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10 things to do in Rome in June

Rome in June is full of activity and festivals. With the arrival of summer, the Eternal City presents its best clothes for all its visitors to enjoy its festivals, gastronomy, culture and monuments.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 things to do in Rome in June

Opening of the Roman Colosseum in style | © Giorgio

An old Roman saying states that Roma, non basta una vita per scoprirla, i.e. "One life is not enough to discover Rome. However, visitors should choose what they want to see carefully to make the most of their time in the city.

Those lucky enough to travel in June will enjoy a climate that is still not too hot, perfect for strolling around the Italian capital. In addition, the days are getting longer and the Romans are taking to the streets to enjoy the activities that mark these dates. Among the best known are the celebration of the Day of the Republic, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul and the great festival of the Estate Romana.

1. Visit the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran during the Festa di San Giovanni

Activities of the Festa di San Giovanni| ©vicariatusurbis
Activities of the Festa di San Giovanni| ©vicariatusurbis

Although it lost importance for a few years, the celebration of the Feast of St. John on 24 June in the vicinity of the Basilica of St. John Lateran is now being revived. On this day, the neighbourhood receives a large number of visitors who enjoy specialities such as porchetta and snails. Later, when night falls, the square is lit up with torches, concerts are held and fireworks are set off.

Originally, this festival was one of the main festivals in Rome and began during the so-called "night of the witches", from the 23rd to the 24th. According to legend, when darkness came, the witches would go out into the streets to try to capture souls.

All the Romans would also take to the streets, with lanterns and torches, and go to the Basilica of St. John Lateran. There they prayed to the saint and ate snails in the inns. During these hours, the whole of Rome would burst into the noise of drums, firecrackers and bells in order to scare the witches away.

Book your ticket to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

2. Discover St. Peter's Basilica on St. Peter and St. Paul's Day

View of St. Peter's Basilica| ©Michał Kostrzyński
View of St. Peter's Basilica| ©Michał Kostrzyński

On the religious side, special masses are celebrated on this day in the impressive St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and in the no less interesting San Paolo Fuori Le Mura. The first of these masses is open to the public, although it is advisable to book in advance. If you can't find a ticket, you can always watch the ceremony on a screen in St. Peter's Square.

These masses are not the only events that take place on that day. Possibly the most spectacular is the fireworks display that takes place during the night. The very history of the fireworks deserves a separate mention: they were created by Michelangelo and, in their early years, took place in Castel Sant'Angelo. Their fame grew to the point where visitors from all over Europe flocked to Rome to watch them. **The best place to watch the fireworks is the Piazza del Popolo.

On the other hand, it is quite common for Romans to take advantage of this day to go on a short excursion. Here are some of the most interesting excursions around Rome in case you feel like imitating the locals.

Book a guided tour of St. Peter's

3. Get to know the Colosseum at the All'Ombra del Colosseo Festival

Side view of the Colosseum| ©Den Harrson
Side view of the Colosseum| ©Den Harrson

The combination of one of the world's most famous and admired monuments with night-time entertainment is something that few can resist. So, every summer, Rome offers the possibility to enjoy its nights at the All'Ombra del Colosseo festival.

The festival takes place between June and September, in the middle of the Roman summer. During these summer nights, visitors and locals can find all kinds of activities: restaurants, comedy shows, access to rooftop swimming pools, bars, etc. In total, All'Ombra del Colosseo offers around 950 performances, while Italian gastronomy, both traditional and modern, can be enjoyed.

However, what really sets All'Ombra del Colosseo apart is its location: right next to the Colosseum. This marvellous setting puts the finishing touch to all the activities that take place there. If after seeing these shows you are convinced that you must enter the Colosseum to see the inside, I remind you that it is best to buy your tickets in advance.

Book your ticket to the Colosseum

4. Stroll through the gardens of Villa Borghese in the best of times

Sunset at the Giardino degli Aranci| ©Mark Radford
Sunset at the Giardino degli Aranci| ©Mark Radford

Rome is well known for its classical and Renaissance heritage. Almost everyone associates the city with its churches, fountains, Roman remains and squares, but the city also has beautiful gardens to stroll through, such as these that you can see in this article on the best parks in Rome.

June is undoubtedly one of the best months to lose yourself in its spectacular gardens, such as those of the Villa Borghese. Here you will find a small zoo, a lake, a children's play area and, of course, the famous Borghese Gallery. Another interesting place for those looking for some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of Rome is the Botanical Gardens of Rome, located in Trastevere.

June is also the month when the fantastic Rose Garden, located on the Aventine Hill, is at its best. Not only will you enjoy the roses and the tranquillity, but also the breathtaking views of Rome's palaces.

Book a guided tour to the Borghese Gallery

5. Let yourself be dazzled by Rome by night with a tour

Touring Rome by Night| ©Anelale Najera
Touring Rome by Night| ©Anelale Najera

The Romans, like many Mediterranean peoples, try to avoid the heat of the day and concentrate much of their leisure time at night. For this reason, June is the ideal month to enjoy Rome by night.

Strolling through Rome' s famous squares during the nights of June is one of the great pleasures visitors will find in the city. In addition, some of the most important monuments, such as Castel San'Angelo and the Colosseum, are open on certain days for night visits.

If you don't want to miss Rome by night, but you prefer to do it with a guide, there are night tours that allow you to see the wonders of the Eternal City when the sun goes down.

Book a night tour by Segway

6. Soak up the local culture at the Festa della Repubblica.

Military Parade Parade at the Festa della Repubblica| ©Rich Bartell
Military Parade Parade at the Festa della Repubblica| ©Rich Bartell

If you are in Rome on the 2nd of June you can witness one of the most important celebrations in the whole country: the Festa della Repubblica (Festival of the Republic). Throughout the day, many activities take place all over the city. The most popular is undoubtedly the great military parade that runs through some of the streets, but if you are not a fan of this type of parade you can also take advantage of the cultural and gastronomic activities that take place on this date.

On the afternoon of 2 June you can visit the gardens of the Quirinal Palace, one of the official residences of the President of the Republic, free of charge. In addition to the beauty of the gardens themselves, during the visit you will be able to listen to the music performed by various military bands.

However, bear in mind that, as it is a public holiday, banks and many museums are closed on this day. In addition, the large crowds in the Roman streets can make it difficult to find a place to eat. If you need help, check out our article with the best restaurants in Rome.

Book a food tour of Rome

7. Discover the Corpus Domini

St. John's Basilica in Rome| ©Cristian Martínez
St. John's Basilica in Rome| ©Cristian Martínez

This feast has no fixed date, as it is celebrated 60 days after Easter. Catholics dedicate this day to honouring the Holy Eucharist and the main masses take place in the Vatican itself. On the same day, a procession takes place from the Basilica of St. John to Santa Maria Maggiori and is led by the Pope himself.

Many cities in Italy celebrate this day by creating the so-called infiorata, a beautiful carpet of flowers. If you want to see it, all you have to do is head south of the city, to the town of Genzano. One of the consequences of this festival is the huge crowds at the Vatican. For this reason, it is probably not the best day to visit the monuments there.

For the rest of the days, remember that it is worth looking into the options offered by the Omnia Card and the Roma Pass, two Rome tourist cards that allow you to access the Vatican and other monuments at reduced prices.

Book your Rome Tourist Card

8. Find your cultural plan in Estate Romana

Castel Sant'Angelo part of the Estate Romana Festival| ©Diego Albero Román
Castel Sant'Angelo part of the Estate Romana Festival| ©Diego Albero Román

Estate Romana is Rome's big summer festival. The activities last from June to September and range from concerts to book fairs, dance performances and night openings of various museums.

All these activities are a great attraction for locals and visitors, especially during the month of June when the temperatures are not yet so high. Some of the most interesting options that can be found in Rome during these dates are the following:

  • The open-air concerts organised by the Teatro dell'Opera. Particularly worthwhile are those held at the Baths of Caracalla.
  • Festival Invito alla Danza, held at Villa Massimo.
  • Musical evenings at Castel Sant'Angelo
  • Music and drama at the Roman theatre of Ostia Antica.
  • The concerts at Villa Adriana

9. Choose your Lungo il tevere plan

Lungo il Tevere Festival| ©Stefano Costantini
Lungo il Tevere Festival| ©Stefano Costantini

Lungo il Tevere (Along the Tiber) is another of Rome's summer festivals. In this case, as the name suggests, the activities take place on the banks of the river that runs through the city. Visiting this festival will delight lovers of gastronomy, crafts and live music. Children also have their place, as there are some games dedicated to them and other children's activities.

The activities take place on the west side of the Tiber. To reach the area where the activities take place you have to take the stairs down to the shore and there is a special wheelchair access at Lungotevere Ripa.

The area of the river from Ponte Sublicio to Ponte Sisto is lined with bars, restaurants, art exhibitions and places to sell handicrafts. As if that wasn't enough, from here you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city' s illuminated domes.

Joaquin's Traveller Tip

Imitate the Romans by stopping overnight at one of the kiosks selling a slushy fruit juice called pica grattacheccha.

10. Experience a movie day at Isola del Cinema

Preparing for the Festival| ©Larry Koester
Preparing for the Festival| ©Larry Koester

Starting in mid-June, a film festival runs until September for about 80 nights. The screenings take place on the Isola Tiberina, which gives the event its name.

One of the attractions of this festival is that all the films (Italian and foreign) are shown in open-air cinemas. Proof of the success of this activity are the 250,000 visitors, including tourists and locals, who attended in 2019.

This massive attendance makes it advisable to buy tickets, which cost about 6 euros, in advance.

June temperatures in Rome

Rainy night in Rome| ©Gabriella Clare Marino
Rainy night in Rome| ©Gabriella Clare Marino

The weather in Rome in June has yet to reach the high temperatures that are characteristic of its summer. Average highs are between 27ºC and 29ºC, while lows are in the range of 17ºC to 18ºC.

On the other hand, rain can make an appearance in the Italian capital during the month of June, as the historical average indicates that there are usually about 10 days of rainfall in the city.

The best way to be sure of the weather during your visit to Rome is to visit this weather forecast page a few days before your departure.

What to wear when visiting Rome in June

Organising your luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich
Organising your luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich

As I have already mentioned, it is always advisable to check the weather before you start your trip. Generally speaking, if you are travelling to Rome in June you should pack light and cool clothing, although it never hurts to pack a thin jumper or similar in case it gets a little too chilly for your liking.

It is also essential that the shoes you wear are very comfortable, as Rome is an ideal city for enjoying long walks on foot.

Tourist crowds in Rome in June

Campi de Fiori Square| ©Wikimedia
Campi de Fiori Square| ©Wikimedia

For quite a few years now, the concept of high season in Rome has become very diluted. It is now common to find large numbers of visitors all year round, including the colder winter months. There is so much to discover in Rome. Even so, summer remains Rome's busiest time of year. The month of June is considered the beginning of the summer season, although without the crowds of July and August.

The festivals I mentioned earlier mean, however, that the streets of the city are also full of Romans and Italians from other towns, so it is normal to find large crowds in the most touristy areas.

Traditionally, the prices of hotels and other tourist services begin to increase in June due to the high demand. Therefore, if you plan to visit Rome at this time, it is essential to organise your activities and book your accommodation well in advance.