Even though the summer is coming to a close, there’s still plenty to see and do in Rome.
This post, updated for 2023, provides 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.
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 Classical Music
Rome is a passionate city and one with a long history of music. You can find just about any genre you're looking for including, of course, classical music and opera.
- Vivaldi/Bach at St. Paul's Within the Walls | Mondays
- Rooftop Bar Opera Show: The Great Beauty in Rome | Wednesdays
- Capuchin’s Crypt: Sacred Music in the Heart of Rome | Thursdays
- Open Air Opera Concert: Best Arias and Love Duets | Fridays
- Open Air Opera Concert at Terrazza Borromini | Fridays
- La Traviata at St. Paul's Within the Walls | Fridays
- The Three Tenors in Rome | Saturdays
- Serata Coreografi Contemporanei | September 19th-24th (Ballet)
For something really special, you might try Sacred Music in the Heart of Rome, in the Capuchin Crypt. It comes with both a guided tour and a concert.
2. Enjoy a Live Football (Soccer) Game
September represents the beginning of the football season, and Rome has two teams you can support.
This is a great idea for families with sports fans and it’s worth noting that several matches will be held at night.
If you'd like a tour of the field both teams play on, visit Rome's Olympic Stadium.
Note that if football doesn't interest you, the Ryder Cup is in town September 25th-30th at Marco Simon Golf & Country Club.
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 that 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.
NOTE: You can also take one of our audio tour of Rome's City Center.
4. Attend Roma Europa Festival
The Romaeuropa Festival, one of the most prestigious festivals in Europe, will welcome performing artists and musicians from many genres to theatres and auditoriums around Rome.
Although some events are free, you can expect an average ticket price of €15 - €40 per person.
The festival takes place from September 6th - November 19th.
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
One of the most popular events are night openings at many national heritage sites on September 23rd & 24th
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 out our free things to do section.
6. 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 that 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.
The dates for 2023 haven't yet been released (as of May), but in 2022 they were around mid-September.
Villa Borghese is included on several hop-on, hop-off bus tours in Rome.
7. See the Arc of Lights
On September 4th, around 1 pm a sunbeam of light comes through the hole in the dome of the Parthenon.
This light enters the building and crosses around the inside eventually landing on the doorway where it creates a glowing arc of light overtop.
It's been described as "one of history's first great special effects".
Read our post Parthenon Tickets, Reservations, and Free Entry for more information on visiting the Parthenon.
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 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, with classes each day of the week, that will allow your kids to experience what life was like for actual gladiators.
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.
If you’re looking to experience a lot for a little when 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 Caravaggio Paintings
Michelangelo Mersi da Caravaggio 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.
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 when it's warm outside.
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.
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.
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.
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/ 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.
See the Trevi Fountain After Dark
One of the best times to see this landmark is after the sun goes down. 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!
Have a Glass of Wine on a Rooftop Terrace
You have many options for viewing the grandeur laid out before you when on one of the dozens of rooftop terraces in Rome.
Just a few are:
- Cielo Terrace | at the top of the Spanish Steps.
- Matter Tarrae | in Piazza Navona. with a 360 view of Rome.
- Aroma Restaurant | overlooking the Colosseum
- Palazzo Nainer | 5th floor, overlooking Viia Borghese, Pizza di Spagna, and more
Experience the Capuchin Crypts After Dark
These historic crypts can be pretty creepy during the day, but the atmosphere gets even more disturbing at night.
If you’re up for the macabre, this is an excellent location to visit after the sun goes down.
The Capuchin Crypts are open to professional tours after hours which provide a lot of useful information about the Bone Chapel and the 4,000 monks whose remains adorn its walls.
- Tickets can be purchased here.
- Guided tour in English
- Duration: 45 minutes long
- Departure: Piazza Barberini, P.za Barberini, 00187 Roma RM, Italy - next to the fountain in the middle of the square.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN SEPTEMBER
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 its 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.
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: €6/Toddlers | €9/Adults & Kids
Click here to buy tickets or learn more.
Visit the Bioparco
Located in Villa Borghese, the Bioparco (Rome’s Zoo) has a lot of exotic animals to see and experience.
This location offers a summer center for children which will provide unique opportunities to learn about wildlife.
See a variety of different animals like elephants, giraffes, alligators, tigers, camels, and more.
Ticket prices are below, although note that purchases 30-60 days out bring the price down for adults and children, and there is a promo price for those who go 2 hours before the park closes.
- €14/Seniors (Wednesdays €9)
- €14/Children Over 1 metre tall & up to 10 yrs old (Wednesdays €9)
- Kids under 1 meter tall are FREE
- Those accompanying the disabled are FREE
Zoo hours are between 9:30 am and 6:00 pm (18:00) in between March 26 and October 28.