11 things to do in Rome in July

July is among the best months to travel to Rome. The sunny days will give you the opportunity to enjoy various outdoor events - find out what's on!

Luisa María Lugo

Luisa María Lugo

10 min read

11 things to do in Rome in July

Altar of the Homeland, Rome | ©Michele Bitetto

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

In addition, you have the possibility to see, both during the day and at night, different shows, films 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 the high season, with so many activities to do.

1. See an open-air opera show

Baths of Caracalla|©sandralawson
Baths of Caracalla|©sandralawson

There is a tradition you can see in Rome in July that you will surely enjoy. 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.

The programme usually includes the presentation of up to 3 different shows. Even if opera is not among your favourite genre of musical performances, you can still have a good time. There is no way you can't love being among such unique and imposing ruins during a wonderful evening. Details of the shows can be found on the Teatro Dell'Opera website and tickets for open-air concerts can be purchased here.

They used to be held only in the famous Terme Antoninae, or Baths of Caracalla, which are historic ruins. Now they are also held in the great Circus Maximus, from which you can see 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.

Tickets for open-air opera concert in Rome

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 many things to do and see in Rome in July, there is the Cinema Festival in Trastevere, one of Rome's most picturesque neighbourhoods. Thanks to this festival, you'll be able to see free screenings, which is definitely something to take advantage of. Specifically, during July, an excellent variety of very interesting films are offered.

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

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

Book a food tour of Trastevere

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

Market produce in Campo dei Fiori| ©Joanne Clifford
Market produce in Campo dei Fiori| ©Joanne Clifford

One of the simple ideas of 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 favourite, don't hesitate to buy several. It's the ideal time because, naturally, the fruits that are plentiful at this time of year are on sale. As if saving money wasn't enough, I guarantee that the picturesque atmosphere you'll see is very captivating.

The entrance to Piazza Campo De' Fiori, where this vast 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 your private tour of Rome

4. Take a bike ride through the capital

Enjoying a Bike Tour| ©Blue Bird
Enjoying a Bike Tour| ©Blue Bird

Riding on the best tourist buses is one way to see Rome in July. However, I would say that the most traditional and exciting way to explore the capital is by bike.

Since it's not cold, it's more comfortable to be out in the open air and you decide how fast you want to 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.

Book an electric bike tour of Rome

5. Visit the great Castel Sant'Angelo

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 a night visit (available only in summer) to enjoy the view.

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'll see will leave you open-mouthed.

You'll be privileged to see Rome covered in a golden bath. If you're tempted to capture these priceless moments in photographs, get your tickets to the Castel Sant'Angelo.

Buy tickets for Castel Sant'Angelo

6. 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 check out the Villa Borghese gardens. While there, you can enter the Borghese Gallery, which exhibits a special collection of art during the month. In addition, the warm weather makes for a pleasant walk through the gardens, which are full of natural wonders.

Apart from 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 colourful gardens. In fact, if you prefer, take a guided tour that allows you to explore this space in depth. The only day the gallery is not open is Monday. The rest of the week you can go from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Book a guided tour of the Borghese Gallery

7. Take an excursion to explore the surrounding area

Village By The Beach|©Tetyana Kovyrina
Village By The Beach|©Tetyana Kovyrina

If you are going to Rome for several days, you can book one of them to get to know the surroundings by booking an excursion. Here are some options that may interest you:

Excursion to Capri

If there is one excursion worth taking, it is to the island of Capri. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the south of Italy, where glamour is the most important thing. As it is an island, one of its main attractions are the sea caves, in particular the Blue Grotto. However, we recommend that you plan and book your trip in advance to avoid queues and long waits.

Excursion to Positano and the Amalfi Coast

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful excursions to do as it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You will visit Amalfi and Positano, two idyllic and picturesque villages with their little houses and steep staircases, on the Mediterranean coast. You can book your tickets online.

Excursion to Tuscany

A tour in which a professional guide will tell you all the details of the villages that make up this spectacular area of Italy. You will visit the Orcia Valley near Siena, wine towns such as Montepulciano and Montalcino and the town of Pienza, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here is the link to book your excursion to Tuscany.

Excursion to Capri from Rome

8. 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, as it involves a large number of events lasting 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 of these things together, attend Estate Roma.

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

9. Enjoy a refreshing time in a swimming pool

Enjoying the pool| ©Kindel Media
Enjoying the pool| ©Kindel Media

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

By July, several of the 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 them. 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 still influence whether it is 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

10. 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 accompaniment to the works of art that abound in museums. When 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 these days in the Italian capital.

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

To gain access to this kind of activity, you must get tickets ranging from 20 euros to 30 euros. These can be obtained online through the website.

11. Browse the Italian shops and take advantage of the 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 shops in the city slashing prices.

You can take advantage of discounts of up to 50% on a variety of items, which saves you money. However, it is important that you limit yourself to buying or accepting offers from major, well-known shops.

Go around these shops and take advantage of seasonally low prices. That way, you will be able to take home different souvenirs of your trip to the Italian capital.

What is the weather like in Rome in July?

Enjoying Summer in Rome| ©Miriam Mezzera
Enjoying 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 hot. You'll see a radiant sunshine 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 only rains for 3 days in July. Even if you've been to hot climates before, be aware that Rome's humidity makes everything more difficult.

So, if you decide that July is the best time to visit Rome, try not to spend too much time in 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

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

To ensure you have a great time on your holiday to Rome in July, you need to pack your bags well. The general advice or suggestion I can give you is to pack summer clothes. This means that they should be very light and comfortable, given the hot weather at that time of year.

For example, take blouses or T-shirts with short sleeves (especially for summer) that are not too 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 formal clothing for events that require such attire.

For example, long trousers, shirts, skirts or knee-length dresses. But generally speaking, when planning your trip to Rome, keep in mind that whatever you pack should be fresh. Of course, other must-haves include your bathing suit, umbrella and sunscreen. Now you're all set.