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Rome Sightseeing


More than 30 light and video installations will illuminate the streets of the hip Roman district of Pigneto over a 4km route from 27-29 October, showcasing established names and young talents from the world of Italian contemporary art for this three-day festival dubbed RGB Light Experience. Look out for night tours on bikes and a light painting contest. www.rgblightfest.com

Taste of Roma 2017 is the city's annual celebration of gourmet food, held in the hanging gardens at Rome's Auditorium Parco della Musica. Featuring 15 world class Italian chefs and 15 of the capital's top restaurant kitchens, watch the experts prepare tasting portions of their latest creations and share top culinary tips. 21 to 24 September 2017, www.tasteofroma.it

Catch a concert in Rome during the Luglio Suona Bene festival, with a rich calendar of artists throughout the summer at Auditorium Parco della Musica in the Flaminio district of Rome. This year, July's star names include The Lumineers and Ryan Adams. www.auditorium.com/eventi/luglio

June 2nd marks the 71st anniversary of Italy becoming a republic, and the public holiday is celebrated with a military march at midday along via dei Fori Imperiali, the imposing street that leads all the way down to the Colosseum. Look out for the President of the Republic and Italy's Prime Minister laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in piazza Venezia at Rome's Vittoriano monument.

Rome always celebrates May 1st with a huge, open-air pop concert which is free for everyone to see. Situated in the piazza in front of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the first groups come on around lunchtime, but you'll have to stay until after dark to see any big Italian or international names. There's no seating so plan on standing most of the afternoon. http://www.primomaggio.net/

Easter weekend in Rome kicks off with the Via Crucis ceremony on the evening of Good Friday, when Pope Francis leads a torchlit procession from the Colosseum to the Palatine Hill, stopping at the 14 Stations of the Cross along the way to say a prayer. The festival culminates with the great Easter Sunday service in St. Peter's Square.

Art and music come together in the concert series, ‘Music in Bernini's Rome', at the Sant'Agnese in Agone Church in Rome. Performing on historical Baroque instruments, musicians present works by the greatest composers of Bernini's time: Girolamo Frescobaldi, Claudio Monteverdi, Giulio Caccini, and more. Bernini's sculptures, the frescoed interior, and the church architecture combine to enrich the concert experience. Every Thursday throughout March at 18.30. €20 adults, reductions available. http://www.romaoperaomnia.com/events/music-in-berninis-rome

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Picasso's arrival in Rome, ushering in a new wave of creativity for the Spanish artist, Hotel de Russie (where the artist stayed) is hosting an exclusive exhibition of his ‘La Célastine' engravings, a series of dry-points, etchings and aquatints, open to guests and clients throughout the month of February. Have a drink in the hotel's Stravinskij bar to channel the spirit of 1917, or book a night or two in the recently refurbished Picasso Suite, with its own private terrace overlooking the Eternal City. https://www.roccofortehotels.com/promotions/promotion/celebrate-picasso-with-hotel-de-russie/hotel-de-russie/

Rome's fascinating Non-Catholic Cemetery is home to the graves of English poets Shelley and Keats, as well as a cat colony, some rather esoteric tombs, and a unique view of Rome's ancient pyramid. Beautiful on a sunny day and sombre in the rain, entrance is free but a polite donation of at least €3 is expected. Via Caio Cestio 6, Rome, www.cemeteryrome.it

Every four years the Quadriennale d'Arte tries to take the temperature of the contemporary Italian art scene by bringing works from its greatest artists together in one place. This year, the 16th edition of this show is being held at Rome's Palazzo delle Esposizione, and features the work of over 100 artists in a range of disciplines, curated by a panel of contemporary art experts. Until 8 January 2017.

Every year, the RomaEuropa Festival enlivens winter nights in Rome by gathering some of the best contemporary dance collectives from all over the world and scheduling a series of events celebrating theatre, new technology and the visual arts with cutting-edge dance at their heart. This year, the festival runs from 21 September until 3 December and is hosted by some of the city's most exciting venues, including Teatro Argentina, Monk Club, Auditorium Conciliazione and Teatro India. For full programme and tickets: romaeuropa.net/festival-2016

Key Areas

One of Rome's biggest craft beer festivals brings together over 50 Italian and international brewers from 6-8 October, presenting more than 300 beers. EurHop takes placed at the Salone delle Fontane in the EUR district of the city and features Europe's longest bar top. Organised by cult Roman pub, Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà, artisan street food stalls balance the impressive flood of beer. eurhop.com

Book a ride on a 1920s wood panelled tram and take a two hour journey through Rome, seeing some of its most famous monuments. The Tram Ristorante version also serves drinks and snacks as you enjoy the ride, while the live music option is guaranteed to get you dancing. From €44.99 per person. www.rometramtracks.com

The Rome Marathon, taking place this year on 2 April, boasts one of the most breathtaking routes in the world. Starting and finishing at Rome's iconic Colosseum, the race's 42km takes in Piazza del Popolo, Vatican City, and nearly all of the city's seven hills. Expect the starting pistol to be fired at 8.40am and Rome to remain tied up until late afternoon. www.maratonadiroma.it

Testaccio's former slaughterhouse complex has been transformed over the past decade, and is now a cultural hub in a series of very atmospheric halls. Housing a contemporary art gallery, MACRO Testaccio, an outdoor space for concerts and festivals, two restaurants and an organic supermarket, architecturally it's also a fascinating, 19th century industrial space that really left its mark on this corner of Rome. Entry is free except for concerts and certain exhibitions at MACRO. Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4, Rome

Day Trips

During the first weekend in October, head up to the hilltop town of Marino in the Castelli Romani district, 25 miles from Rome, for its famous wine festival when even the fountains flow with local red wine. This traditional celebration of the grape harvest starts at 18.00 on the Saturday evening and runs through until Monday night. Trains depart regularly for Marino from Termini station.

The Gardens of Ninfa are a uniquely curated paradise of plants and flowers located in the ruins of a medieval hamlet, a few miles outside Rome. Established by the Caetani family in the 1920s, the family's foundation privately maintains the gardens to this day and you can visit at select times (5, 6, 15 August and 2, 3 September). The garden features thousands of rare plants and flowers as well as 150 species of birds. http://www.fondazionecaetani.org/visita_ninfa.php? Adults €12, children under 11 go free.

Escape to the Roman seaside during the hottest months of the year by jumping on the train to local beach resort Ostia, just a 30 minute train ride from metro stop Piramide / Roma Lido. Stroll down to the port where the big boats are moored or catch some rays at a private beach club.

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