Ferragosto in Rome, the holidays of Augustus, the holidays in August go back to ancient times. It’s one of the highest holidays in Italy, the 15th August.
The church celebrates on the 15th August Assumption Day. In the weeks before and after Ferragosto, offices and factories are closed. Many Romans go to the seaside or in the mountains.
The period around Ferragosto is the most beautiful time in Rome, because many Romans are on holiday and the offices are closed. The city is quiet, livable and lovable. Most of the restaurants in the center and the shops are open also in August.
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On the 15th of August the shops are closed. Shops are opened in the tourist centers and in Ostia as well as the supermarkets.
The Vatican Museums and the Apostolic Palace in Castelgandolfo are closed on August 15 and 16.
The national museums and the museums of the Municipality of Rome are open.
More information about museum opening hours in August you can find in Rome in August.
Pope masses and audiences
The Pope is in Rome in August.
General audiences in August 2023
On Wednesday 9 and 23 August, the Pope’s general audiences are held. The audiences take place in the air-conditioned Audience Hall. Admission is free and you don’t need a reservation. Although the audience officially starts at 9am, we recommend that you be there by 8am at the latest so that you can find a seat. Entry is open from 7:30.
Pope Masses and Angelus
Every Sunday and on 15 August the Pope gives a speech at 12 o’clock and prays the Angelus. Admission is free and you don’t need a reservation.
Bus and streetcar services follow a reduced summer schedule in August. Metro runs from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Friday night and Saturday night until 1:30 a.m. Metro A closes at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for maintenance. Night lines operate on the normal schedule.
Since many Romans are on vacation, there is little traffic. The roads are clear and many are driving too fast. There are numerous accidents due to excessive speed.
The 15th of August is celebrated in seaside resorts such as Ostia and Fregene with festivals, concerts and fireworks.
In Rome, celebrations are held mainly on the Tiber. In addition, there are concerts and events.
Rome has beautiful surroundings. Many Romans go to the sea or the mountains for Ferragosto. Follow their example and discover the picturesque cities and landscapes. With your own car or with a rental car the exploration is special fun. Here are some suggestions for you.
Ferragosto in Rome · Trip to Tivoli
On the foothills of the Apennine mountains, 20 miles east of Rome is Tivoli. The city with about 50,000 inhabitants is located at 770ft altitude on the river Aniene. Tivoli is the namesake for amusement parks. In the 16th century, a cardinal built the Villa D’Este, famous for its water games, including an organ fountain. Villa D’Este is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an oasis, especially on hot summer days.
Further down in the valley are the ruins of Villa Adriana, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in the years 118 to 134 by Emperor Hadrian. It is the largest palace complex, which was built by an emperor. For the visit of the Villa Adriana, take a sun protection with hat or umbrella with you.
Ferragosto in Rome · Trip to the Castelli Romani
The Castelli Romani, the Roman castles, are wine villages in the south of Rome on the slopes of the volcano of Lake Albano. Here it is cooler than in Rome.
A classical tour is the visit of the Pope’s summer residence and the gardens in Castel Gandolfo, which are however closed on 15th and 16th August.
Ferragosto in Rome · Excursion to the sea
Popular destinations for a trip to the sea are in the south of Rome Anzio, Sperlonga and Gaeta. You can reach these destinations by regional train connections.
There are also some special tours like:
A visit to the island of Capri, in the South of Naples. Even Emperor Tiberius withdrew to Capri and did not want to return to Rome.
A visit to the island of Ponza with a sailboat ride. After the ride by speedboat from Anzio to Ponza, you will board the sailboat and enjoy the bays and crystal-clear water. If you are not inclined to seasickness, this tour is a dream.
Read also A day trip to Ostia