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Things to do in Rome in May

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This post covers things to do in May in Rome, including free entertainment, nighttime activities, and family-friendly ideas. The post has been updated for 2023.


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN MAY

The following section will provide information about some of the best things to do in Rome this May.

If you're looking for other things to do, check out our popular Rome posts:

Don’t forget that some of the best attractions and activities available are included at a discount with several Rome tourist passes.


1. Go to a Football Game

In Rome, football (soccer) is the most popular sport.

Two main clubs compete in the Olympic Stadium, and they will be facing off against various opponents throughout the month of May

If you’ve got any sports fans in your family, this could be an excellent activity.

Football

Even if you’re not a huge fan of this sport, you might still want to see a match just to discover how this city supports their team!

And, if you want to see behind the sceens, you can also take a tour of Olympic Stadium

Find all sporting event tickets here.


2. Attend a Concert

No matter when you choose to visit Rome, chances are there will be more than a few great musical options to take advantage of.

Some of these theatrical performances are included with the Opera Pass.

Also, Bruce Springsteen will be in Rome at Circus Maximus on May 21st.

NOTE: Check Rome tourist passes to see if they either include one of these concerts for free or offer a discount on tickets!


2. Take a Walk Down Via Appia

With spring right around the corner, this is the perfect time to stroll down one of the most ancient roads in Rome – Via Appia.

If you’re worried that you might miss something by going alone, there are some bike tours and even walking tours with catacomb and aqueduct access that you might want to consider.

That said, it’s actually entirely free to walk down Via Appia, and we have a guide covering what to see on Appian Way.

Even if you’re not interested in walking the whole way, there are also bike rentals you can use to make your journey on this historic road easier and more enjoyable.

Whether you’re looking for a fun activity that won’t cost a dime or you really want to learn as much as possible about this ancient highway on a guided tour, this is an excellent activity for families.

Check our post about things to do with kids in Rome for even more family-friendly activities. 


4. Go to Gladiator School

If you want your kids to become thoroughly engrossed in ancient Roman culture, you’ll be happy to know that there’s actually a Gladiator School in Rome. During this 2-hour class, your kids will adorn armor and learn how to duel.

Although they provide a lot of interesting historical information, it’s important to note that this company isn’t actually trying to turn your children into Gladiators. This is more of a fun activity that can also be very educational for your kids (age 6+).


5. See the Italian Open (Internazionali BNL d'Italia)

Tennis fans should be excited to have a chance to see the Italian Open from May 8th - 21st, 2023.

The best of the world's players - women and men - will be competing to win the tournament, as well as warm up for the Roland Garros.

This is one of the main sporting events happening this May. Find other sports tickets here.


6. Save Money with a Tourist Pass

If you’re looking to visit some of the most popular attractions in the city, a tourist pass can help you save up to 50% off retail admission prices.

The following attractions are discounted with most of these services:

If you're planning on taking more than one tour or seeing several of these classic sites, a tourist pass will save you money on your trip.

For more information about how to use each service, visit our post providing details about each Rome tourist pass.


7. Take a Food Tour

If just hearing the words "Italian food" makes your mouth water, you won't want to pass up a food tour! 

You have multiple options to choose from.

If you want to make the same, great dish back home, take a cooking class. Options range from pizza and pasta to gelato. There are even kid-focused pizza classes.

And what would a food experience in Rome be without a wine tasting

There are food experiences for everyone here. 


8. Take a Sightseeing Tour

May brings more springtime weather, which makes it the perfect time to take a few walks and tours around the city. 

Of course, the Colosseum is one of the most popular attractions in Rome and many visitors prefer to take a guided tour of the massive stadium.

Taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour is a great way to combine simple, stress-free transport around Rome with an informative audio guide!

Several guided walks are actually pay-what-you-like tours, so they're budget-friendly.

If you’re looking to save money, consider taking either a self-guided or an audio tour of Rome.


9. Visit the Orange Garden

When spring rolls around, the orange blossoms begin to bloom in the Orange Garden on Aventine Hill.

As you walk around this beautiful hill, make sure to keep an eye out for the Knights of Malta Keyhole which offers an incredible view of St. Peter’s Basilica from afar.

If you can’t get enough colorful flowers, you’ll also find a Rose Garden located at the bottom of this hill. This is a fun and free activity that families can enjoy during a nice, breezy afternoon in Rome.


10. See the Piazza di Siena Equestrian Competition

This Grand Prix-level showjumping competition is held in the beautiful gardens of Villa Borghese every May.

Horse and riders teams come in from all over the world to compete in this arena where games and competitions have been held for hundreds of years.

It's a popular family-friendly event for locals and visitors! Whether you want to purchase a seat in the general seating or VIP section... Or if you'd rather just show up and watch for a bit from the grassy hills around the arena, you'll be in good company.


Cheer On Runners at Race for the Cure

The Susan G. Komen Foundation holds its Race for the Cure in Rome during the month of May. Athletes from around the country are invited to raise funds in an attempt to find the cure for breast cancer.

The 3-day event starts at Circus Maximus, where there will be various activities leading up to the race.

When the main event begins, those participating in the race will begin running through the historic center of Rome.

Click here for more details.

NOTE: This event has yet to be confirmed for May of 2023 but they have run it for over 20 years and we expect that it will take place again.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: February 7th, 2023
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