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Today's celebrations are less extravagant than they were in the days of Ancient Rome, but there are still many excellent festivals and exhibitions held in the city throughout the year.
There's no shortage of festivals in Rome celebrating religious holidays, the arts and gastronomic specialities - a great excuse for the local community to party. Festivals are open to anyone who's willing to participate in the right spirit, so be prepard for everything from intense religious feelings to exhuberant high spirits.
Some festivals attract visitors from all over the world, so if you're planning on attending, reserve your accomodation well in advance. You'll also find low-key events throughout the city during summer. Keep your eyes open for posters and ask at tourist offices for up-to-the-minute information.
Read more on this destination in the AA Key Guide to Rome.
Top Rome events
San Silvestro and Capodanno
A new year's tradition in Rome where crowds rather upon the Piazza del Popolo to see out the old year and welcome in the new with a free disco, concert and spectacular firework display. 31st Dec - 1st Jan.
February - March
The traditional festival of Carnevale see's street celebrations and masked revellers throughout the city in celebration of the 'farewell to meat'. The week before Lent.
Festa Di Santa Francesca Romana
Santa Francesca Romana is the patron saint of motorists. Drivers bring their cars to her church to be blessed. 9th March.
Natale Di Roma
Celebrations of Rome's official birthday, focussing on the torchlit Campidoglio, with spectacular firework displays. 21st April.
A two-week long fair, held in Via dei Coronari, the heart of the antiques trade. The street is lit with candles and the shops stay open late.
Festa di San Giovanni
The festival of St John includes a fair and fireworks display in the Piazza di San Giovanni and a candlelit procession to the church, let by the Pope at nightfall. 24th June.
July - August
A wide range of events, set in Villa Adriana, ranging from opera to drama and flamenco dancing, all with a Mediterranean feel.
September - November
A major arts festival, with something for every taste offered by performers of international calibre. The venues include some of Rome's most glorious monuments.
Festa Dell'Immacolata Concezione
A religious service in the Piazza di Spagna to celebrate the Festival of the Immaculate Conception. The focal point is the statue of the Madonna, decorated with beautiful flowers. 8th December.