What better way could you spend New Year’s Eve than in Rome, one of the most historically rich cities on the planet? Nowhere else will you have a wider selection of things to do on the last night of the year. You could indulge in culture, history and tradition or enjoy the nightlife and modernity that Italy’s capital boasts as well. Simply put, you really can’t go wrong in Rome on December 31.
The biggest New Year’s Eve events in Rome take place at either the Fori Imperiali (the imperial fora) and at Circo Massimo. All of these events are free to attend.
The Fori Imperiali are a series of public squares that were constructed between 46 BC and 113 AD, a symbol of the power of the Roman empire. Thousands of people congregate on the street ‘Via dei Fori Imperiali’, along the stretch running from Piazza Venezia (Venice Square) to the Colosseum, enjoying concerts, street performances and other types of entertainment. This area is truly enchanting as the Roman ruins are still visible and literally all around you!
Via dei Fori Imperiali, where the NYE show takes place
The Circo Massimo hosts the biggest open-air concert in Rome on New Year’s Eve. Many well-known artists perform here each year.
Concerts are also held in other squares around Rome, one being Piazza del Popolo. To keep things fresh for the public, the programs for these events change each year. The program for New Year’s Eve 2022 will be published here as soon as it has been finalized.
There are also many worthwhile concerts to be found indoors. The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (The Rome Opera House), which hosts a classical music concert on New Year’s Eve every year, is a great place to start. The details for the concert on New Year’s Eve 2022 have not been published just yet but will be well in advance of the big night. You can find more information on the official website of Rome Opera House.
Apart from The Rome Opera House, there are many other medium-sized and smaller theaters in Rome that organize theater shows and performances for New Year’s Eve. These are however mostly in Italian and are more comedic.
The best place to enjoy the brilliant firework displays Rome has to offer is the Colosseum. Please note that even if they have been banned in recent years, there are still many illegal firecrackers to be seen and heard. This can be dangerous if you are too close, so please pay attention and stay safe.
If you are looking for a lively neighborhood to spend New Year’s Eve, look no further than Trastevere, which literally means ‘on the other side of Tevere’ (Tevere is Rome’s central river). Perfectly placed in downtown Rome, you can find plenty of bars and restaurants here which stay open until late into the new year. If you want to book a table at a restaurant, reserving well in advance is a must.
One of our best recommendations for a great party in Rome is the party held at the Marriott Park Hotel, Italy’s biggest hotel, ideal for 20–35-year-olds. This party entails a full-course dinner followed by a big party to bring in the new year. Fireworks, music, and various animation displays combine for a festive atmosphere that you will not forget. Tickets range from €50 to €189 per person, with drinks included in the price. You can also book a room at the hotel so that you don’t have to find your way home! This event is run by ExtraNight, which has specialized in New Year’s Eve parties in the biggest Italian cities for over a decade now. Visit the official Facebook page of the event organizers.
Want to stay fit before the big night? Our suggestion is to check out ‘We Run Rome’, a race that takes place every year on the afternoon of December 31st in the streets of Rome’s historic center. This event is perfect for those who want to be physically active on the last day of the year and also see Rome from a different perspective.
There are 2 different races to choose from – 5km and 10km. Both of these can be either competitive or non-competitive depending on your goals. Registration costs €15-20. For more information on the event and the registration process, visit the official website.
At 12pm on January 1, 1946, Italian-Belgian Rick De Sonay jumped into the Tevere River in Rome from Ponte Cavour (Cavour Bridge) to celebrate his birthday, which coincidentally fell on January 1. This man was given the nickname ‘Mr. OK’ because, after diving into the Tevere (obviously much less polluted back then), he turned towards the crowd making the ‘OK’ sign to assure them everything had gone well.
Unbelievably, he upheld this tradition until the late 1980s and became an institution in Rome every New Year’s Day. He handed over the baton to Maurizio Palmulli in the late 1980s, who became the new ‘Mr. OK’. At age 69, he continues to dive headfirst into the river as per tradition, exactly at midday as Rick De Sonay once did. This is simply unmissable if you are in Rome on New Year’s Eve!
Here is a video of Rick De Sonay jumping into the Tevere:
Each afternoon on January 1, the large New Year’s Parade takes place through the streets of the historic center. This parade is organized by the same company which hosts New Year’s Parade in London, Destination Events, and takes roughly 2 hours. The starting point is Piazza del Popolo and the entrance to the parade is free for everyone. You can expect a beautifully colorful experience filled with majorettes, flag-waves, dancers, various types of artists, and so on. Want to see what the parade looks like? Check out the video below!
As you can see, Rome has a wealth of things to do and experience on the final evening of the year. However you choose to shape your New Year’s Eve, it promises to be filled with excitement, wonder, and enchantment and one not to be forgotten!