When the weather gets hot in Rome, the best time to be out in the city is at night. It's at night that Rome's narrow streets become filled with Romans and visitors who go out for dinner and drinks with friends.
But eating and drinking aren't the only things that happen in summer. The city of Rome has several events that keep a nocturnal schedule, and they're great ways to spend a balmy evening.
You really must enjoy an estate romana ("Roman summer") to the fullest at least once in your life! Here are a few great ways to do just that:
Lights and action all along the Tiber in summer — Photo courtesy of HeartRome
Lungo il Tevere Festival
A longtime favorite of Romans and visitors alike is the Lungo il Tevere festival held every year along the banks of the Tiber River. White tents start popping up at the beginning of June that house restaurants, shops and bars until the end of August.
There are a variety of restaurants to choose from that range from traditional Roman to Mexican. In addition, there are exhibitions, live music, theater, poetry readings and L'Isola del Cinema, which runs films on the lovely Tiber Island.
Outdoor cinema options this year are plentiful, with a summer program hosted by Cinema America in Trastevere's Piazza San Cosimato. Nightly screenings throughout summer are free for all.
Performances at Terme di Caracalla
Another Roman summer standby are the stunning performances of opera and ballet at the Terme di Caracalla. Each year, it's difficult to say what is more inspiring: the shows, or their setting before the elegantly lit up ancient baths.
This year, there's a strong lineup featuring Madame Butterfly and La Boheme in opera and Roberto Bolle in ballet. And as an extra, there are also performances by Elton John and Bob Dylan.
Music in the Park
Rome summer nights wouldn't be the same without live music in the parks. Villa Ada and Villa Pamphili host concerts that please a wide variety of tastes.
Villa Ada's festival is named Rome Meets the World, which indicates that the bands are from nearby and around the world. Tickets can be bought online.
Villa Pamphili hosts more laid-back Italian bands, and a trip here is nicely paired with a picnic of Italian cheese and wine.
A newer festival on Rome's summer scene is the Eutropia Festival, held at the ex-slaughterhouse in the area of Testaccio. This festival brings performers from all over the world and introduces them to a mainly Italian audience.
It's a great place to go to discover some new music. You can check the calendar to see which concerts are free.
But one doesn't have to go to an event to enjoy Rome to the fullest.
Walking the Roman streets, sitting in a piazza by a fountain or eating an Italian dinner at an outside table are also wonderful ways to pass a warm summer night in the city of Rome.