passes and bus tours as well as our guides to visiting the Vatican and the Colosseum for tips on things to do in Rome. 


1) Enjoy the Ferragosto Holiday

Collesseum

Every August 15th, Rome celebrates a public holiday known as Ferragosto. This date coincides with the Assumption of Mary, a holy day celebrated by Catholics throughout the world. Most Romans celebrate this day by taking a break, and you can usually expect at least a few popular stores/restaurants/museums to close down.

The Vatican Museums are probably one of the most notable locations which will not be open on this day, but you will be able to visit places like the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. There are also usually several concerts and special events on this day, with many celebrations taking place near the River Tiber.


2) See an Opera at Circus Maximus

Caracalla Concert

Circus Maximus is a wonderful place to visit on a normal day, but there’s lots more to see and do at this historic location during the summer.

Throughout most of July and August, Teatro dell’Opera hosts a series of open-air operas at the landmark.

They currently have one show scheduled for August 1st - 5th, and that is La Boheme. There might be more announced leading up to this month, but they have yet to reveal any other shows.


3) Celebrate the Madonna of the Snow Feast

Madonna del Neve

August 5th marks a special moment in Roman history when snow actually fell in the middle of summer. This unusual event led the faithful to build the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Every year, they carry out a re-enactment with artificial snow and a special sound/light show.

Visitors are welcome to attend this event at the church for free and watch as the snow falls once again. This could be a great activity for Catholic travelers or families.

This basilica is located very close to Termini Station and it is also one of the first stops on many bus tours in Rome.


4) Go on a Vespa Tour

A bank of Vespas in Rome. Source: Pixabay user Phify.If you're going to take a Roman Holiday (pun intended), you might as well do exactly as Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn did: hop on a Vespa and see the sights!

There are several ways to take a Vespa tour, including some of the following options:

If you do decide to go it alone with a Vespa rental, consider following one of our self-guided Rome tours!


5) Take a Food Tour

Free Rome Food ToursIf you want some help discovering the best food to eat in Rome, there are several tours you can take with locals who will give you advice and provide a variety of great samples to try.

Here are a few interesting options you might want to consider:

In addition to these opportunities, you can also take our self-guided Rome food tour if you're interested in saving a little money and avoiding large crowds.


6) Go Stargazing on the Night of San Lorenzo

Planetario Roma

August 10th marks a special moment for Romans who traditionally go out on this night to try and catch a glimpse at shooting stars.

This date falls squarely in line with the annual Perseids meteor shower, ensuring that you’ll probably catch at least a few streaks shooting across the night sky.

Whether you choose to bring a telescope or just look up at the stars, this is an excellent and traditional activity to enjoy after dark in August – and it won’t cost you a thing!

If you want a truly astronomical experience, consider going to the Planetario e Museo Astronomico. This location is offered either free or at a discount with several different Roman tourist passes.


7) Make a Splash at Hydromania Water Park

Hydromania

Although you could always head for the coast, beach towns in Italy are usually very busy during the month of August. It will probably be more affordable and less crowded at Hydromania, a notable water park in Rome.

Visitors can expect access to several water slides and other fun activities in the park. Considering how hot it gets in this city during late summer, this could easily be a great place for families to cool off. Tickets are pretty reasonably priced and they are open for at least 9 hours per day.

  • Regular Tickets: €24/Adults (all-day) | €19/Adults (after 2 pm)
  • Youth Tickets: €19/Kids (all-day) | €17/Kids (after 2 pm)
  • Gold tickets can be purchased for an additional €5 per person
  • Gold tickets provide access to shaded areas and sunbeds
  • Kids under 100 cm are FREE

Click here for more details or to purchase.


8) Attend a Concerti del Tempietto

Throughout the month of August, an event known as Concerti del Tempietto will be taking place at the Marcello Theatre. Some ticket holders will have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the historic location before the concert begins.

Performances will vary depending on which tickets you purchase, but they will have shows featuring classical music from the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, Brahms and more. There will be a concert on every night of August.

Tickets: €36/Front Row | €25/Back Row | €14/Cheap Seats

Click here for more information or to purchase


9) Go to a Si Puo Fare Concert

Although some musical events in Rome have been canceled, the Auditorium Parco della Musica has a handful of great musicians scheduled to perform in an event known as Si Puo Fare this August.

 

 

This is all part of the effort to get people back out to live performances following the pandemic, so it's really one of the first opportunities to enjoy a concert in Rome this year.

  • Calibro 35 | Aug 2nd
  • Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti | Aug 3rd
  • Lo Sato Sociale | Aug 8th
  • Willie Peyote | Aug 24th
  • Coma_Cose | Aug 27th

When tickets are available, you should be able to purchase them here. You can also find more details about the Si Puo Fare event.


10) Enjoy Deep Discounts While Shopping

The summer is a time when many Romans choose to leave the city and take a vacation, leaving businesses in Rome to fend for themselves.

This is just one reason why there are usually big sales stretching from the 2nd week of July to the 2nd week of August. 

By the time August rolls around, the sales have usually been discounted even more to move merchandise off store shelves. As a result, this is typically a very good time to go shopping in Rome.

Even if you don’t feel like buying a lot of things on your trip, you may still want to consider looking for little treasures and trinkets that you can bring home as a souvenir. 

TIP: Look for the word SALDI in shop windows-- that's SALE in Italian!


POSTPONED: Enjoy Live Chamber Music

Throughout both July and August, the International Chamber Ensemble will be performing a variety of music at the Courtyard of St. Ivo.

One of their concerts includes famous songs from classic films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and James Bond.

Other concerts focus on classical tunes and musicals. Each performance begins at 9 pm, making this an excellent night time activity.

 

  • Grand Cinema Concert – August 4th, 7th & 10th
  • Classical Music Concert – August 3rd & 8th
  • Musicals Concert – August 1st & 9th
    • Ticket Prices: €23/Adults | €20/Seniors
    • Youth Tickets: €15/Students | €10/Children

Click here for more information or to purchase.

NOTE: This event was postponed in 2019 due to renovation work, and it did not open back up in 2020 because of the pandemic. There are currently no plans to bring this activity back for 2021.


RESCHEDULED: Attend an AS Roma Game

AS Roma

If you’re a football fan, you may want to consider heading out to see a live game. AS Roma is Rome’s Serie A team, and they typically play at least a few games during the month of August.

Whether you’re interested in sports or you just want to take in the atmosphere of the crowd in Stadio della Roma, this is an excellent opportunity to do as the Romans do!

  • General Ticket Prices: €25-€35
  • Premium Ticket Prices: €45-€100

Click here to learn more or purchase tickets.

NOTE: This stadium has yet to open up to the public once more, and the first AS Roma games for the 2021-2022 season are scheduled to start in September. That said, this may chance, so make sure to check and see!

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

This section will provide a few ideas for things that you can do after dark in Rome during the month of August. If you’re looking for even more activities, make sure to check our Top 10 list above for events such as the Night of San Lorenzo, Chamber Music at the Courtyard of St. Ivo, or an opera at the Baths of Caracalla. 

 

 


See the Trevi Fountain After Dark

One of the best times to see this landmark is after the sun goes down, because the city of Rome turns on the lights at night to create beautiful and amazing reflections in the water.

While the Trevi Fountain is incredible any time of day, you definitely won't want to miss an opportunity to take a photo and experience the attraction after dark as well.

Best of all, this activity is entirely free!


Go Out for Dinner and an Opera

If the open air operas at Piazza Navona aren’t of interest, you may want to consider this excellent alternative. The Salone Margherita Theatre will be hosting Verdi’s La Traviata on August 2nd.

Each guest will also receive an Italian Dinner in addition to their show. This is an excellent idea for couples who want to spend a romantic night out at a Roman theatre.

NOTE: This theatre has yet to reopen after the pandemic, and they might not have any shows available for August 2021.


Check Out the Gay Village Events

Every summer, an event known as The Gay Village takes place in Rome from mid-June to mid-September. During this time frame, there are a lot of drag shows and other activities which celebrate the LGBTQ community.

No matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ll probably find something fun to do during this special event. At the very least, you’ll be introduced to a unique and interesting side of Roman culture that not many people get the chance to see!

Click here to keep an eye on their calendar

NOTE: This event has yet to be confirmed for 2021.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO

This section will provide a few different ideas for free things that you can do in Rome in August. For additional free activities and attractions, check our top 10 list above for events such as Night of San Lorenzo, Ferragosto and the Madonna of the Snow Feast. 

 

 


Go to a Museum

Most museums and several historic landmarks in Rome are not free to visit, but there is one day a month when people are welcome to come and see several notable sites without paying for admission. Many museums open their doors to all visitors on the first Sunday of the month. Here are just a few places you can go for free on August 5th.

TIP: You can also visit the Vatican Museums on the last Sunday of the month for free. 

NOTE: Some of these locations might be offering limited tickets or openings due to the pandemic, so please consider making your plans well ahead of time to avoid missing out.


Take a Stroll Down Via Appia

This is one of the most famous roads in all of Rome. It has been around for thousands of years, and it actually passes by several notable landmarks such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. It won’t cost you anything to take a walk down this well-worn street and see the sites as they were once seen centuries ago.

The only thing you should keep in mind is that it can get pretty hot in August, so you may want to wear very comfortable clothes and bring a bottle of water with you. This could also be a fun family activity, and if you’re willing to spend a few bucks, you could stop for a Gelato along the way!

Some tourist passes provide discounts on bike tours and other services related to Via Appia. Make sure to check our post about attraction passes in Rome for more information. 


Check Out Villa Borghese

There are a lot of fun things to see and do in Villa Borghese – and even a few places to enjoy some shade on a hot summer day! Although it’s free to visit the area, there are a lot of nearby attractions that charge for admission such as the Bioparco and Borghese Gallery.

If you’re going with the family, one free place you might want to see is called Cinema dei Piccolo – a movie theater for kids! As the name implies, this is a very small theater, but it’s perfect for the munchkins.

TIP: The Borghese Gallery is included for free with many tourist passes. Check our post about Roman attraction passes for additional information. 

 


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FAMILY ACTIVITIES

This section will provide some ideas for fun activities that you can enjoy with your family in Rome during August. For additional family-friendly options, check our top 10 list and other sections for attractions such as Hydromania, Villa Borghese, AS Roma and Via Appia. 

 

 


Stop By a Cat Cafe

Everyone loves cats, and that’s all the reason you’ll need to make a stop at the Romeow Cat Bistro. From the moment you walk in, you’ll be greeted with meows and friendly furry faces.

Depending on when you visit, you’ll have the option to enjoy a variety of dishes including meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their menu is seasonal, so it will probably feature a lot of fresh produce like peaches and tomatoes during the month of August.

Even if you just want to stop in for a break from the summer sun, they will have plenty of snacks available to make your stay more pleasant.

Click here for more details on the Romeow Cat Bistro


Visit the Explora Children’s Museum

This popular family destination is just west of Villa Borghese and north of the Spanish Steps. Although this is a great place to take your kids any time of the year, the summer is an especially good time because Explora actually has a large pool where kids can play with water. This exhibit isn’t designed for swimming or splashing, but it’s still a nice way to cool off and have some fun during the warm summer months.

In addition to water play, young visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about subjects such as gardening, sustainable fishing, cooking, weight/measures and other subjects. The best part? Tickets are very affordable!

Tickets: €5/Toddlers | €8/Adults & Kids

Click here to buy tickets or learn more


Go See a Puppet Show

With some of the best views in all of Rome, Gianicolo Hill is a great place for families to visit. Aside from seeing the ancient city below, you can also go to a live puppet show at Teatrino di Pulcinella al Gianicolo.

This open-air puppet theatre offers free performances on the weekend. You’ll find the kiosk for this little theatre just north of Piazzale Garibaldi, behind the snack stands and under the trees. The shade should make this a great place to visit during the summer!

Morning Shows: Sat-Sun from 10:30 am - 1 pm
Afternoon Shows: Sat-Sun from 4 pm - 7 pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Price: FREE!

 


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About The Author

Courtney

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.
Updated: October 3rd, 2021
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