It may be almost 40 degrees in Rome. I may have been stupid to stay in the stifling city rather than escape to cooler beach or mountain climes for the first two weeks of August. But if you can take the heat, a Roman summer does have some benefits. Cooler summer evenings are celebrated with some seriously special, limited edition, July and August only events.
Tosca in the shadows of the Terme Caracalla
The Festival di Caracalla organised by the Teatro Dell’ Opera is a yearly event, but this is the first time I’ve been lucky enough to see a performance. Set within the impressive remains of ancient imperial bath complex built by the Emperor in 216, at 25euros (for the cheap seats) sitting under the stars you’re getting a bargain.
Gershwin at Cortile Sant’Ivo
Designed by Borromini in 1642, the beautiful S. Ivo alla Sapienza courtyard comes alive every summer with a music festival. In tribute to my Welsh grandmother, a lover of Gershwin, I chose that performance and wasn’t disappointed by the International Chamber Ensemble, the baroque space sweeping the music up into the sky (although the man singing I’ve Got Rhythm when he clearly hadn’t was slightly disappointing, if quite funny).
Shakespeare at the Globe
Ok, so it might not be the original theatre, so the plays (as you can see from the poster) are in Italian; Romeo e Giulietta maybe quite fitting, Riccardo III probably not. But to have an almost perfect copy of the Globe in the beautiful setting of the Villa Borghese park, with balmy nights perfect for enjoying a three hour performance without fear of rain, it is a treat not to be missed.
Cocktails on the Gianicolo
A few months ago I searched and searched for this elusive bar with its stunning views over looking the city, only to discover that it is open only during the summer months. Lovely cocktails, I recommend the slightly Italian take on the French 75 of gin, prosecco and lime.
As part of Roma Estate parks and piazzas transform into open-air cinemas for the duration of the summer. My personal favourite is this one in grounds of the Castel Sant’Angelo under my favourite Roman pines.