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Catch The Best Summer Entertainment In Rome

Terme di Caracalla bath structures

Rome is well known for being one of the world’s most enchanting cities but it has a particularly evocative atmosphere in the summertime when many of its most beautiful venues provide the backdrop for various forms of cultural entertainment. From opera within an ancient Roman bath complex and open-air film screenings on Tiber Island, to indie-electronic music on a lake within one of the city’s largest parks, summer entertainment in Rome doesn’t fail to disappoint. Soak in some culture at these spectacular venues for a truly memorable experience of the city this season. Need a place to stay? Check out a wonderful selection of hotels and B&Bs in Rome on Booking.com.

Cinema on Tiber Island

It’s debatable whether Rome’s tiny Isola Tiberina is indeed the smallest inhabited island in the world, but regardless of this fact, it’s certainly one of the most charming and makes the perfect location to host L’Isola del Cinema, Rome’s summer film festival. This boat-shaped island is connected to mainland Rome by two bridges and becomes a focal point for summer entertainment in the city. The film festival screens international and Italian movies; follow the Facebook page to see what titles will be screened this year.

Isola Tiberina, Tiber Island, Rome

Indie Rock at Villa Ada

Another alluring spot is a peninsula in the laghetto of Villa Ada, one of Rome’s largest parks. The Villa Ada Festival brings a series of international indie rock artists to play on an intimate stage buried deep in this woodsy environment. Catch artists such as Ani DiFranco, Primal Scream and Cigarettes After Sex playing here this year. With plenty of food and drink stands, along with tv screens and foosball tables, its a fun place to hang out before and after a show and is a favorite with the city’s hipster crowd.

Opera at the Terme Di Caracalla

Each summer Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera transfers its operas and ballets to the ancient Baths of Caracalla for what has now become one of the city’s most famous summer events. The public baths were built around 212 AD during the reigns of Septimius Severus and Caracalla and were originally adorned with priceless mosaics, statues, and granite columns. Today, much of the structure remains and the gargantuan ruins provide an incredible background to performances such as Carmen, Tosca and Nabucco. 

Terme di Caracalla bath structures
Terme di Caracalla © C.M. Falsini
Theater at the Shakespeare Globe

For top-notch theater, don’t miss the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre inside Villa Borghese, a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. From the design of the wooden interior to the makeup and costumes of the cast, you’ll feel transported back to the Elizabethan era for the evening. Most performances are acted in Italian, though its worth catching a show for the atmosphere even if you can’t follow the play entirely. Seven shows are taking place this year, including Sogno Di Una Notte Di Mezza Estate (a Midsummer Night’s Dream), Macbeth, and Much Ado About Nothing (performed in English). 

Jazz in a Baroque Courtyard

Borromini’s fantastic twisted spire has prominent position in this gorgeous courtyard belonging to the 17th century Baroque church, Sant’Ivo Alla Sapienza. The complex is used to house the Archives of the City of Rome and in the summer the courtyard opens its doors to lovers of classic music and jazz with its International Chamber Ensemble concert series. This year brings Songs From The Cinema, From Frank Sinatra to The Beatles, and a night dedicated to Gershwin to the romantic courtyard.

The cloister of Borromini's Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza

Classic Music at Rome’s Smaller Colosseum

Teatro Marcello, an open-air Flavian amphitheater built in 13 BC, is often toted as a smaller version of the Colosseum. Lying on the edge of Rome’s lovely Jewish Ghetto, it is often overlooked by tourists but it hosts a series of Concerti del Tempietto under its illuminated arcades which are sure to please fans of Beetoven, Brahms and Chopin. From instrumental pieces and arias written by classical composers to performances of songs from Sister Act and Neapolitan tunes, the shows cover a wide range of styles.

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