Rome in August – What to do and How to do it

The colosseum at night is a sight that has moved poets and artists for centuries.

Rome in August is great, despite the heat. While the Italians head out to go on vacation it seems the rest of the world comes to visit, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’ll have a great trip to Rome. Check out what’s going on in Rome in August and our tips to enjoy it to the fullest!

First…Beat the Heat:

Besides the great tips in How to Survive the Heat in Italy, there are some other ways to be sure you don’t get burnt out during your trip to Rome, literally.

Make friends with the nasoni

Rome in August is hot, so it’s best to be prepared. Make friends with the ubiquitous nasoni, or Rome’s famous water fountains, named “big noses” for the shape of the faucet. Public, clean and free, these fountains are great for refilling water bottles or just to splash some water on your face. Try the free iOS app I Nasoni di Roma – Water Finder in Rome and it will locate the closest water fountain to you!

Take naps during the day and try night tours instead

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There are few things more beautiful than Rome at night, particularly after a hot August day! Photo by Gina Mussio

You don’t have to take a nap per se, but getting out of the worst heat of the day, between about noon and 3:00 p.m. at least, will help. Plan a visit in an air-conditioned museum (though check ahead, there aren’t many) or head back to the hotel to rest and rejuvenate. If you want a good late afternoon/evening option check out our Welcome to Rome: Twilight Stroll and see the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon after dark. 

…But be prepared for closings

August is vacation time for Italians, meaning many stores and restaurants are likely to be closed or operating on reduced hours. August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption in Italy or Ferragosto, a national holiday that the Italians take very seriously. Expect the 14th and 16th to be closed as well, with many stores choosing their days arbitrarily, but don’t worry, Rome is still a very large city and you’ll still have plenty of options of restaurants available.

Then, Enjoy!

There are a ton of festivals and events going on in Rome in August, check out some of our favorites here:

Festa della Madonna della Neve August 5 only

If you’re in town August 5, check out the Festa della Madonna della Neve in Santa Maria Maggiore. On August 5, 352 the Esquiline Hill had an unseasonal snowfall, an event that is remembered today by a special mass followed by a blizzard of rose petals that fall from the roof on to the congregation.

Cineporto Summer Film Festival

One of the most popular summer film festivals, Cineporto plays two dubbed films a night, often new or recent releases, on two separate screens. Located in the periphery of Rome in the Parco della Farnesina, near the Stadio Olimpico, there are often live concerts from Italian bands between shows.

Il Barbiere di Siviglia during the Summer Season at the Teatro dell’Opera Until August 8 only

A daytime glimpse at the Terme di Caracalla. Photo by teldridge+keldridge (flickr)

A daytime glimpse at the Terme di Caracalla. Photo via flickr

It’s the summer season at the Teatro dell’Opera, and this summer the Opera di Roma presents Il Barbiere di Siviglia, or the Barber of Seville. The Rome Opera’s summer season is set in the Terme di Caracalla, or the Baths of Caracalla, a breathtaking archaeological sight. Even if you can’t understand the words, go for the beautiful acts and beautiful set – set designers usually use the Roman ruins as backdrops, with just dramatic lighting to change the scene.

There’s a ton to do in Rome year-round, but the beautiful weather and energy of August make it a great time to visit! Be sure to manage the heat and plan accordingly to enjoy all the Eternal City has to offer.

dressing for heat (and cold churches) is one of the keys to enjoying Rome in August. Find our other top tips on Walks of Italy.

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