This post covers things to do in May in Rome, including free entertainment, nighttime activities, and family-friendly ideas.
TOP 11 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN ROME 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.
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!
2) See an Opera/Musical
No matter when you choose to visit Rome, chances are there will be more than a few great operas and musicals to see.
Here are just a few of the shows that will be available this May:
You'll find an orchestral and ballet sampler, as well as the opera Luisa Miller and musical Messa da Requiem.
- Suite en blanc / Serenade / Bolero | May 6 - 10
- Luisa Miller | May 22 - 31, 2020
- Messa da Requiem di Verdi | May 30
If you’re in the mood for a different kind of musical performance, make sure to check this list of concerts and theatrical performances in Rome.
TIP: Some of these shows may be included for free or at a discount with a Rome tourist pass.
3) See the Italian Open (Internazionali BNL d'Italia)
Tennis fans should be excited to have a chance to see the Italian Open from May 10 - 17, 2020!
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.
Pre-qualifications start on May 4. There are also ticketed training sessions!
- Dates: May 4 - 17, 2020
- Location: Foro Italico
- Prices: €35 - €165
- Find more information and tickets here.
This is one of the main sporting events happening this May. Find other sports tickets here.
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.
- Ticket Prices: €60 - €130 per person, dependent upon group size
- Duration: 2 hours
- Click here for more information and tickets.
5) 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:
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
- Vatican Museums
- The Colosseum
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Borghese Gallery
- Baths of Caracalla
- Bioparco di Roma
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.
6) 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.
For a more traditional food tour, there are delicious Secret Food Tours! These tours include multiple stops to taste various meats, cheeses, and delicious street food.
And what would a food experience in Rome be without a wine tasting?
There are food experiences for everyone here.
7) 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.
8) Go to a Concert
There are a lot of great venues in Rome and the city tends to attract a lot of touring musical artists.
Many of this month's performing musicians have a loyal fanbase in Italy, so visitors from out-of-town might not recognize all of them.
If you’re in the mood for a different kind of musical performance, make sure to check this list of concerts in Rome.
9) 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.
10) 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.
You can expect this event to take place from May 14-17, 2020.
11) 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.
- Dates: May 28 - 31, 2020
- Location: Piazza di Siena
- Find more information here.
- Where to Store Your Luggage
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
- Free Walking Tours
- Things to Do in Monti