Giorgio Armani Prive Collection Spring / Summer 2015 Dress multilayer silk jacquard with embroidery and bamboo. Giorgio Armani Prive Collection Spring / Summer 2015 Dress multilayer silk jacquard with embroidery and bamboo. © Giorgio Armani

What to do in Rome this summer

From open-air opera and food festivals to swimming by the Colosseum, grab a spot at one of Rome’s top events this summer.

Rome really comes into its own in the summer, under a sweltering sun the people spill outside and the Centro Storico becomes one big piazza. If you’re a fan of the outdoors or want to keep cool inside, there are markets, exhibitions, opera and films as well as food festivals and parties to tempt every whim and wish whilst in the Eternal City.

Music at the Baths of Caracalla

Music at the Baths of CaracallaMusic at the Baths of Caracalla

This year, Rome’s original thermal baths are playing host to a number of concerts and operas. The ruins have been transformed into an open-air theatre and there is no better place to immerse yourself in true Italian culture, as well as contemporary sounds. Opera lovers shouldn’t miss tickets for Madame Butterfly (until 6th August) and La Boheme (until 7th August). There are also one-off concerts by Italian pianist supremo Ludovico Einaudi on the 19th of July and Elton John on 12th July. Events run until the end of August, from the full programme see:

Take a dip at the OS Club

os club© OS Club

By night the OS club is a super-sleek restaurant and dance club, and by day throughout the summer you can enjoy the swimming pool on the roof. Directly overlooking the Colosseum, this open-air pool boasts one of most spectacular views in Europe, and also has a bar and café if you would like to stay all day. The OS Club pool is open now until October

L’Eleganza del cibo: Tales about food and fashion

LEleganza-del-cibo--Tales-about-food-and-Fashion© L'Eleganza del cibo: Tales about food and Fashion

Reflecting EXPO Milan’s theme of nutrition, this one-of-a-kind exhibition celebrates Italy’s two greatest achievements: food and style. Held at the Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali, a spectacular archaeological site, the exhibition intends to enlighten visitors about the relationship between natural food in Italy’s past and present and fabrics and textiles crucial to the fashion industry today. 19 May – 11 November,

Related: Milan city guide

Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait at the Musei Capitolini

Capitoline Museums© Capitoline Museums

For the first time ever, the great Italian master’s self-portrait is on display in Rome, dated 1515-16. The Da Vinci exhibition, which also features an exhibition detailing the designer’s life, influences and other works, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come face to face with the man himself. 23 June - 3 August,

Roma Vintage

roma vintage

© Roma Vintage/Facebook


Now in its seventh year, Roma Vintage is a summer-long event held that features festivals and shows of every kind. Everything from live music, wine and food festivals, DJ sets, concerts and even open cinema events are held in the blissful in Parco di Centocelle southeast of the city. 1 July – 29 September

Il Lungotevere: La Dolce Vita on the river

Il Lungotevere © puntarellarossa

Il Lungotevere © puntarellarossa

It’s said that the il Lungotevere festival was created to entertain poor locals who were left behind when the Roma Bene (well-off Romans) departed the city’s heat in the summer for the cooler north. The festival has become a summer hot-spot in the city, and is a packed each night from July to September with locals and tourists alike.

Local artisans, chefs, traders and entertainers line the banks of the river Tiber, for the metropolitan celebration of the season. This year there are two new additions to the line-up: La Crostaceria, a gourmet seafood restaurant whose stall under Ponte Cestio offers diners a more relaxed version of their menu as well as aperitivo and cocktails. REC 23 is ‘luxury street food’ offering homemade burgers, salads as well as snacks to accompany the live music. 12 July – 31 August, every evening until the early hours,

L’Isola del Cinema

Isola del cinema Facebook© Isola del cinema/Facebook

Now summertime institution in Italy, this open air cinema on L’Isola Trestavere is showing a daily dose of New Italian Cinema that highlights young directors and up-and-coming actors. Although most films are in Italian, the language is so beautiful that you could easily spend an evening taking it in. There are also poetry readings, art exhibitions and music on odd occasions. Bring a picnic along and enjoy and indulge in some authentic Italian culture. Until the end of August,

Cinema Americana Occupato

No one does outdoor entertainment quite like the Romans, but this cinema experience is really something special. Showing most nights throughout the summer, the American Cinema shows films in various languages and genres, ranging from Chaplin’s original silent movies, to Wes Anderson, the Cohen bothers and Disney, projected onto the ancient walls of Piazza San Cosimato. On Thursday and Friday nights, authors, artists and poets join the audience for topical discussion after the performance. Dates to be announced, for the full programme see:

Festa de Noantri in Trastevere


© Festa de Noantri

Literally meaning ‘festival of the rest of us’, this fortnight-long celebration commemorates the historical separation of Rome and Trastevere (the latter group like to think of themselves as a little bit different, read: better, than the average Roman). Full details are yet to be announced for 2015, but there promises to be processionals, feasts, tours and exhibitions abound, culminating in a fireworks display over the bridges on the final night. 15 - 30 July,

Open-air club nights

Night-owl visitors to Rome will be pleased to note that Discoteche Roma is holding various club-nights across the summer in prime locations. With nights starting with live music and aperitivo on some of Rome’s top terrace bars to football stadiums and gardens turned into DJ sets and discos that go until the early hours.

10 July – 30 September,

Related: 10 things you need to know about Rome