Summer bank holiday: discover Rome and surroundings

Summer holiday in Rome – the Eternal City.

28 Jul 2019

Gruppo UNA

Rome is an energetic and raw capital and has been a particularly influential city in Western civilisation for thousands of years. Home to the Roman Empire and filled with areas of historical importance, the city and its surrounding areas are a fascinating mix of the ancient and the new and provide a visceral insight into the culture of Italy and its people. World-famous landmarks like the Colosseum and the Pantheon should not be missed, but there are many lesser-known reasons to visit Rome.

There is plenty to keep you occupied on a trip to Rome in August and much that you should not miss, so let us explore the best ways to see Rome and why you should head off the beaten track this summer and experience some cities and towns on Rome's doorstep.

Rome, Fontana di Trevi

Rome: Summer activities.

Rome is often very warm in the summer, and the night is the time when the city is most alive. In the evening, the rivers in the city offer a respite from the heat, and bars and restaurants fill up with locals and tourists alike. All through August, the festival Lungo il Tevere runs along the banks of the Tiber from Piazza Trilussa to Porta Portese – temporary art exhibitions and pop-up bars and restaurants offer great variety. There are also shops and market stalls that you can explore with a  drink and some local cuisine; it's the perfect end to a bank holiday in August!

When you think of a summer break, it is natural to imagine a day trip to the beach, and if that's what you want, you can still get it on a trip to Rome. Very close to the city are a trio of fantastic sandy beaches in Ostia, Fiumicino and Fregene, so rent a car and enjoy a scenic drive to the sea. If you are looking to cool down, a dip in the ocean is the perfect antidote, and lunch in a waterside restaurant will offer a cool breeze and some delicious seafood to help you unwind on your break.

If you are a nature lover and you fancy a break from city life, there are plenty of spaces of natural beauty both inside and just outside of Rome to keep you happy. Renting a bicycle is the best way to get around the city, and there are many parks to head to, the most famous of which is Villa Borghese. So, why not pack a picnic to share and relax in the beautiful green spaces on offer. Escaping the city and exploring the surrounding countryside is also easy: either rent a bike or scooter and head along the Ancient Appian way to experience a more rustic side of the city. Or, if you prefer, book a tour and immerse yourself in a guided historical trip along this famous road.

Rome in August: day trips.

When the sun is out, renting a car and heading on a  day trip when on a summer trip to Rome is a glorious thing. Once you are out of the hustle and bustle of the city, the roads open up and there are a few unmissable places to visit.

Calcata is a town that sits atop a huge cliff overlooking a wooded valley just north of Rome in Lazio. This location was wrongfully declared too dangerous to live in and was subsequently taken over by artists and painters who have renovated and reinvigorated the area. Amazing picture-perfect views of the valley are possible and taking a walk through cobbled winding streets is a quintessentially Italian experience.

There are few places that can compete with the ancient ruins of Pompeii, near Naples, but the urban archaeological site of Ostia Antica is within easy reach of Rome and offers an interesting idea of what towns and cities looked like thousands of years ago. The ruins can be explored leisurely in half a day, leaving you plenty of time to relax and soak in the atmosphere.

Rome, archeologycal site

Holidays in Rome: festivals and concerts.

The last place you might imagine watching a performance of a Shakespearian play in a reconstructed Globe theatre might be Rome, but during the summer in Rome, you can do just that. The replica of the famous English theatre has been constructed in the beautiful Villa Borghese, a landscaped park in the centre of Rome. Watch famous plays such as Much Ado About Nothing and Richard III as the sun sets on gloriously presented gardens. In Rome, summer concerts don't come much better than this. 

The Caracalla Baths are an ancient public bath in the centre of Rome and often play host to special performances and festivals. This year, the Teatro dell'Opera will use this majestic ancient ruin as their stage, with operas, ballets and famous composers filling the space with classical music and dance – a perfect evening event for any lover of Italian culture.

Where to stay in the Eternal City.

In order to truly maximise the time spent on a bank holiday in Rome, it is often better to be in the city centre. In the historical centre and near the main train station, Gruppo UNA is pleased to present the UNAHOTELS Decò Roma, a striking art deco style hotel with incredible amenities and exceptional customer service.

If you are interested in discovering more places to enjoy in Rome, make sure to read our latest pieces on travel in Italy.