Rome comes alive in the summer with numerous music, dance, opera, theatre and jazz festivals. Many of these performances take place under the stars, in parks, gardens, church courtyards among the Roman ruins and Renaissance palazzos and villa. Here are LUXOS' suggestions on discovering the beauty and variety of Rome's outdoor locations.
Piazza del Campidoglio
A good place to start is the location of the city's government and seat of the gods from Ancient Rome. The layout of the buildings around the Piazza del Campidoglio was designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti, who used sophisticated perspective techniques to increase the sense of space. The equestrian monument of Marcus Aurelius is at the centre. It is perhaps the finest example of the Renaissance concept for the piazza. While you're here, don't miss a visit to the Musei Capitolini and take a drink on the sunny terrace of Caffè Capitolino, just behind Palazzo dei Conservatori.
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From Piazza del Campidoglio, it's about a 15-minute walk through the Campitelli and Regola districts to Piazza Farnese. It is decorated with two twin fountains building using Ancient Roman vats. The Piazza is dominated by the imposing Renaissance building, presently used by the French Embassy. Campo de’ Fiori is close by where every day, a fruit and vegetable market takes place. The square is surrounded by relaxed restaurants that offer a great place to stop for lunch or dinner. Antica Norcineria Viola is a great option for food, a family business where you can find over a hundred types of salami and other cured meats, some made with red wine, walnuts and truffles.
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Piazza di Spagna
Piazza di Spagna is famous all over the world, in part for having appeared in films such as the unforgettable Roman Holiday and Woody Allen's To Rome with Love. The Spanish Steps that ascend towards the church of Trinità dei Monti and the Barcaccia fountain by Bernini are a popular meeting place both for tourists and the people of Rome. These streets include luxury boutiques such as Bulgari, which opened here in 1905, Hermès, Cartier, Ferragamo, Battistoni, as well as historic men's tailors Ferré, and the jewellers Tiffany.
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One of Rome's largest parks and always a lovely place for a stroll. For a little culture, plan a visit to the Museo & Galleria Borghese. The lovely collections of sculpture, bas-reliefs, paintings and mosaics include highlights such as Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne (1625), Portait of a man (1475) by Antonello da Messina, the Deposition (1507) by Raphael, and Pauline Bonaparte (1805-1808) by Canova. The gallery is open every day from 8.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., closed on Mondays. The park and gardens of Villa Borghese are open every day from dawn to dusk, and include many facilities for recreation and entertainment, from bike hire to puppet shows.
These gardens date back to the 13th century, though they were developed primarily in the 19th century and include many neoclassical sculputures, architectural features, as well as outdoor performances and food vendours. The perfect place to relax away from the madding crowds. Open 9.30am 6.30pm, closed on Sundays and public holidays. Orto Botanico, Largo Cristina di Svezia 24, 00165 Rome.
For more of the best of Rome, check out our destination guide.