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Six things to do in Rome in February 2024

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Six things to do in Rome in February 2024
Rome has a range of activities on offer in February. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP.

As January draws to a close, it's time to shake off the winter blues and see what Rome has in store for residents and visitors this February.


January is, as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, the Monday of the months.

Even in Rome, where it rarely gets very cold, the grey skies and occasional drizzle can put a damper on daily life.

Things are looking up, though, as January will soon be behind us and spring is creeping around the corner.

With that in mind, here are six things you can do in Rome in February 2024.

Go to a market

If you enjoy spending lazy weekends browsing market stalls, Rome is the place to be.

Porta Portese is Rome's largest open air flea market. Weaving your way through the throngs of bargain hunters who flock here every Sunday, you'll find everything from cheap clothing and shoes to old books and furniture.

If you prefer a less frenetic environment, the Ponte Milvio Antiquariato on the banks of the Tiber, also held on Sundays, offers antiques and other knick knacks.

For a farmers market, head to Via di San Teodoro 74 by Rome's ancient Circo Massimo racetrack, where Campagna Amica sells locally grown fresh produce every Saturday and Sunday.

Attend a concert

There's never a shortage of concerts in Rome, no matter your musical tastes.


Rome's Parco della Musica auditorium a little outside the city centre, which claims to be Europe's largest entertainment venue, is putting on a packed program in February, including classical and pop rock concerts, book readings, and theatrical and dance performances. 

The venue is also hosting the eighteenth edition of the contemporary dance festival Equilibrio from February 9th-24th.

 Auditorium Parco della Musica is the largest entertainment venue in Europe. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP.

If jazz is more your thing, the Casa del Jazz is hosting a range of performances throughout February in its concert hall.

And at St Pauls Within the Walls, you can catch performances of Vivaldi and Bach, listen to Verdi's La Traviata, or see The Three Tenors.

Celebrate Carnevale

Think of Carnevale, and the first city that comes to everyone's mind is Venice - but you'll also have the opportunity to celebrate in and around the Italian capital.

This year's Carnevale runs from January 28th to February 13th (Shrove Tuesday). Though the city has yet to update its official events program, visitors can expect to see a parade of boats along the River Tiber on February 11th, and there's often a parade on Piazza del Popolo on Carnival day itself.


READ ALSO: Beyond Venice: Seven of Italy's most magical carnivals

If you want to see a really impressive Carnevale, however, it's worth heading outside of Rome to Ronciglione - last year voted Italy's most beautiful village - to see their parade of giant papier mache floats. 

Throughout the Carnival period, you can expect to find special seasonal treats in traditional bakeries around Rome, including frappe - crispy fried pieces of dough dusted in icing sugar - and castagnole, soft fried dough balls.

Get into a museum for free

On the first Sunday of every month - this year, that's February 4th - Rome opens most of its museums and cultural sites to the public for free.

That includes the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, Galleria Borghese, Ostia Antica, Castel Sant'Angelo, Palazzo Barberini, and many more (full list here).

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Italy's free museum Sundays

Rome's Borghese Gallery is one of the sites open for free on the first Sunday of the month. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

Note that for some of the most popular sites you need to book your free ticket ahead of time, and there may be a small online reservation fee.

Entry to the Vatican Museums, meanwhile, is free on the last Sunday of every month - which this year falls on February 25th.


Depending on the popularity of the museum or site you choose to visit, be prepared to compete with large crowds of other visitors also wanting to take advantage of the scheme.

Visit St Valentine

Rome is the ideal destination for couples wanting to celebrate Valentine's Day to its fullest; you can wander among the orange trees in Parco Savello, admire the view from Gianiciolo terrace as the sun sets, and have a romantic dinner among draping vines and cobblestones in one of the city's many restaurants.

Or, for lovers who are more gothically inclined, you can go and pay a visit to St Valentine himself.

According to Catholic tradition, the saint's skill is displayed in a glass case in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, which is also where you'll find the Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità) made famous by the Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday.

You can visit St Valentine's skill in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP.

See an art exhibition

Finally, if you've had your fill of Caravaggio and Michelangelo, you can find multiple exhibitions showcasing the work of more modern artists in Rome this February.

The Tornabuoni Arte gallery is hosting a retrospective of the works of Giorgio de Chirico, founder of the scuola metafisica art movement, from February 6th-10th.


Photographer Helmut Newton has his own retrospective at Rome's Museo dell'Ara Pacis running until April with Helmut Newton Legacy.

And Palazzo Bonaparte is hosting an exhibition of around 300 works by the Dutch artist Escher until April 1st.

Meanwhile Casa Balla, the home of Italian futurist painter Giacomo Balla, will be opened to the public from February 8th-11th.


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