Annual events and festivals in Rome: 2016-2017

Updated:

Whether you're planning a visit to Rome or living here, you'll find there's a great schedule of annual events and festivals in the city.

...the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses

Juvenal

In the menu on the right (or below, if you're on a mobile phone), you'll see a list of some of these annual events, arranged by type: the biggest sporting event of the year is the Rome Marathon in the spring, although its little cousin the Roma-Ostia Half Marathon is popular too. Rome was planning to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, but this was scrapped in 2012 due to concerns about the cost of hosting the games.

The Olympic bid wasn't the only casualty of economic concerns: the once-popular Notte Bianca, an annual "white night" during which the museums and other venues stayed open overnight, no longer takes place. There's still plenty going on, though.

We've listed a couple of free music festivals, the main one being Primo Maggio on the first of May, and Rome's main film festivals. You'll also see some other arts & culture events, including the photography festival FotoGrafia, and the Festival delle Letterature, which attracts high-profile authors from around the world, so there are likely to be some names you'll recognise. The festival features readings in English as well as Italian.

We're in the process of updating these listings for 2016-2017, and will continue to check them and update as new information comes in.

Wherever possible, our listings also provide the address of the official event websites, although these can vary enormously in quality, and seem to frequently go offline.

If you're thinking of planning a holiday around any of the larger events in Rome, bear in mind that accommodation can be in short supply here, and hotels can fill up pretty quickly. See our section on accommodation for information on hotels that might be worth trying; for something a little different, we've also got information on staying in a convent, many of which take paying guests.