Visiting Rome during the summertime can be bittersweet. On the one hand, you get to visit the city when it’s most alive, but you’ve just got to deal with the heat! As most locals take the summer period off and head to the seaside, the months of June and August see a lot of shops and restaurants closing, however, there is still a range of activities and events to keep you entertained! In a city as ancient as Rome, you’ll always have something to do whether it be a walk through a museum or visiting one of the city’s many rooftop bars. Make your way to Rome in summer and you won’t be disappointed by the floral and lush greenery you’ll find hidden around the city and have your very own Roman Holiday.
The great thing about summer in Rome is that there really is an event for everyone. With theatre performances, open-air concerts, ballet and live bands, here’s your chance to live it up in the Roman summertime. Rock in Roma brings music lovers to venues across the city in their 11th edition of performances that began in 2009. Previous acts have included the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers as headline acts. This year British singer-songwriter James Black and iconic band 30 Seconds to Mars will make their way to Rome to an adoring and united crowd of music fans.
Cool off at the beach
When the weather gets really hot, it’s best to do what the locals do and make your way to the beach. A day trip out of Rome might be just what you need to get out of the sweltering heat and into the cool water and it’s surprisingly easier than you think. A 30-minute drive out of Rome will you find you in Ostia, contently sitting on a sunbed or splashing in the water. This ancient seaside town dates back to the Bronze age and offers great seafood restaurants serving up fresh local produce.
Lungoli Il Tevere Festival
This festival is celebrating its 17th edition along the River Tiber where trendy pop up bars and exhibition line the riverside. Running from June to early September, there’s also live music and restaurants to venture to on a warm summer’s night. Try your luck at table football, a feature of the festival that the locals seem to love or grab a fruity slushy while the sound of live music reaches your ears.
This medieval town is just a stone’s throw away from Rome after you cross the pretty Ponte Sisto bridge. It’s become quite a hotspot for the local young people to meet up in the piazza before they make their way down cobbled laneways to hidden bars. The Basilica di Santa Maria dominates the Trastevere skyline, a 12th-century basilica supposedly built on the site where a sprig of oil rose from the ground on the day Chris was born. The area is lively and becoming a real hub for foodies, try bar Freni e Frezioni for apertivo, or the Osteria da Zi Umberto for the best of classically Roman pasta. If you’re after a pizza fix, Trastevere is also home to one of the best pizzerias in Rome; Pizzeria Ai Marmi. Make your way here for starters of fried zucchini flowers and traditional thin crust pizza bases.
Take a walk in the gardens
If ever you need to escape the sometimes-chaotic bustle of the city, head to the Borghese Gardens as it’s conveniently located in the centre of Rome. The Eternal City might be known for its antiquated architecture but it’s also one of the greenest cities in Europe. The Borghese Gardens are the most famous in Rome and the third largest of its parks. It was established by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1606 and features artworks by Raphael, Caravaggio and Raphael in the on-site museum. Some features of the garden are a large lake, temples, statues and fountains.
Villa Doria Pamphili is Rome’s largest park, built in the 17th century by a papal family. The gardens are landscaped in a distinctly 17th-century manner and are the site of an art gallery featuring the private artwork of the Doria Pamphilj family.
The perfect summer dessert; Gelato
The best way to cool off in summer is always with ice cream, right? Well, what better way to satisfy your sweet tooth than to have a Gelato in the birthplace of this icy delight in Rome. It might be overwhelming at first when you see just how many gelaterias there are in the eternal city, however, there are a couple tips you should follow to find the best gelato in Rome. The first is don’t be afraid to step out of the city centre to find good gelato, the best ones are usually those who have finely tuned their craft and aren’t inundated with tourists lining up for the first ice cream shop that they see. The second rule of thumb is that stick to gelaterias which only use fresh and natural ingredients. If you see a fruity gelato, don’t go for the one that’s bright and unnatural in colouring. An apple doesn’t remain bright green when it’s blended, so opt for those that look truer to form.
Il Gelato di San Crispino is an institution in Rome, so much so that though they don’t give out cones, serving only in cups so that you can fully savour the taste of the gelato. It’s located next to the Trevi Fountain and was first opened in the 1990s, now known for their artisan gelato. There are three sections for you to select from cream to sorbet and even meringues.
Rome’s oldest gelato shop opened in 1890 and has been extremely popular in the years since. Gelato Giolotti was once the suppliers of the royal Italian family, so if that isn’t a good enough reason to visit, then what is! It’s conveniently located near the Pantheon so after you’re done exploring the Pantheon’s intricate dome ceiling, head over for a perfect scoop of lemon gelato.
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Recommended tour: Rome Day Tour with Colosseum & Vatican City
Tour Company: Sightseeing Tours Italy