Rome City Festival Peter and Paul 29 June

Rome City Festival Peter and Paul · 29 June

Every year on 29 June, Rome celebrates the Festival of the city’s Patron Saints Peter and Paul. The Festival of the town Patron Saints Peter and Paul is one of the highest feast of Rome.

Already the day before the festival, the city empties, as many Romans take advantage of the long weekend. All the nicer to be able to enjoy the city in peace.


Infiorata Rome Peter & Paul
“Infiorata” Pictures made with blossoms at St. Peter

The center of the celebrations of the Solemnity of Peter & Paul are all Catholic churches, especially St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Paul outside the walls.

In addition to the celebrations in the Basilicas, we remember the following events in recent years:

4 pm: Canoe Regatta on the Tiber River near the bridge Ponte Margherita that connects Via Cola di Rienzo with Piazza del Popolo.

8.30 pm: Traditional fireworks at Castel Sant’Angelo “La Girandola”. The fireworks can be seen from the Tiber bridges.


The fireworks La Girandola

Conceived by Michelangelo Buonarotti, La Girandola was first performed almost 500 years ago as a fireworks display with musical accompaniment at Castel Sant’Angelo for the feast of the city’s patron saints.

If you missed the Girandola or are a fireworks enthusiast, you can attend the Italian Fireworks Championships, which will be held July 5-7 and July 12-14 at the Cinecittà World amusement park between Rome and Pomezia.

Cinecittà World is located south of Rome on Via Pontina and can only be reached by private vehicle Google maps.

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The feast at St. Peter’s Basilica

In St. Peter’s Basilica, the Solemnity of Peter & Paul is celebrated with a Pope’s Mass at 9:30. Tickets can be ordered from the Papal Prefecture. You can also follow the celebration on the large screens on St. Peter’s Square. You will find the live broadcast on my website about the papal audiences live.

The area in front of St. Peter’s Square is traditionally decorated with pictures made of flower petals, the so-called “Infiorata”. Associations from all over Italy start making the pictures the evening before. So you can see the preparations the evening before and admire the magnificent flower pictures in front of St. Peter’s Basilica on June 29th.

The Pope prays Angelus at 12 o’clock above St. Peter’s Square.


The fair at St. Paul’s Church

St. Paul’s Outside the Walls hosts a traditional fair each year with street food, entertainment, games and the sale of items. The market is held on Via Ostiense behind the basilica from 8 p.m. June 28 to midnight June 29.


The Vatican museums are closed on June 29. All other museums in Rome are normally open.


The fact that the city festival Peter & Paul is one of the highest festivals of the Romans, does not mean that all Romans celebrate the festival in Rome. Many Romans use June 29th for a long weekend. If you are traveling by car and your departure day is June 28 or 29, you should start very early. Otherwise you need 1-2 hours just to get out of the city of Rome.

In the city, however, it is relatively quiet. Public transport is based on public holiday timetable.


History of the city festival Peter and Paul

Peter and Paul are the two apostles who have been portrayed together since the dawn of Christendom.

Peter, the Fisherman of Galilee, was the first apostle Jesus called to Himself. About the year 50 Peter came to Rome and worked as a great preacher until he was arrested during the persecutions by Nero. According to the legend, he managed to escape, but on the Via Appia Jesus appeared and convinced him to repent and take the martyrdom. He was crucified around the year 67 in the circus of Nero. Unwilling to be crucified like Jesus, he asked to be crucified with his head down. He was then buried on the Vatikans Hill. Above his grave was first a chapel and later the basilica of Emperor Constantine, which was replaced in the 16th century by the present St. Peter’s Basilica. More about the history of St. Peter’s

Paul was born as son of a Hebrew family in Tarsus in what is now Turkey and converted to Christianity after appearing on the way to Damascus. He became a tireless messenger of the words of Jesus and was arrested in Jerusalem as a troublemaker. As a Roman citizen, he had the right to a due process, and in 61 he was transferred to Rome, where he spent several years in prison. He was arrested again during the persecution of Christians under Nero. Legend has it that he was in the same prison as Peter.

As a Roman citizen, he had the right to a less painful death. He was beheaded around the year 67 at the three wells on the Via Laurentina. The legend says that his head hit the ground three times, and that there was a well at each point. Today, there is the Cistercian abbey “Tre fontane” on the site.

Paul was buried outside the city walls on Via Ostiense. There rises today the Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls. Legend has it that Peter and Paul were executed the same day.

Since the solemnity of the apostles Peter and Paul is celebrated in the church on June 29, this day is a public holiday in Rome.

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12 thoughts on “Rome City Festival Peter and Paul · 29 June”

    • Hello, we expect it to take place. But it is not yet confirmed. By the way, Cinecittà World will host a championship of fireworks from 1-10 July.

      • Goodmorning. Still no information for The fireworks La Girandola in piazza del popolo in 2022? I can’t finalise me schedule 🙂

      • It is very strange, but the city of Rome has not yet published a program. Apart from possible last minute surprises, I think we have to assume that this year no events have been organized for the city festival.

  1. Hi Bernhard,
    do you know whan exactly will be the Basilica open for public? Is it noon or typically later? Many thanks Michal

    • Hi Michal,
      after the Angelus Prayer of the Pope, a little before 13:00. At that time, half of the people assisting the Angelus want to enter the Basilica.

  2. How can I get one ticket if I was regretfully denied in my email request to the Vatican? I sent the email in February. Only need 1 ticket

  3. Hi Tracy,
    If we buy “dedicated access and self-guided tour” of the Basilica on June 29th, will we be able to go into St. Peters from 3-5?