Rome might not seem like an obvious choice for the spookiest day of the year, but Halloween has become increasingly popular all over Italy, and especially in its capital city. Throughout October, there are special themed events, decorations adorning shop fronts, and plenty more to get you in a ghostly mood. Here are some of Culture Trip’s picks for the best ways to celebrate Halloween in Rome.
It just wouldn’t be Halloween without a good-quality costume, and Rome has plenty of stores to choose from to facilitate this need. Studio 13 and Profondo Rosso (both in the Prati District) have got you covered for more traditional outfits, but for something a bit more elaborate, head to the Monti District and browse the vintage stores. You might find something worth holding onto, such as a plague doctor’s mask or a long coat befitting a dashing vampire.
Rome is magnificent at night, but under the right circumstances, it can also be pretty spooky. Dark Rome offers a Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends of Rome Night Walking Tour, which takes you through old execution sites, leads you across a bridge said to be haunted by a menacing ghost carriage and tells plenty of other chilling tales from the Eternal City.
Rome has a fabulous club scene, and lots of clubs across the city put on special events for Halloween. Venues including Room 26, Exe and others reliably put on big events every year, and other bars and pubs around the city will bring out the decorations and load up on the creepy atmosphere. Keep an eye out for special film screenings as well.
Cinecittà World, Rome’s film- and TV-themed amusement park, plays host to an annual month-long Halloween takeover, with special performances and actors made up as various on-screen horrors stalking the entire park. Special scary rides and recreated horror movie sets can be experienced, and while it’s open year-round, there’s no better time to visit the Horror House, if you have the guts.
There’s plenty to offer the younger crowd in Rome too. The Bioparco and Zoological Museum both put on special events for Halloween every year, often featuring hands-on encounters with reptiles and creepy crawlies. Luneur Park fairground, meanwhile, has a whole month of Halloween fun with costumed characters all over the park and a special trick or treat challenge.
However gorgeous and palatial Rome may be above the ground, beneath it there’s a second world, and a frightening one at that. Various companies (including Dark Rome) offer crypt tours – visiting the catacombs on the Appian Way where the bodies of several 7th-century martyrs are said to be entombed; and the Crypt of the Capuchin Friars, whose altars are adorned with the skulls and bones of the friars themselves. An unsettling, unique experience perfect for the spooky season.
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