Rome in June is full of activities and festivities. With the arrival of summer, the Eternal City presents its best side to enjoy its festivals, its gastronomy, its culture and its monuments.
Ceremonial opening of the Roman Colosseum | © Giorgio
An old Roman proverb says: Roma, non basta una vita per scoprirla, d. h. "One life is not enough to discover Rome. However, visitors must choose what they want to see to make the most of their time in the city.
If you are lucky enough to travel in June, you will enjoy a climate that is not yet too hot, perfect for walking around the Italian capital. Also, the days get longer and Romans take to the streets to enjoy the activities that characterize these days. Among the most famous are the celebration of Republic Day, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and the great feast of the Estate Romana.
1. Festa della Repubblica
When you arrive at the 2. If you're in Rome on June 7, you can experience one of the most important festivals in the entire country: the Festa della Repubblica (Festival of the Republic). Throughout the day there are many activities taking place all over the city.
The most popular is undoubtedly the great military parade that passes through some streets, but if you are not a fan of this kind of parade, you can also take advantage of the cultural and gastronomic activities that take place on that day.
In 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, for free. Besides the beauty of the gardens themselves, you can also listen to music played by various military bands during your visit.
Note, however, that banks and many museums are closed on this day, as it is a holiday. Also, finding a place to eat can be difficult due to the crowds in the Roman streets. If you need help, here is an article with the best restaurants in Rome.
2. Day of Saints Peter and Paul
As for the religious side, on this day special masses are celebrated 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 fairs is open to the public, but it is advisable to register in advance. If you can't find a ticket, you can also watch the ceremony on a screen in St. Peter's Square.
These fairs are not the only events that take place on this day. The most spectacular is probably the fireworks that take place at night. Already the history of the fireworks deserves a separate mention: it was created by Michelangelo and in its early years took place in Castel Sant'Angelo.
Their fame went so far that visitors from all over Europe flocked to Rome to see them. The best place to watch the fireworks is Piazza del Popolo. Make sure you get there in time to find a seat.
On the other hand, it is quite common for the Romans to take advantage of this day for a short excursion. Here are some of the most interesting excursions around Rome, if you want to do as the locals do.
3. Corpus Domini
This festival has no fixed date, since it is celebrated 60 days after Easter. Catholics dedicate this day to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and the most important masses are held in the Vatican itself.
On the same day there will be a procession from the Basilica of St. John to Santa Maria Maggiori, led by the Pope himself.
Many cities in Italy celebrate this day by creating what is called the Infiorata, a beautiful carpet of flowers. If you want to see it, you just have to go to the south of the city, to the town of Genzano.
One of the consequences of this feast is the big rush at the Vatican. For this reason, it is probably not the best day to visit the monuments there.
For the rest of the days, it is interesting to study the options of the Omnia Card and the Roma Card, two tourist cards for Rome that allow you to visit the Vatican and other attractions at reduced prices.
4. Romana Estate
The Estate Romana is the great summer festival in Rome. Activities take place from June to September and range from concerts, book fairs and dance performances to nightly openings of various museums.
All these activities are a great attraction for locals and visitors alike, especially in June when the temperatures are even cooler. Some of the most interesting options to find in Rome during this time are the following:
The open-air concerts organized by the Teatro dell'Opera. Especially worth seeing are those that take place in the Baths of Caracalla.
Festival Invito alla Danza, held at Villa Massimo
Musical evenings in the Castel Sant'Angelo.
Music and theater in the Roman theater of Ostia Antica
The concerts at Villa Adriana
5. Lungo il tevere
Lungo il Tevere (Along the Tiber) is another summer festival in Rome. 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, handicrafts and live music. Children are not left out either, as there are some games and other activities for kids dedicated to them.
The activities take place on the west side of the Tiber river. The area where the activities take place can be reached by a staircase that leads down to the shore. In Lungotevere Ripa there is a special access for wheelchair users.
The stretch of river from Ponte Sublicio to Ponte Sisto is lined with bars, restaurants, art exhibitions and craft shops. As if that wasn't enough, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city's illuminated domes.
JoaquIn's travel tip
Follow the Romans and spend the night at one of the kiosks selling a fruit juice called pica grattacheccha.
6. Festa di San Giovanni
Although it lost importance for a few years, the feast of St. John is celebrated on 24. June revived near the Basilica of St. John Lateran. On this day, many visitors flock to the district to enjoy specialties such as porchetta and snails.
Later, after dark, the square is illuminated with torches, concerts are held and fireworks are set off.
Originally, this festival was one of the most important festivals in Rome and began in the so-called "witches' night" of 23. on the 24. According to legend, the witches paraded through the streets at nightfall, trying to catch souls.
Also all Romans went out on the streets with lanterns and torches and went to the Lateran Basilica. There they prayed to the saint and ate snails in the inns. In these hours, all Rome erupted in the sound of drums, firecrackers and bells to scare away the witches.
7. Isola del Cinema
From mid-June, a film festival takes place that lasts about 80 nights until September. The screenings take place on the Tiber Island, which gives its name to the event.
One of the attractions of this festival is that all the films (Italian and foreign) are shown in open-air cinemas. A proof of the success of this activity are the 250.000 visitors, both tourists and locals, who participated in 2019.
Due to the large crowds, it is advisable to buy the tickets, which cost about 6 euros, in advance.
8. All'Ombra del Colosseo Festival
Combining one of the world's most famous and admired monuments with nightly entertainment is something few can resist. Every summer Rome offers the opportunity to enjoy its nights at the Festival All'Ombra del Colosseo.
The festival takes place between June and September, in the middle of the Roman summer. During these summer nights, visitors and locals will find all kinds of activities: restaurants, comedy shows, access to rooftop pools, bars, etc.
In total, All'Ombra del Colosseo offers about 950 performances. Moreover, during these events you can enjoy the traditional and modern Italian gastronomy.
But what really makes All'Ombra del Colosseo stand out is its location: right next to the Colosseum. This wonderful setting completes all the activities that take place there.
If after these displays you are convinced that you absolutely must go to the Colosseum to see it from the inside, I remind you that it is best to buy your tickets in advance.
9. Enjoy the parks at their best
Rome is 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 around, such as the ones you can see in this article about the best parks in Rome.
June is one of the best months to lose yourself in the spectacular gardens of the city , such as those of Villa Borghese. Here you will find a small zoo, a lake, a children's playground and of course the famous Galleria Borghese.
Another interesting place for those looking for a quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of Rome is the Rome Botanical Garden in Trastevere. If you want to take the opportunity to visit the neighborhood, you might be interested in this article about sights and activities in Trastevere.
On the other hand, June is also the month when the fantastic rose garden on the Aventine Hill shows its best side. You will enjoy not only the roses and tranquility, but also the breathtaking view of the palaces of Rome.
10. Enjoy Rome by night
Like many Mediterranean peoples, the Romans tried to avoid the heat of the day and transferred much of their leisure time to the night. For this reason, June is the ideal month to experience Rome by night.
Strolling through Rome's famous piazzas on June nights is one of the great pleasures visitors to the city can experience. Also, some of the most important monuments, such as Castel Sant'Angelo and the Colosseum, can be visited at night on certain days.
If you don't want to miss Rome at night but prefer to travel with a guide, there are night tours where you can admire the wonders of the Eternal City at sunset.
June temperatures in Rome
The weather in Rome in June has not yet reached the high temperatures typical of summer. The average maximum temperatures range between 27°C and 29°C, while the lowest temperatures are between 17°C and 18°C.
On the other hand, it can also rain in the Italian capital in June, because the historical average shows that it usually rains in the city on about 10 days.
The best way to find out about 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
As I said before, it is always advisable to check the weather before starting your trip. If you're traveling to Rome in June, be sure to bring light, cool clothing, although it never hurts to pack a thin sweater or similar garment in case you get too chilly.
Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as Rome is a city ideal for long walks.
Crowds of tourists in Rome in June
For several years, the concept of high season in Rome has been greatly diluted. Today it is common to find a large number of visitors throughout the year, even in the cold winter months.
However, this does not prevent the summer from being the busiest season in the city. In this sense, the month of June is considered the beginning of the summer season, although without the crowds of July and August.
However, the aforementioned festivals mean that the city streets are also populated by Romans and Italians from other cities, so it is normal to see large crowds in tourist areas.
Traditionally, prices for hotels and other tourist services begin to rise in June due to high demand. So if you are planning to visit Rome at this time, be sure to book your activities and accommodation well in advance.