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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 2022.


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!

You can find tickets for all the matches here.

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.

You'll find an orchestral and ballet sampler, as well as the opera La Traviata and highlights from Tosca.

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

TIP: Some of these shows may be included for free or at a discount with a Rome tourist pass.

3) 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. 

In addition to these options, you may also want to consider going to a Jazz Concert at the Cotton Club. You'll also have the opportunity to see the Three Tenors at St. Paul's Within the Walls every Wednesday in May.

If you’re in the mood for a different kind of musical performance, make sure to check this list of concerts in Rome.

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.

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 - 15th, 2022.

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.

UNCONFIRMED: 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 2022.


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,, and more.
Updated: March 12th, 2022
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