How to celebrate New Years in Rome

Attention! This blog post is written many years ago when I was not even dreaming about becoming a professional travel blogger. You are warned that the quality of the text and/or pictures might not be the best. 🙂

capodanno roma

Capodanno, that is what they call it here.

I had lived in Rome for 2 years, along with all the holidays this amazing country has to offer, New Years were some of the most exiting and enjoyable experiences.

New Year’s Eve in Rome is a magical time, an exciting, romantic blur of lights, music and good food.

When I first moved here and was still new to the city’s sights, sounds and smells, I had celebrated the New Year with my friends who came specially all the way from Russia to celebrate it with me. First, we wandered to the Vatican, walked along the bustling Via Della Conciliazione to Piazza San Pietro, squeezing through the throngs of people milling around happily between the beautifully elegant buildings.

In the square, lights twinkled and were reflected by the shining paving below. We made our way towards the centre of the square, where the giant Christmas tree stood gleaming. Live music filled the air. We made our way towards the stunning Nativity scene, or Presepe, a big part of Roman Christmas and New Year celebrations. This was the best example I had ever seen. Later, we strolled through back streets, lingered on the Pont Sant’angelo looking at the lights shining in the tranquil river below, then found ourselves after a while in the Christmas market on Piazza Navona. A series of busy stalls, colorful lights, musical arts and wonderful smells filled the square. Laughter filled the air as we wandered from stall to stall, trying a little bit of this and that to eat as we walked. I gave them a panettone to try – a traditional sweet bread loaf, which you cannot miss if you are in Italy on Christmas Eve – supermarkets have literally walls of panettone boxes! You have to try it, it is very good!

piazza navona market
piazza navona chrismas
new year rome

Then finally, we ended up being near Colosseo, which is the best place to celebrate in my opinion (try to get there as early as possible because it gets really crowded closer to midnight and almost impossible to reach). There were so many people, all happy, congratulating each other, fireworks and champagne everywhere! It was the best New Year celebration I had ever had, and I never thought I would have a better one. But I was wrong.

The next New Year I celebrated with my local friends – colleagues from the university. We met up with at Piazza Venezia, joining the crowds.

I was lost in a fantastic blur of sounds and lights. We drank Prosecco, local rock bands played, and we were swept up in the throng and danced and danced along with the others. Later, we cheered with everyone else at the amazing fireworks. We partied until dawn, when the sun came up to a crisp and beautiful New Years day. We went back to my friend’s place (you can take a metro till 2 30 am or take a taxi, if you agree about the price from before it won’t be such rip off , we slept for a few hours, then went back to the Piazza del Popolo and watched the circus performers, and listened to more music.

Who knows what the next New Year will bring. But I would say that the best thing to do is just to wander, and see where the night takes you.

The whole of Rome is one big open air museum and, especially during La Festa di San Silvestro, one giant party too.

Find a venue that suits you and you love and have a blast!

Best wishes,



The list of clubs where you can celebrate New Year if you wish to:

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How to celebrate new years in rome Italy

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