Are you in Rome in may? Find out about museums, events, public holidays, the weather and much more here.
Rome May · Museums Hours
The Colosseum is the most visited museum in Italy. It can only be visited by reservation. For the Coliseum, in addition to the standard ticket, there are a few variants with access to the arena, a visit to the underground or the upper floors, as well as a tour of archaeological features in the area of the Roman Forum. Details about the Colosseum>
The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine are open daily in May 8:30am-6:15pm Closure 7:15pm.
There is no more general free admission to the National Museums. Each museum now decides on the days of free entry itself. All information and opening hours can be found in the List of National Museums >
The Vatican Museums are among the most visited museums worldwide. During normal opening hours the Vatican Museums are always very busy. It is much quieter before the official opening in the early morning and at the evening opening on Friday. For the Vatican Museums you should buy the tickets well in advance. Otherwise you risk long waiting times at the cash register. Details about the Vatican Museums>
The Vatican Museums are closed in May on the following dates: Wednesday, May 1, Sunday, May 5, 12, and May 19, 2019.
Hours May 2 + 4, 2019 9am – 5pm Closing 7pm
May 3, May 6 – 30, 2019 9am – 4pm Closing 6pm
Night opening Friday May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 7 – 9:30 Closing 11pm
Free admission to the Vatican Museums is on Sunday May 26. However, there are long lines and it gets extremely crowded. 9 – 12:30 Closing 2pm
Rome May · Events
There is a lot going on in Rome in May. Particularly interesting are the concert on May 1, the international tennis tournament at the Foro Italico and the Night of the Museums.
These are the most important dates in May 2019 in Rome:
May 1 Labor Day, 29th edition of the free concert of the trade union federations at the Basilika St. Johann
May 1 Final stage of the Tiber cruise in Rome
May 1 Free admission to the Borghese Gallery, requires reservation by phone
6th – 9th May Tennis – Internazionali BNL d’Italia ATP World Tour Masters 1000 WTA Tennis stadium Rome Foro Italico, Viale dei Gladiatori Metro A to Ottaviano, then Bus 32 direction Saxa Rubra to De Bosis/Stadio Tennis
May 5 Free admission to the Corsini Gallery and to the estruscan national museum Villa Giulia
May 6 Free admission to Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este in Tivoli
May 8 Free admission to the Borghese Gallery at 1 pm – 3 pm – 5 pm, requires reservation by phone
May 9 Free admission to: Colosseum, Forum Romanum and Palatine, Roman National Museums – Crypta Balbi – Palazzo Altemps – Palazzo Massimo – Thermen des Diokletian, archeological area of Ostia Antica
May 11-12 Open House Rome: Architecture – many museums, palaces and institutes hold an open house
May 12 Mother’s Day
May 12 Free admission to the National Museums of the Appia Antica Archeopark
May 12 MAGIC – Gran Gala’ Internazionale di Magia 2019 5:30pm Teatro Brancaccio, Via Merulana 244 Bus 16, 75, 714 Stop Via Merulana/Mecenate
May 15 General Audience of the Pope
May 15 Free admission to the National Gallery of Modern Art
May 18 European Night of Museums Capitoline Museums Markets of Trajan-Imperial Forums Powerhouse Centrale Montemartini Ara Pacis Museo di Roma a Palazzo Braschi Museo di Roma in Trastevere Museums of Villa Torlonia 20:00-2:00 1 €
May 22 General Audience of the Pope
May 26 Free admission to the Vatican Museums
May 29 General Audience of the Pope
Rome May · Exhibitions
extended until 25.8.2019 DREAM Art meets dreams, in the cloister of the Bramante (near Piazza Navona) Tickets
Until May 18, the Rose Garden of the municipality of Rome is open daily 8:30 – 18:00. The Rose Garden is located on the slope of the Aventine above the Circus Maximus. Admission is free. Guided tours can be booked by calling +3906 5746810. The call center is available on workdays from 9am to 1pm.
Cinecittà si mostra Visit the dream factory of Roman cinema, Metro A Station Cinecittà Tickets
Until 2.6.2019 Joint is Out of Time National Gallery of Modern Art Tuesday – Sunday 8:30am – 7:30pm via delle belle arti 131 Tram 3, 19 Galleria Arte Moderna Tickets for the National Gallery of Modern Art
Until 30.6.2019 Il Cristo Portacroce Galleria Corsini Wednesday – Monday 8:30am – 7pm via della Lungara 10 Bus 23, 280 Lungotevere Farnesina Tickets for Galleria Corsini
Until 30.6.2019 Green harmonies, The Gardens of Rome in watercolor. Museo Pietro Canonica in Villa Borghese. Admission is free.
Until 22.9.2019 Rome in the dark room, photos from the 19th century until today Exhibition at the Museo di Roma Palazzo Braschi at Piazza Navona. Tickets for Palazzo Braschi
Until 13.10.2019 Donne. Corpo e immagine tra simbolo e rivoluzione Galleria d’Arte Moderna Tuesday – Sunday 9am-7pm via Francesco Crispi 24 Metro A Barberini, Bus 52, 53, 62, 63, 84, 85, 160, 492 Tritone/Barberini Tickets for the Gallery of Modern Art
Rome May · Concerts
Whether classical or modern, in Rome there are concerts for every taste. Here is a small selection that you can book online.
Gonzalo Rubalcaba Trio 2.5.2019 21:00 Auditorium Parco della Musica – Sala Sinopoli Tram 2 Apollodoro
Alessandra Amoroso 3.5.2019 21:00 Palazzo dello Sport Metro B EUR Palasport
Enrique Iglesias 5.5.2019 20:00 Palazzo dello Sport Metro B EUR Palasport
Tokio Hotel 9.5.2019 21:00 Atlantico, Via dell’Oceano Atlantico, 271/d Metro B EUR Fermi, Bus 709 Colombo/Pacifico
Sananda Maitreya 9.5.2019 21:00 Auditorium Parco della Musica – Studio Borgna Tram 2 Apollodoro
The Legend of Ennio Morricone 10.5.2019 21:00 Teatro Brancaccio, Via Merulana 244 Bus 16, 75, 714 Via Merulana/Mecenate
James Senese Napoli Centrale – 50 anni di carriera 11.5.2019 21:00 Auditorium Parco della Musica – Sala Sinopoli Tram 2 Apollodoro
Achille Lauro 11.5.2019 21:00 Atlantico, Via dell’Oceano Atlantico, 271/d Metro B EUR Fermi, Bus 709 Colombo/Pacifico
Giorgia 16.5.2019 21:00 Palazzo dello Sport Metro B EUR Palasport
Raf Tozzi 18.5.2019 21:00 Palazzo dello Sport Metro B EUR Palasport
Alice Merton 22.5.2019 21:00 Auditorium Parco della Musica – Sala Petrassi Tram 2 Apollodoro
Fiorella Mannoia 23.5.2019 21:00 Auditorium Parco della Musica – Sala di Santa Cecilia Tram 2 Apollodoro
Built to Spill 25.5.2019 21:30 Largo Venue, Via Biordo Michelotti, 2 Tram 5, 14, 19 Prenestina/Gattamelata
Coez 28.5.2019 21:00 Palazzo dello Sport Metro B EUR Palasport
Rome May · Food
You can safely forget the so-called “r” rule, according to which seafood is only supposed to be eaten with “r” in months. In Rome, you can eat seafood all year round. They come fresh from good aquacultures from nearby Gaeta, Orbetello or Sardinia. Oyster farms are less common in Italy and so local oysters are very rare in Rome.
In Rome you can eat very well. Whether you want an opulent dinner, a pizza, a sandwich, an ice cream or something sweet, in Rome you will find a wide selection of the best quality. Good restaurants don’t need to advertise on the street. A full eatery and satisfied guests are the best guarantee.
The Romans eat during the week in the evening, on Sundays there is an extensive lunch. In the restaurant, the Romans usually eat at least two courses. This is also because all food is usually freshly prepared and you have to wait longer for the pasta and for the main course. In the restaurant you usually eat an antipasto, which is an appetizer that is served quickly, cold or warm. After that, you eat a primo, pasta or a risotto, or a secondo, fish or meat, or a pizza.
A lively street food scene has established itself in Rome. So you can get very interesting treats at lunchtime or in the evening. These include mainly sandwiches stuffed with Roman specialities, pizza and fried rice balls, Supplì.
Since it is already quite warm in May, you should refrain from eating too heavy. In Rome you will find a lot of fried things, such as the fried rice balls “Supplì” or the fried cod “Baccalà.” The typical Roman pasta dishes can also be found all year round. Very tasty is the preparation Cacio e Pepe with sheep cheese and pepper, variations are the Gricia, the Amatriciana and the Carbonara. Read more about eating out in Rome.
Rome May · Excursions
An ideal destination just outside the city walls is the Via Appia Antica with its catacombs. On Sunday, the Via Appia Antica is traffic-calmed. Here you can eat well and take a short or a long hike.
Even if the sea water is still too cold for swimming, a trip to Ostia is worthwhile. Allow yourself to be impressed by the excavations of the antique trading center in Ostia Antica, and then enjoy a nice seafood menu by the sea while the sea wafts tantalisingly.
Another nice destination in the surrounding area is Castel Gandolfo with the summer residence of the popes. Castel Gandolfo is located on the edge of the impressive volcanic lake Lago di Albano.
In Tivoli is the Villa d’Este, for whose water features an entire branch of the river was diverted. In the valley below lies the huge villa of Emperor Hadrian. April is the ideal time to visit Villa Adriana, in summer it is too hot.
If you want to travel a little further, you can take the high-speed train in a few hours to Naples, Florence or Venice. With a rental car or a tour it is not far to Orvieto or Assisi.
Rome May · Clothing and climate
In May it is climatically very pleasant in Rome. The maximum temperatures are 77°F and there are nine hours of sunshine, the minimum temperatures at 55°F. On average, there are four rainy days. As a rule, it does not rain for long. For an emergency, you should therefore have a light raincape, which you can cover yourself quickly.
The temperatures are therefore very pleasant during the day and in the sun it can get really warm. To be able to sit outside in the evening, you need a light jacket.
Please note that when visiting sacral sites, you must cover your shoulders and knees. If you wear off-the-shoulder shirts or dresses, you will need a shawl or a pareo. You also need sturdy shoes. You should not wear high heels on the uneven Roman roads.