What to do in Rome this May/June © RomArt

What to do in Rome this May/June

Our guide to best exhibitions, events and concerts in Rome this season.

As the weather warms up escape the crowds at the Forum or the throngs of tourists queuing for the Colosseum and discover the real magic of the Eternal City with private gallery openings, late-night exhibitions and sporting events across the city. We've put together a guide to best under-the-radar spots and events that Rome has to offer this spring.

1. Baroque in Rome: The Wonders of the Arts.

Baroque art and architecture denotes Rome's final moments as a cultural and intellectual capital. Five centuries after its inception, Baroque still remains a crucial part of Rome's history and is celebrated this summer in a series of exhibitions across the city. Most prominent is 'Baroque in Rome' in Piazza Cipolla, presenting a comprehensive view of the movement and its key players.

Organised by the Fondazione Roma Museo and featuring original works, sketches and models by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Barromini and Pietro da Cortona, the retrospective also holds tours, study groups as well concerts dedicated to the rediscovery of Baroque music, exploring its links with Rome and the ecclesiastical architecture.
Until 26 July. www.fondazioneromamuseo.it

2. RomArt 2015

From 15-18 May, the futuristic Nuova Fiera di Roma exhibition centre is hosting the first edition of RomArt, the International Biennale of Art and Culture.

Featuring paintings, sculptures, graphic design, photography, video and digital art within the centre, admission is free for all and guests can enjoy a day perusing the finest world-wide art and design as well as spectacular Italian food and wine tasting.

3. Giorgio Morandi at the Complesso del Vitoriano

Bologna-born 20th century artist Giorgio Morandi is considered one of the most important artists and engravers in modern art-history and this exhibition is a chance to see the largest collection of his works, featuring his oil paintings, prized etchings and engravings.
Until 21 June. www.comunicareorganizzando.it

4. Artists of the 19th Century at Galleria d'Arte Moderna 

© Alessandro Pigna Frigidarium 1882 olio su tela

© Alessandro Pigna Frigidarium 1882 olio su tela

A delightful panorama of late 19th and early 20th century life in Italy during the unification process, featuring artists from all over Italy. Showcasing over 3000 works, the exhibition illustrates the many movements of 100 years of art in Italy including the rediscovery of classicism, realism, art of the interwar period and masterpieces from the 1930s and '40s.
Until 14 June. en.galleriaartemodernaroma.it

5. Matisse Arabesque

The influence of oriental travel and the exotic on the works of Henri Matisse is showcased in 100 works. The French painter's travels took him not just the East, but also to Turkey, north Africa and Russia and the influence of these countries' crafts and designs is seen all over his paintings. An artistic highlight in Rome this year.
Until 21 June, www.scuderiequirinale.it

6. Festa dei Lavoratori

Since 1900 the festival celebrating the national holiday (Labour Day) has been a highlight of spring in Rome. Featuring a range of Italian rock, folk, pop electro and indie stars, the concert starts at 3pm in Piazza San Giovani in Laterano and lasts until the early hours.
1 May www.primomaggio.com

7. Concerti di Angelo

pont sant-angellijpg
Pilgrims entering the Vatican from Rome have for centuries crossed the magnificent bridge across the Tiber, and this spring the Ponte Sant'Angelo is the backdrop for a season of classical music concerts.

The May concerts begin with "Fabiana Biasini piano recital" on 2 May. "The magic flute of Paolo Fratini" on 9 May, followed by "A tribute to Schubert" on 16 May. The concert on 23 May is the "Trio Borromini plays Schubert" and the season will close on 30 May with the "The romantic Cello" concerto.
Until 30 May. www.classictic.com

8. La Notte dei Musei

If the mention of a trip to the museum makes you think of stuffy exhibitions then Rome's version of 'Night of the Museums' is for you. Following a Europe-wide initiative, on 17 May more than 90 Roman museums and cultural spaces are opening their doors, free of charge, from 8pm-2am, offering a series of after-hours events at some of the capital's biggest museums and quirky attractions.

Regular exhibitions are given a makeover with live music, guest speakers and drinks and food offered, also available are night tours of the city – each about a different aspect of Roman history and culture. New events are being announced daily, so check out website near to 17 May and take your pick.
17 May www.lanottedeimusei.it

9. Lungo il Tevere


© Lungo il Tevere

Rome's River Tiber is one of its main attractions at any time of year, but in the summer months the banks come alive with festivals at the weekend. From music to literature, painting to food, the Associazione Culturale le Vela D'Oro is organising celebrations of various disciplines throughout the spring and summer. The atmosphere is really special to Rome and allows tourists the opportunity to meet local produces and craftsmen.
From 12 June onwards, www.lungoiltevereroma.it

10. Open air opera and ballet

balletto-pink-floyd-ballet 1
Once again, Rome's Baths of Caracella provides an exquisite backdrop for the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's productions. The season kicks off with the 'Pink Floyd Ballet', which combines psychedlic music, clever lighting and the choreographed movements to unite cultured dance with rock. Also on show is the Mozart's comic opera 'The Marriage of Figaro' and a new production of Turandot.
From 23 June onwards, www.operaroma.it

11. Internazionali BNL D'Italia

© Internazionali BNL D'Italia

© Internazionali BNL D'Italia

Acting as the unofficial warm-up to the summer tennis season, the Italian Open is held at the Foro Italico in Rome between 9 and 17 May. As well as the usual on-court action the grounds also house fabulous restaurants, designer shops and musical performances throughout the tournament. Check out current Italian golden-boy, Fabio Fognini, who beat Nadal in straight sets at the Barcelona Open in April 2015.
9-17 May, www.internazionalibnlditalia.com

12. Vinoforum

© Vinoforum

© Vinoforum

You don't need to head to the Tuscan hills in search of the best Italian wines or to sample some of the finest produce. This June event returns to the streets of Rome and to the exhibition centre of Tiber Marshal Diaz Roma. Make sure you get your tastebuds going at this not-to-be-missed event that brings together producers, buyers and consumers in a celebration of wine, prosecco, cheese and gourmet street food.
From 12 – 21 June, www.vinoforum.it