The Best Things To Do In Rome This August
As beautiful as The Eternal City is throughout the year, there’s just something about walking the cobble-stone streets during a hot summer night that makes Rome extra magical.
Not in the last place because of the many cool events, pop-up bars, and parties that come to live in the summer months.
Let us guide you through Rome’s must-visits of this season!
Chill at The Park
We won’t lie: Rome can get quite hot, humid and overcrowded during the summer. Tourism reaches its peak in June and July and sometimes you just need a break from the heat and big crowds. That’s why Rome’s green areas are so great: the city’s lush parks offer some shade, quiet and many cool activities during summer.
Open-air Cinema and Drinks at Villa Borghese
Of course, the most famous park is Villa Borghese, with the beautiful Belvedere looking out over Piazza del Popolo at Il Pincio as its highlight. Cool down with a drink on the beautiful terrace of modern art museum GNAM or Caffe Colbert (the restaurant and bar inside Villa Medici with a stylish, quiet terrace offering a view over Rome’s centre). Or watch a movie under the light of the stars at Casa del Cinema; they screen Italian and international movies for free on the terrace of Vyta from June to September.
Live Music at Villa Ada
This beautiful park in the northeast of Rome is even bigger than Villa Borghese and is really worth a visit: you can rent canoes, bikes, go horse riding or swimming in the large swimming pool. If you’re into concerts, be sure to check out the music festival at Villa Ada this summer: Italian and international acts like Deus, God Is An Astronaut and Nouvelle Vague are giving open-air shows.
Free Yoga at Villa Doria Pamphilj
This park is the biggest one in Rome and boasts a beautiful, seventeenth-century villa-turned-museum that’s open to visitors. If you’d like to unwind and relax after a long day of sightseeing, join in for the free yoga at Vivi Bistrot, every day of the week except on Monday between 19.00 and 20.00, right next to the café.
Cool Down by the Water
As temperatures are rising, cooling down by the water is not just very relaxing, it’s necessary if you want to continue your trip without a sunstroke. Luckily, Rome’s beaches, pools, and river-side terraces are never far away.
Swimming, Eating and Partying at The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary describes itself as an ‘eco retreat’. In reality, it’s a bar, restaurant, event space and garden terrace where you’ll feel like you’ve left Italy behind you and entered a Balinese luxury resort. Hidden away behind a wall along Via Delle Terme di Traiano on the Caelian Hill, the spacious garden offers the perfect get-away from the hustle and bustle of Rome’s centre. The place offers everything from weekend brunch and lunch sessions to late-night cocktails, club nights, food festivals, yoga sessions, and themed dinners. And the best part during hot days? This year, they added a pool to the mix. Want to be sure there’ll be space for you on the waterside? Be sure to reserve a ‘lettino’ (sunbed) through their Facebook page beforehand.
Open-Air Cinema at Rome’s Island
Isola del Cinema is Rome’s yearly open-air movie festival on the tiny Isola Tiberina. The festival offers pop-up restaurants, bars, and live music, as well of Italian and international movies. Just be sure to check the program before buying tickets: most international movies are dubbed, but there are a few screenings in the original language (for example Top End Wedding on July 10th or Green Book on July 14th). Movies in the original language are indicated with ‘V.O. sott ITA’ (original version with Italian subtitles).
Pop-up Bars and Restaurants Along the Tiber River
Rome makes good use of its long river banks: from June to August, you’ll find hundreds of small pop-up bars, restaurants, and shops along the Lungotevere. Lungo Il Tevere Festival offers everything from early afternoon aperitivi to late-night cocktails and all kinds of food from all over the world. Don’t like crowds? Come early – the later it gets, the more tourists find their way to the Tiber banks.
Rome’s Best Terraces
Rome is famous for its beautiful summer terraces, most of them only open during the warmer months. From river-side cocktail bars to luxurious rooftops: these spots are perfect for an afternoon Spritz or a late-night gin and tonic.
This sushi restaurant and cocktail bar on top of Fendi’s flagship store right in the centre of Rome (five minutes walking from Piazza di Spagna) is probably one of the most beautiful roof terraces of the city. Although the luxurious store on the ground floor might suggest otherwise, the atmosphere is quite laidback here: you can dress up for the occasion, but won’t be frowned upon if you show up in shorts and sneakers either.
The Magick Bar
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This riverside bar and restaurant is only open during the warmer months and is a real hidden gem, as it’s located in an otherwise residential area in Prati. Take the stairs, descend to the river banks and turn left to enjoy the view with a cocktail in your hand or right if you’re hungry and would like to enjoy the Asian fusion cuisine.
Roof of Rinascente
You probably know this luxury Italian department store, but did you know Rome’s flagship store is not just good for shopping? If you take the elevator to the top floor, you’ll find a food court with several restaurants, a cocktail bar, and an amazing rooftop terrace. The views are amongst the best of Rome.
Tram Depot, Testaccio
Looking for something a bit more chill? Tram Depot is an adorable outside bar in Testaccio that’s only open in spring and summer, consisting of an old tram that was turned into a tiny bar, lots of chairs and – the best part – swings.
Live Music and Parties
So you want to go dancing? Roman summers are perfect for that: where Romans usually find the day temperatures too hot to come outside, you’ll share the dancefloor with the locals as soon as the sun goes down.
‘Na Cosetta Estiva
‘Na Cosetta is a bar and concert venue in the up and coming neighborhood of Pigneto, but like many self-respecting venues, they have a second location for the summer days. ‘Na Cosetta Estiva offers mainly live music and some DJ’s. Their concerts usually cost around 10 euros, making them very affordable.
Right next to ‘Na Cosetta Estiva, you’ll find Largo: another venue with a huge open-air area. They organize concerts, parties, club nights and cultural events throughout the week: just be sure to check their Facebook page to see what’s on.
This open-air venue in Ostiense in a post-industrial setting feels like a mini-festival that continues all summer: there are food trucks, artiginal beers, free concerts, and DJ sets. India Estate offers all kinds of musical tastes: for example underground Roman artists on Tuesdays, hip-hop on Wednesdays, and Italian music on Saturdays.
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In the residential neighborhood of Flaminio, next to the modern art museum MAXXI, you’ll find this new outdoor food and event location. Giostra is located in the industrial courtyard of the former police barracks and will be open all summer long. It hosts a variety of events, from live music, food courts, club nights and more. The spacious, cool lounge area is perfect for some drinks with friends before a night out.
Circolo Degli Agrumi
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Famous clubbing venue Circolo Degli Illuminati introduced something new this year: they opened up another, open-air location on the other side of the city. Circolo degli Agrumi is a riverside restaurant and club on the north side of Prati, close to Ponte della Musica. Expect very Instagrammable props such as flamingos, a young crowd and some colorful cocktails.
Best Places to Eat in the Summer
Eating inside a crammed trattoria without air-conditioning is probably not what you envisioned when you booked your holiday to Rome, so be sure to book a table at one of these great restaurants with amazing terraces instead.
Necci in Pigneto
This cute restaurant and bar is a beloved spot for locals during summer thanks to their cozy garden, a great place for a morning coffee, lunch or dinner. If you come late at night, be sure to visit speakeasy cocktail bar Spirito next door as well (enter burger restaurant Carni Scelte, take the phone off the hook in the corner and the secret door will open).
Madre in Monti
This very cool restaurant in Rome’s historical centre offers gourmet pizza and ceviche for both lunch and dinner. They have a lush, green courtyard filled with plants where you can relax after a long and hot day.
Panificio Nazzareno in Ponte Milvio
Is the terrace on the square of this go-to aperitivo spot in Roma Nord full? Be sure to enter the restaurant and find a spot in the courtyard at the back of the building. Panificio Nazzareno is open all day: from breakfast to aperitivo and dinner.