Of the many things we know about Italy we also know that it is certainly not a wintry place. That goes for the warm people and friendly culture but also for the weather itself: the country isn’t used to and isn’t prepared for the cold (aside from the fact that it never is very cold at all.) So Italy thrives in summer, and Rome is full of events and festivals that take full advantage of the most pleasant and privileged season. Here are 5 summer festivals in Rome that shouldn’t be missed:
1. Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival
The Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival has been a Roman institution for more than a decade, located in the gardens and the shade of the 16th century villa designed in harmony with nature by a student of Michelangelo, Giacomo del Duca. Today artists of national and international fame take the stage, including Enrico Rava, Javier Girotto and Roberto Gatto, including the conservatories of Santa Cecilia and Luigi Cherubini. The festival runs until September 20th, and tickets cost approximately 10€. (Via della Navicella, Metro: Colosseo) http://www.villacelimontanajazz.com/ita/index.html
2. Roma Incontra Il Mondo Festival, Villa Ada
Villa Ada is one of the most beautiful and largest public parks in Rome, and since 1994 has housed a world music festival called Roma Incontra il Mondo, running from the 16th of June to the 8th of August. A truly varied range of artists play here, from pop to rock to classical to reggae to world music, effectively: this year a few notable names are Nouvelle Vague, Ludovico Einaudi, Avion Travel, and Patti Smith. Tickets vary between 8 and 13€. (Laghetto di Villa Ada, Metro: Campi Sportivi) http://www.villaada.org/
3. Isola del Cinema
One of my favorite events is the Isola del Cinema festival held on the Isola Tiberina right in the center of Rome, wedged in the river Tiber. Every year one has the pleasure of watching films in the open air on the island. The festival runs from the 18th of June to the 30th of September and screens both national and international cinema. The program includes a 21:30 and 23:30 screening for perfect “dinner and a movie” dates. The upcoming week provides a taste of the event: Milk, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, La Dolce Vita, Let the Right One In. Tickets are 5€ for the first screening ( if you are part of the Isola del Cinema Facebook group, working for ATAC or have a Metrebus card) and 3€ for the second screening. http://www.isoladelcinema.com/
4. Teatro dell’Opera di Roma at the Terme di Caracalla
Every year the Teatro dell’Opera moves its productions to the atmospheric Caracalla baths, and is certainly not to be missed even just in light of this. This month and in August the program includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the corps de ballet and the orchestra of the Opera house, Tosca and Carmen. While the Teatro dell’Opera is not nearly at the same level as La Scala of Milan, for instance, the location makes the night. Tickets and seating arrangements can be found on the website: http://www.operaroma.it .
5. Lungo Er Tevere
For a more informal, relaxed and truly enjoyable evening with friends head down to the Lungotevere degli Anguillara and head down the stairs onto the river bank. Every year the city of Rome organizes this event on the shores of the Tiber from the Ponte Sisto to Ponte Mazzini, over 1 km of shops, stands, bars, restaurants, and clubs. For more information check out the website: http://www.lungoiltevereroma.it/cultura.html. These events are certainly not the only ones – be sure to check the official website of the Estate Romana, http://www.estateromana.comune.roma.it/.
Photo of Mike Stern band playing at Villa Celimontana, Rome, Italy by Padesig