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Rome in July: the best of the city

July is among the best months to travel to Rome, the historic Italian capital. The sunny days will give you the opportunity to enjoy various outdoor events, such as operas, movies and the Estate Roma, as well as walks, swimming pools and more - find out what's on offer!

Luisa María Lugo

Luisa María Lugo

9 min read

Rome in July: the best of the city

Altar of the Homeland, Rome | ©Michele Bitetto

The hot days of the summer season mean that the variety of things to do and see in Rome in summer is wider. You can spend leisurely afternoons walking or biking through Italy's gardens, streets or attractions. For example in the Borghese Gardens and the Castel Sant'Angelo.

In addition, you have the possibility to see, both during the day and at night, different shows, movies and entertaining events. Most of these are completely outdoors, so you can make the most of the weather conditions. Find out here how to enjoy your trip to Rome in this high season, with so many activities to do.

1. See an open-air opera performance

Opera at Caracalla| ©Leigh Williams
Opera at Caracalla| ©Leigh Williams

There is a tradition that you can see in Rome in July and you will surely like it. This custom is based on performing, every year, real opera shows during this month. The difference with other shows is that they have a special feature: they are outdoors in different places.

In the past, they were held only in the famous Terme Antonina or Terme di Caracalla, which are historical ruins. Now they are also held in the great Circus Maximus, from which you can enjoy breathtaking views in the background of the opera show. Above all you will see in the distance the important and beautiful Palace of the Empire that used to be Rome.

The program usually includes the presentation of up to 3 different shows. Even if opera is not among your favorite genre of musical performances, you can still have a good time. There's no way you won't love being among such unique and imposing ruins for one wonderful evening. You will get details of the shows and tickets on the Teatro Dell'Opera website.

Book tickets for an opera concert

2. Go to the Cinema festival in Trastevere

Enjoying the Cinema Festival in Trastevere| ©Andrea Littera
Enjoying the Cinema Festival in Trastevere| ©Andrea Littera

Among the different things to do and see in Rome in July, there is the Cinema Festival in Trastevere, one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of Rome. Thanks to this festival, you will be able to see free screenings, something you should definitely take advantage of. Specifically, during July, it offers an excellent variety of very interesting films.

Particularly, the genres that you will have the opportunity to see are films containing classic and modern horror. In addition, there are science fiction films and other animated screenings. The titles, which correspond to this type of films, are quite varied and popular.

If you find out where to eat in Trastevere you will have an outdoor night of movie and good food. As the billboard and exact air dates vary, check the official website to make your plans. I recommend you complete the experience with a delicious dinner.

Book a food tour in Trastevere

3. Go to Campo De' Fiori market for the season

Products from the Market in Campo dei Fiori| ©Joanne Clifford
Products from the Market in Campo dei Fiori| ©Joanne Clifford

One of the simple ideas on what to do or see in Rome in July is to visit Campo De' Fiori. This is a local market that excels in summer, where you will have the facility to buy fresh produce, including fruits. Some of the fruits that are in season during that month are:

  • Raspberries
  • Pears
  • Watermelons
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries

If one of these is your favorite, don't hesitate to buy several. It's the ideal time because, naturally, the fruits that are plentiful at that time are on sale. As if saving money were not enough, I guarantee that the picturesque atmosphere you will see is very captivating.

The entrance to Piazza Campo De' Fiori, where this large Roman market is located, is completely free. So it literally won't cost you anything to stroll around and you won't spend too much buying delicious sweet snacks either.

Book a delicious gastronomic tour of Campo De' Fiori

4. Don't miss the fantastic Estate Roma

View of the Tiber River from the Festival| ©tjsalo
View of the Tiber River from the Festival| ©tjsalo

A must-see festival in Rome in July is the fantastic Estate Roma. It is held practically during that summer month, because it involves a lot of events that last several days. These range from good screenings of various films and talks, to concerts and performances.

During this long festival, in the surroundings of the long Tiber river, you will find several bars and stalls open with food. Does the idea of tasting Italian gastronomy, listening to live music or book readings appeal to you? If you want to try doing all these things together, attend the Estate Roma.

Everything that has happened in past years is proof that this festival is celebrated in a big way. Of course, yearly the plans keep changing and it's important to keep up to date to go. Luckily, there is the official website where you will find the information you need in order not to miss anything.

5. Enjoy a refreshing time in a swimming pool

Enjoying the Pool| ©Kindel Media
Enjoying the Pool| ©Kindel Media

It is impossible to deny that it is quite hot in Rome in July, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, thanks to the high temperatures, it is possible to plan to spend some fun time in a pool. Summer turns out to be the perfect time to swim and cool off in a hotel or community pool.

By July, several hotel pools are open to the general public. So, even if you haven't made a reservation at a hotel with a pool, you'll be able to enjoy it. Believe me, when you start to feel the heat, the idea of cooling off with a swim will seem excellent and even very necessary.

The entrance fee to spend the day there will depend on the specific place you choose. The day you go, the location, the facilities and the services offered will influence whether it will be more expensive or cheaper. Some of the options available are:

  • Circolo belle Arti
  • Swimming pool delle rose
  • Hotel Palazzo Naiadi
  • Lanciani Tennis Club
  • Grand Hotel Gianicolo

6. Visit a museum while listening to classical music

Visiting the Capitoline Museum in Rome| ©Mike Steele
Visiting the Capitoline Museum in Rome| ©Mike Steele

Classical music is the perfect accompan iment to the works of art that abound in the various museums. Visiting some of the museums in Rome in July, you can enjoy this type of music completely live and also take shelter from the heat of the Italian capital these days.

As you go through the different exhibits of certain works, you will hear live performances. You will hear a very professional musician performing, playing songs of the period. I assure you that this kind of event will help you experience something completely new in the capital.

To have access to this kind of activity, you must get tickets ranging from 20 euros to 30 euros. You can get them online through the website.

7. Stroll through the gallery and the famous Borghese Gardens

Spaces at Villa Borghese| ©Unsplash
Spaces at Villa Borghese| ©Unsplash

Another thing to do and see in Rome in July is to go see the gardens of Villa Borghese. While there you can enter the Borghese Gallery, which exhibits a special collection of art during that month. In addition, the warm weather makes it conducive to take a pleasant walk through its gardens, which are full of natural wonders.

In addition to the special exhibitions that the gallery puts on every year in July, there are the standard ones. The list of works that fall into this category includes pieces by Caravaggio, Bernini, Canova, Titian and Raffaello. There are also activities ideal for children, such as Cinema dei Piccoli and a bio-park.

Complement your visit to this famous gallery with a stroll through the colorful gardens. In fact, if you prefer, take a guided tour that allows you to explore this space in depth. The only day the place is not open are Mondays. The rest of the week you can go from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Get your tickets to the amazing Borghese Gallery

8. Browse the Italian stores taking advantage of the special offers

Shopping in Rome| ©Sam Lion
Shopping in Rome| ©Sam Lion

Shopping bargains are opportunities that are sought after at all times, and you're sure to want to take advantage of them. Fortunately, in Rome in July, you'll see massive sales going on around the city. In its first few weeks, you'll find a number of stores in the city slashing prices.

The discount you can take advantage of is up to 50% off on different items, allowing you to save money. However, it is important that you limit yourself to buying or accepting offers that come from major, well-known stores.

Go through those stores and take advantage of the low prices in that season. That way, you will be able to take home different souvenirs of your trip to the Italian capital.

9. Visit the great Sant'Angelo castle

Castel Sant'Angelo| ©Diego Albero Román
Castel Sant'Angelo| ©Diego Albero Román

Add Castel Sant'Angelo to your list of what to see in Rome in July because, believe me, it's worth it. I recommend you to take a night visit (available only in summer) to delight yourself with the views you will have.

Don't be like the other tourists who ignore this jewel of the capital that looks phenomenal lit up at night. If you go just before sunset, the sights you will see will leave you open-mouthed.

You will enjoy the privilege of seeing how Rome is covered in a golden bath. If you are tempted to capture those priceless moments in photographs, get your tickets to Castel Sant'Angelo.

Buy tickets for the Castel Sant'Angelo

10. Take a bike ride in the capital

Enjoying a Bike Ride| ©Blue Bird
Enjoying a Bike Ride| ©Blue Bird

Riding the best tourist buses is one way to get to know or see a lot of things in Rome in July. However, I would say that the most traditional and exciting way to explore the capital is by bicycle.

Since there is no cold weather, it will be more comfortable to be outdoors and you will decide at what pace you will go. That will give you a lot of freedom to stop and take a closer look at any monument or place that appeals to you. Clearly doing it with your partner or your family will add more fun to this activity.

Buy tickets for the Rome sightseeing bus

What is the weather like in Rome in July?

Enjoying the Summer in Rome| ©Miriam Mezzera
Enjoying the Summer in Rome| ©Miriam Mezzera

If you go in the month of July, you will witness the summer season in the city of Rome. It is a hot month, in which temperatures reach a peak, making the city warm. You will see a radiant sun that makes temperatures reach an average of 26°C.

However, in recent years heat levels have been higher, reaching highs of around 37°C. You can find the city free of rain, as it generally rains only 3 days in July. Even if you have been in hot climates before, be aware that Rome's humidity makes everything more difficult.

Therefore, if you decide that July is the best time to visit Rome, try not to spend too much time exposed to the sun during central hours. Also, keep well hydrated as much as possible and choose hotels that are air-conditioned.

How to pack for Rome in July

Organizing your luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich
Organizing your luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich

In order for you to have a great time during your vacation to Rome in July, you need to pack well. The general advice or suggestion I can give you is to pack summer clothes. That is to say that they have to be very light and comfortable clothes, given the hot weather for that time of the year.

For example, wear blouses or t-shirts with short sleeves (especially for summer) that are not thick. Also, wear hats that allow you to cover yourself from the sun and sandals that are not too covered. Of course, don't forget to pack some kind of formal clothes for events that require such attire.

For example, long pants, shirts, skirts or knee-length dresses. But, in general terms, keep in mind when organizing your trip to Rome that what you put in your suitcase should be fresh. Of course, other things that should not be missing are your bathing suit, umbrella and sunscreen. Now you're all set.