July is one of the busiest months of the year in Rome, when the number of tourists reaches its peak. It's also very hot — it's possible for summer temperatures to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celcius).
But if you can deal with the dense crowds and high temperatures, there are a number of worthwhile festivals and events that happen each July in Rome. You'll find these events attract a lot of local residents as well as tourists, so they make good opportunities to celebrate summer as Romans do.
Here are some of our favorite events in Rome in July:
Along the banks of the Tiber River, which runs through Rome, this summer-long festival features a village-like setup of food stalls, pop-up restaurants, arts and crafts vendors, live music and even some kiddie rides and amusements. In the evenings, when temperatures are slightly lower, it's a lovely way to spend a few hours. You can start at one outdoor bar or restaurant for an aperitivo, then choose another for dinner under the stars and live music.
Lungo il Tevere is held on the west (Vatican) side of the river and is accessed by stairs leading down to the riverbank. The village is set up between Piazza Trilussa (at Ponte Sisto) and Porta Portese (at Ponte Sublicio). There's an access point for wheelchairs at Lungotevere Ripa.
Held the last two weeks of July, the Festa dei Noantri (dialect for "Festival for the Rest of Us") is centered around the Feast of Santa Maria del Carmine. This very local festival sees the statue of Santa Maria, adorned in handmade finery, being moved around from church to church in the Trastevere neighborhood and accompanied by bands and religious pilgrims. At the close of the festival, usually on the evening of the last Sunday in July, the saint is paraded on a boat down the Tiber.
The Teatro dell'Opera di Roma hosts its summer series in the ancient, floodlit ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, quite possibly one of the most romantic places on earth to watch an operatic performance. If you want tickets for one of these performances, do plan ahead, as demand far exceeds the number of seats and performance dates. Check here for other top places to attend the opera in Italy.
Rock in Roma
Rock in Roma is a summer concert series that brings big-name artists to venues in Rome, including Circus Maximus and Parco della Musica. Past acts have included Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Ben Harper, and 30 Seconds to Mars.
Outdoor concerts and other performances happen throughout the summer in Rome. Estate Romana lists some summer performances and events. At Castel Sant' Angelo, you'll find music and performances in the evenings during July and August. Concerts take place in Rome's squares and parks.
Isola del Cinema
From July to September, wide-screen movies are shown outdoors nearly every night during summer on Tiberina Island. This is also part of Estate Romana (Roman summer) series of events.
This summer series, organized by the Associazione Il Tempietto, presents orchestral music concerts at sites around the city, most often near the Teatro di Marcello archaeological site. International conductors and musicians are often the special guests.
Just north of central Rome, the shady grounds of Villa Ada are the setting for a lively season of rock, blues, jazz, electronic and world music concerts, featuring international and Italian artists.
The Roman Philharmonic Orchestra offers this summer concert series on the grounds of Villa Borghese. Concerts programs are themed around music from different countries, so line-ups might feature, for example, works from all German, Polish or Argentinian composers.