As Rome leaves behind the darkest days of winter and steps into February, here are some tips for the best events and things to do in the Eternal City this month.
While no match for Carnevale in Venice, Rome’s centuries-old carnival celebrations inject colour and fun into the city at this time of year. Children dress up fancy costumes, streets are strewn with colourful confetti, and bakery windows are full of tasty treats such as frappe and castagnole.
Rugby fever comes to Rome thanks to the 2024 Six Nations tournament, with the Azzurri facing England and Scotland at the Stadio Olimpico. The Italy vs England game will be held on 3 February (the Scotland match is in March) with the “third half” festivities always spilling over into Rome’s pubs.
Italy opens its state museums and archaeological sites for free on the first Sunday of the month – in this case 4 February – in parallel to Rome’s free opening of its city-run museums. The list of sites open for free ranges from the Capitoline Museums to the Pantheon, the latter of which must be booked online in advance.
Valentine’s Day offers the perfect chance to explore the romantic side of Rome. Popular places to mark San Valentino in Rome include a visit to the Giardino degli Aranci or gazing over the Roman Forum from the Capitoline hill, strolling down the Spanish Steps (just don’t sit down), walking across the angel-filled Ponte Sant’Angelo or enjoying the sweeping panorama of the city from the Gianicolo hill.
New archaeological park
Explore the new archaeological park on the Caelian Hill, in the shadow of the Colosseum, with free entry. The park includes the wonderful new Forma Urbis Museum (tickets required) which allows visitors to walk across a glass floor over the remaining fragments of a famed marble map of ancient Rome.
Classical music and opera
Take in a classical music concert by the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and get swept away by the orchestra in the vast Santa Cecilia hall at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, or treat yourself to a night at the opera courtesy of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
There are several blockbuster exhibitions currently on in Rome, including the dizzying world of Escher at Palazzo Bonaparte, Fidia at the Capitoline Museums, a tribute to singer-songwriter Rino Gaetano at Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Rubens at Galleria Borghese, and Emotion at Chiostro del Bramante.