On Rome’s New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, there is a big street party and an extensive official program. Leave the old behind and start a happy new year in Rome.
New Year's Eve traditions in Rome
If you want to be lucky in the new year, then you have to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve, that’s the tradition. A good dose of lentils with cotechino, a kind of coarse cooked sausage, promises financial success. In the past, porcelain was also thrown out of the window, but this custom is no longer common today for safety reasons.
New Year’s Eve is primarily a street festival in the Roman city center. Many Romans eat at home or in the restaurant and at midnight they flock to the city center, to the Colosseum or to the lookout hills to celebrate and watch the fireworks. The city organizes a 24-hour festival around the Circus Maximus. The nightclubs turn up on New Year’s Eve, to celebrate the new year.
Parco della Musica
31.12. 14:00 Baths of Caracalla, New Year’s Eve Run We Run Rome 10km and 5km
31.12. 17:00 St. Peter’s Basilica, Vespers and Te Deum (with invitation card only)
City Festival "La Festa di Roma"
The city of Rome is organizing a big festival for New Year’s Eve and New Year, which is entitled “The Nature” . The celebration begins on December 31, 2019 at 9 pm. Between New Year’s Eve and New Year, the festival includes 100 events with 1,000 artists from all over the world. Admission to the festival is free. At this festival you should definitely bring your own drinks. For access to the Circus Maximus, five entrances with security controls are foreseen. You are not allowed to bring any glass bottles. Estimates expect around 40,000 visitors.
Circo Massimo 21 – 3
Metro B Circo Massimo – Colosseo. The metro runs until 3:30 in the night.
21:00 Ascanio Celestini tells a story of the earth, accompanied by the children’s orchestra Rustica X Band
22:00 The aerial acrobats from Andalusia Aerial Jockey Strada show their spectacle “Sylphes” Music: PMCE – Parco della Musica Contemporanea Ensemble
Midnight: Fireworks with musical accompaniment by the PMCE – Parco della Musica Contemporanea Ensemble
then DJ set of British pop icon Skin and her band Skunk Anansie Indie Rock, House and Electro
Fireworks on New Year's Eve
At midnight there is a fireworks display of the Roman municipal utilities on the Palatine Hill. However, in 2019 the fireworks were pretty puny. I spent a quarter of an hour wondering when it would finally start, and then the fireworks were already over.
The current ruling Roman city administration has been trying to ban fireworks for years . The decree of the mayor of Rome of December 21, 2016 to ban fireworks in the urban area from December 29, 2016 to January 1, 2017 has been suspended by the Regional Administrative Court on December 28, 2016. On December 30, 2018, a ban was announced for December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Nevertheless, there were quite impressive fireworks in the city.
If you go to the city festival on the circus Maximus, you will see the fireworks on the Palatine sponsored by the utility company.
You can watch fireworks very well from the various viewpoints. Many Romans go to the terrace of the Gianicolo or to the Pincio.
Buy fireworks in Rome
In the supermarkets in Rome you will only find adult free fireworks. There are very few specialized shops in Rome selling real fireworks. The addresses can be found on the internet under the search term “vendita fuochi d’artificio Roma”.
The decision of the mayor of Rome of December 21, 2016 to ban fireworks in the urban area from December 29, 2016 to January 1, 2017 has been suspended by the Regional Administrative Court on December 28, 2016. On December 30, 2018, a ban was announced for December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019.
Before New Year’s Eve, long lines formed in front of the fireworks and it may take several hours to get your turn. If you want to crack properly, you should already stock up two to three days before.
Rome New Year's Day 2020
On New Year’s morning in Rome, apart from the events around the Circus Maximus, it is very quiet. If you want to go for a walk, you should watch out for any unexploded bollards.
For the Pope’s Mass, you must order the invitation cards in good time at the Prefecture of the Papal Household. One can also consider a church visit or, in good weather, a trip to the sea to Ostia. Just take the local train from the Pyramid to Ostia Lido. You can use the normal ticket AB for city traffic.
Events New Year's Day 2020
Capitoline Museums – Markets of Trajan – Ara Pacis – Museo di Roma in Piazza Navona – Museo di Roma in Trastevere – Museo Napoleonico – Museum of Ancient Sculpture Giovanni Barracco
The archaeological area of the Circus Maximus 10-16
You will need invitation cards for all the Pope’s Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica and for the General Audiences.
1.1. 10:00 Pope’s Mass
1.1. 12:00 Angelus prayer of the Pope
"La Festa di Roma"
The city of Rome offers an extensive program of events in the area of the Circus Maximus, on the Aventine and on the banks of the Tiber below the Aventine to the Tiber Island. Admission to all events is free.
In the afternoon there are parades and numerous events between Aventine, Tiber Island and Circus Maximus. The festival with the theme Nature is divided into five ecosystems:
- World of ice and fresh water
- Pastures and meadows
- Jungles and forests
Christmas and New Year’s Eve restaurants
How to find an open restaurant in Rome on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you will learn here. Christmas and New Year’s Eve restaurants in Rome>
The metro runs from 5:30 am on December 31, 2019, to 3:30 am on January 1, 2020. Also the line to Ostia Lido and the line Rome-Flaminia Montebello leave until 3:30. From 3:30 am to 8 am the lines N1, N2, N2L and N28 drive along the metro lines and line N3 from Piazza Venezia to Ostia.
Bus and tram: Last departure on December 31 at 9 pm.
From 9pm to 3:30am, the following lines operate:
Bus H: Termini piazza Venezia-Trastevere-Gianicolense-Bravetta / Capasso
Tram 2: piazzale Flaminio-via Flaminia-piazza Mancini, is performed by buses
Bus 128: Metro B San Paolo-viale Marconi-via della Magliana-via Crocco
Bus 170: Eur Agricoltura-viale Marconi-piazza Venezia-Nazionale-Termini
Bus 200: piazza Mancini-Ponte Milvio-corso Francia-via Flaminia-station Prima Porta
Bus 280: piazza Mancini-Lepanto Metro A-Piramide Metro B-station Ostiense Fs
Bus 301: Grottarossa via Cassia-Ponte Milvio-Lepanto Metro A-piazza Augusto Imperatore
Bus 336: Conca d’Oro Metro B1-Vigne Nuove-Fidene-via Quarrata
Bus 544: Stazione Sant’Agnese / Annibaliano Metro B-Monti Tiburtini-Stazione Gardenia Metro C-stazione Parco di Centocelle Metro C
Bus 766: via Andrea Millevoi-Grottaperfetta-Metro B San Paolo-Stazione Trastevere
Bus 881: via Avanzini-via della Pisana via Gregorio VII via Paola
Bus 905: metro A Cornelia via Boccea via Casal Selce-Casalotti-Malagrotta
Bus N913: Ottavia / via Tarsia via Trionfale-viale delle Medaglie d’Oro
On 1st January 2020 the holiday schedule starts from 8 am
Information on the regional and national rail connections can be found in the Trenitalia booking portal.
The weather on New Year's Eve
It’s cold on New Year’s Eve. It is windy at the viewpoints and if you want to light fireworks you should have a storm lighter with you.
If you want to party outside at night, you need warm clothes and gloves. The probability of rain can be found in the current weather report.
The holy Sylvester
Sylvester was bishop of Rome in the years 314-335. He was buried on the 31st of December and he is celebrated on that day.
During the rule of Pope Sylvester occurred the Christianization of the state by Emperor Constantine and four important basilicas were built: St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John and Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Many other churches were built during his rule over the graves of martyrs. He is venerated in the Basilica of San Silvestro e Martino in Monti in Viale del Monte Oppio 28