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Things to Do in Rome in September

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Even though the summer is coming to a close, there’s still plenty to see and do in Rome. This post will provide several different ideas for Roman attractions and events that you can enjoy during September. In addition to our top 10 list, we will also include activities you can enjoy at night, for free, or with your family.

 


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO

This section features the ten most interesting events or activities that you can enjoy in Rome during the month of September. 

We have even more suggestions in our popular Rome posts:


(1) Enjoy Several Concerts During Estate Romana

This year, Rome is celebrating Estate Romana with an event known as Si Puo Fare, which is essentially a special concert series at Auditorium Parco della Musica.

 

 

You can expect the following musical artists to perform during the month of September:

  • Snarky Puppy | Sept 3rd
  • Luca Barbarossa | Sept 4th
  • The Zen Circus | Sept 8th
  • PAF Trio | Sept 11th

You should be able to get tickets here when they are made available. 


(2) Enjoy a Live Football Game

September represents the beginning of the football season, and Rome has two teams you can support. Whether you want to see S.S. Lazio or AS Roma, both teams play at Olympic Stadium, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find your way to the game. This is a great idea for families with sports fans and it’s worth noting that several matches will be held at night.

 

 

Take a look at all the events in Rome this month, as well as our family-friendly activity suggestions.


(3) Take a Free Roman Walking Tour

If you want some help finding your way around this ancient city, consider taking a free or pay-what-you-wish walking tour.

There are a few different Rome walking tours which won’t cost you a thing, but they do recommend giving your tour guide a tip at the end for their efforts.

 

 

On these tours you can expect to visit locations such as Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Castel Sant’Angelo and more.

You can also take one of our self-guided walking tours at no cost, or watch a virtual tour of Rome -- and you'll find one just above!

NOTE: You can also take a free audio tour from Rick Steves Europe. This service provides audio tours in the heart of Rome, Ostia Antica, Trastevere and at free locations such as the Pantheon.


(4) Attend Roma Europa Festival

Beginning at the end of the month, Roma Europa Festival will welcome several performing artists and musicians to theatres and auditoriums around Rome. Although some events are free, you can expect an average ticket price of €15 - €40 per person.

 

 

Here are just a few of the shows you will be able to see from September 14th - November 21st, 2021:

  • Vanessa Wagner
  • Cyril Teste 
  • Milo Rau
  • Akram Khan

(5) Celebrate European Heritage Day

All of Italy celebrates its heritage during the month of September. Rome celebrates this holiday in a variety of ways, but one of the most popular events is night openings at many national heritage sites from September 25th and 26th, 2021.

In addition to this, several museums and attractions will require an admission price of only €1 per person. 

 

 

For more activities and information about the celebration, make sure to check the European Heritage Days website.

Keep in mind that many of the heritage sites you’ll have access to during this holiday are included on hop-on, hop-off bus tours in Rome.

If you’re looking for an even more affordable trip to various museums and historical sites, check our free things to do section.


(6) Grab a Bite at Taste of Roma

This festival will give visitors the opportunity to try more than 70 different gourmet dishes, wines, champagnes, cocktails, and other delicious treats.

 

 

In addition to the food, there will also be other activities such as cooking demonstrations and lessons.

Located at Auditorium Parco della Musica, you can rest assured that music will also play a role in this event.

Ticket prices range from €10 - €20 per person, but VIP tickets will carry a higher price tag and food may cost extra. 

NOTE: Official dates for this event have yet to be announced, but it is scheduled to take place in 2021.


(7) Participate in Io Vado al Museo

Also known as Sunday at the Museum, this event takes place on every first Sunday of the month.

On September 5th, 2021, you’ll have the opportunity to visit several notable museums and historic locations in Rome for free.

 

 

Crowds will be larger than usual due to this event, but it’s hard to beat the price! Here is a list of just a few included landmarks and museums you can visit during Domenica al Museo:

TIP: If you are interested in seeing the Vatican Museums, you can get free entry on either World Tourism Day (September 27) or the last Sunday of the month (September 29).

Check our post on visiting the Vatican Museums for more details. The Vatican Museums are also included on more than one Roman tourist pass.


(8) Celebrate the Memorial of Pope St. Gregory

On September 3rd, Catholics around the world celebrate the memorial of this saint with a feast and other activities.

If you happen to be in Rome at the time, you may want to consider heading to St. Peter’s Basilica.

You will find his tomb in the Vatican Grottoes, and they will be decorations at his altar all day. Following Mass at 5 PM, there will also be a procession that you can join over his tomb.

 

 

For more details on how to attend mass at this historic church or see the Vatican Grottoes, make sure to read our post about visiting St. Peter’s Basilica.


(9) Take the Kids to a Gladiator Show

If you really want to transport your kids to ancient Rome, one of the best ways is to visit Grupo Storico Romano. They offer a recreation of a Gladiatorial show every Friday and Saturday throughout September.

 

 

At the end of the show, visitors will have the opportunity to partake in food and drink which were made with ancient Roman recipes.

This business also offers a Gladiator School that will allow your kids to experience what life was like for actual gladiators.

TIP: This location is very close to Via Appia, a stop on at least one hop-on, hop-off bus tour. If you’re considering this service, check our post about Roman bus tours.


(10) Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

Getting a tourist discount pass is the best way to maximize your time and money in Rome. You can save up to 50% on popular museums and attractions with the purchase of a card, and even get skip-the-line access to select attractions. Skipping the line in a place like the Colosseum can save you hours and give you the time to see even more monuments. 

 

 

You can find discounts on various passes for the following attractions: 

  • The Vatican Museums
  • Colosseum and Palatine Hill
  • Capitoline Museums
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Buses
  • Public Transportation

Take a look at our attraction discount pass comparison post to see which one can save you the most.


UNCONFIRMED: Smell the Flowers at La Conserva della Neve

If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Rome’s city center, head to Villa Borghese during this special event to enjoy a rare opportunity.

La Conserva della Neve is an annual floriculture fair which invites botanists, gardeners and landscapers from around the world to reveal and sell some of their most prized and beautiful plants.

 

 

Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase various plants and flowers, but you can also come simply to see the flowers, live demonstrations and even musical performances.

Villa Borghese is included on several hop-on, hop-off bus tours in Rome.

NOTE: This event has not yet been confirmed for 2021.


UNCONFIRMED: See Some Theatre and Culture

Where better to see an Italian opera than in Rome? At the Teatro dell'Opera, you'll get to experience operas as authentically as possible.

Whether or not you are a fan of opera in general, it might be worth the experience of being in the crowd for an Italian opera in Italy.

 

 

NOTE: Teatro dell'Opera has yet to confirm any shows for September 2021.

Find all the events in Rome during September.


POSTPONED: Run the Rome Half Marathon

Active travelers might consider running Rome’s Half Marathon. This race will include many notable sites along the way including St. Peter’s Square, Circus Maximus, and the Colosseum.

 

 

In addition to the competitive race, there will also be a 5K run for peace which is open to everyone and much more affordable. For more details on both events, check the Rome Half Marathon website.

NOTE: This event has been postponed until October 17th, 2021.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO

If you’re running low on money while visiting Rome, the following section will provide a few different activities you can enjoy without paying a euro. 

 

 

To find even more budget-friendly things to do, check out our free activities post.


Search the City for Carvaggio Paintings

The Crucifixion of St. Peter, a painting by Carvaggio, can be found in the Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo. Image Source: Pixabay user RonPorter through Creative Commons CC0 license. Michelangelo Mersi da Carvaggio is one of the most famous Italian painters in the history of the country, and many of his works can be found in various churches throughout Rome.

If you’re looking for a fun and free activity, consider going on a scavenger hunt to find his paintings and appreciate his fantastic artwork.

We’ll get you started with a few locations to check below:

  • Church of San Luigi dei Francesi
  • Church of Santa Maria del Popolo
  • Church Sant’Agostino

Each of these locations is within a 5-15 minute walk of a hop-on, hop-off bus stop. Keep this in mind if you plan on taking a Roman bus tour.

TIP: You’ll find even more Carvaggio paintings in museums and buildings such as the Borghese Gallery, Capitoline Museums, the Vatican Museums and other locations which offer free admission on certain days of the month.

Consider combining this activity with Domenica al Museo for an even more interesting experience. Alternatively, it’s also worth noting that many of these sites are included with Roman tourist passes.


Visit the Roman Cat Sanctuary

The ruins of ancient Rome aren’t just a place for history, they’re also apparently a great refuge for cats! One such location where you will find these felines is at a shelter called Torre Argentina which is currently home to over 100 cats.

Volunteers come to the shelter every day to feed the animals and look after them, and visitors from around the world are free to come and spend some time with these furry friends. 

This is an excellent opportunity not only to visit ruins from 300 BC, but also to take a break from the typical tourist activities and pet a few cats along the way. The Cat Sanctuary is also very close to at least one known stop for hop-on, hop-off bus tours in Rome.

Visit the Roman Cat Sanctuary website for more details.

 


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FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

If you’re looking for attractions you can visit with your family, this section will provide a few different activities that you may want to consider. 

 

 

Families looking for even more to do should check other sections for ideas such as the Roman Cat Sanctuary, a live football game, or La Conserva della Neve. Don't forget our full things to do with kids post


See Pinocchio at the Bartolucci Toy Store

Over the years, this Italian toy store has become well known for their Pinocchio puppets. In addition to dolls with long noses, you’ll also find a variety of other wooden toys and an area known as Gepetto’s Workshop.

This location is roughly 5 minutes away from a stop on certain hop-on, hop-off bus tours. For more details, make sure to read our post about Roman Bus tours.

Make sure to visit the Bartolucci website for more details.


Take a Bus Tour in Rome

Rome is a city that usually requires a lot of walking. Unfortunately, this can be a little difficult for some younger visitors. One of the best ways to avoid getting too tired is to use the hop-on, hop-off bus tours that are available. These services will take you to most of the historic sites in Rome, allowing you to rest your legs after long walks around the piazzas and villas of the city.

Depending on which bus tour you take, your tickets may also include access to free walking tours or landmarks like the Colosseum. Some hop-on, hop-off bus tours are also free for young children, making it an even better deal for families.

Make sure to visit our post about Roman bus tours for more details.

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

The sun may have gone down, but there are still plenty of fun activities you can enjoy in Rome after dark. 

 

 

This section will provide a few different attractions you may want to visit at night. Take a look at our nighttime activities post for more ideas. 


Watch a Movie at Isola del Cinema

Head to Tiberina Island for Estate Romana. The last day of the event is September 1, so you have one last chance to catch a fee outdoor movie. Movies start at sundown and are projected on a screen right next to the river.

NOTE: There is no indication that this event will be taking place in 2021.


See Historical Sites at Night

It’s not every day that major landmarks in Rome are open to the public after dark. Thankfully, you’ll actually have two opportunities to do just that during this month.

You can visit the Colosseum Monday - Wednesday with the last admission being at 22:30 (10:30 pm). Tickets for this can go for as little as €20, but you can also go on a VIP tour which includes an exploration of the underground and the arena floor for less than €80.

Don’t forget that you can also visit the Pantheon from 7:30 pm - 22:30 (10:30 pm) on European Heritage Day. Also keep in mind that tickets to many of these sites are included with several Roman tourist passes.


Go on a Dinner Cruise

September evenings are pleasant as summer is on its way out. Why not enjoy a night cruise down the Tiber River?

While enjoying your dinner and drinks, you can see monuments and historic buildings from a different perspective, such as Castel Sant'Angelo.

 


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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: October 13th, 2021
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