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What's On in Rome: 10 Unforgettable Events this Autumn
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What's On in Rome: 10 Unforgettable Events this Autumn

Picture of Rainer Mesi
Updated: 9 February 2017
Autumn is a great time to visit Rome; with the summer heat slowly fading, one can really appreciate the finer aspects that this city has to offer. Culturally, Rome is an exciting place to explore. From street art to classical opera, we present the must-see events in the Italian capital this autumn, set to satisfy cravings for modern art, performance, cinema and music.

Art | Street Artists from Rome and Beyond

Throughout October

Gallery Varsi has been in operation for many years, introducing both established and lesser-known street artists to the wider public. The gallery’s exhibitions are consistently packed with energy and the artistic line-up is updated frequently. If visiting Galleria Varsi this autumn, you will experience the work of three different street artists. Running until 19th of October, the artist M-City showcases his thrilling mix of industrial and video-game art that produces a coherent critique of modern geo-politics. From the 30th of October, a new exhibition moves into the gallery, Etam Cru, the artistic creations of street artist duo Sainer and Bezt, whose work is an amalgamation of reality, fantasy and fairytale.

Galleria Varsi, 51 Via San Salvatore, Campo, Rome, Italy, +39 06 6830 9410

Rome Film Festival | © Getty Images
Rome Film Festival | © Getty Images

Film | Rome Film Festival

16 to 25 October

Taking place in Rome at the end of October, the Rome Film Festival is in its 9th year and promises cinema fans an interesting week in Italy’s capital. With over 40 films being presented at the festival there is plenty to choose from. The Festival is aimed at introducing the work of emerging directors, focusing on both European directors and those hailing from further afield. The venue, Auditoria Parcco della Musica, will boast the world’s largest red carpet as the festival welcomes the European premières of Time out of Mind by Oren Moverman and Black & White by Mike Binder.

Rome Film Festival, Auditorium Parco della Musica, 30 Viale Pietro De Coubertin, Rome, Italy, + 39 06 4040 1900

Photography | Fotografia Rome

Till 11 January 2015

Fotografia Roma, the renowned international photography festival, opens its doors in Rome this November. Already in its thirteenth instalment, this year’s exhibition will be held at the National Museum of Contemporary Art and promises to intrigue visitors with a deep analysis of the art of portrait photography. The works will focus on themes such as; what significance does the portrait hold in modern society? How does it transfer meaning between individuals, the subject and the artist? Featuring works by acclaimed photographers such as Roger Ballen and Larry Fink, with more than 2000 photos on display, Fotografia Roma promises to be a stimulating event for anybody intrigued by photography.

Fotografia Rome, Museo Macro, 4 Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, Rome, Italy,

Opera | Rigoletto

Till 31 October

Whether you are an opera lover or not, few can say that visiting the famous Opera House in Rome would be time misspent. This autumn, there is even more reason to check out the box office of the Tearo dell’Opera di Roma, as starting from October, the theatre will be showcasing Verdi’s classic opera, Rigoletto. Based on Victor Hugo’s work, Le Roi s’Amuse, the play promises an unforgettable experience for all involved. A classic tale of love, spite and humility, Rigoletto is sure to impress both first-time opera goers and more seasoned spectators, definitely ranking as a show not to be missed in downtown Rome.

Rigoletto, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, 7 Piazza Beniamino Gigli, Rome, Italy,+ 39 06 481 601

Art | Maurits Cornelis Escher

Till 22 February 2015

A comprehensive collection of 150 works by the famous Dutch engraver and graphic artist, Maurits Cornelis Escher, will be open for art-lovers in the Chiostro del Bramante museum until February 2015. Escher’s detailed observation of the surrounding natural world inspired the creation of artworks produced to a standard and style that was truly forward-thinking. With exploration of the concepts of non-Euclidean geometry, understanding optical puzzles within Escher’s varied and often eclectic works is no easy task. Fortunately, the exhibition has managed to compile an unforgettable and harmonious journey though the life and work of a true master of the arts.

Maurits Cornelis Escher Exhibition, Christro del Bramante, 5 Via Arco della Pace, Rome, Italy, + 39 06 916 508 451

Festival | RomaEuropa Festival

24 September – 30 November

Every autumn, Rome plays host to the acclaimed RomaEuropa Festival, aiming to introduce the often brave and innovative work of modern artists to the public. Sometimes dubbed the Festival of Modernity, RomaEuropa aims to promote the most forward-thinking creative minds through their contribution to dance, music, theatre and digital media. The festival has a reputation for attracting the very highest quality modern European art and attempts to bridge the gap between niche and mass-appeal. With its diverse programme of 118 performances, 15 venues and more than 20 premières, attending RomaEuropa is a must.

Events are held at various venues across Rome

Art | Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Ara Pacis

26 September – 25 January 2015

Get to know the artist who has been labelled the ‘eye of the 20th century’. The exhibition opens from the end of September until the end of January at the Ara Pacis gallery, holding an impressive collection of more than 500 pieces of work related to the late Henri Cartier-Bresson. The exhibition displays the artist’s most famous photographs in addition to his more obscure work in the fields of film, writing and drawing. Bresson’s photos are true master-classes in photography, all uniquely composed and demonstrating real intuition with regard to capturing the right moment on film. Visiting this exhibition allow you to experience a unique take on the life of a restless traveller and the struggles of the 20th century captured on film.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Museo dell’Ara Pacis, Lungotevere in Augusta corner to via Tomacelli, Roma, Italy, + 33 1 53 42 50 00

Festival | Outdoor Festival

25 October to 25 November

In its fifth year, Rome’s Outdoor Festival brings urban renewal to a new level in 2014. Showcasing street art from around the globe, the month-long event aims to renew and redecorate an abandoned industrial complex situated in San Lorenzo in the centre of Rome. The festival is a mixture of street art, photography, architecture and cinema, and ultimately, attendees should expect to witness the grand transformation of an abandoned urban space into a stunning modern art-piece. Those who are familiar with Rome may well have unwittingly observed the work of the festival from previous years, as the initiative has reinvigorated Roman districts such as Ostiense and Garbatella, both of which are now experiencing a booming artistic and cultural revival.

Outdoor Festival, 10 Viale dello Scalo San Lorenzo, Rome, Italy, +39 340 50 82 794

Music | 2014 Rome Jazz Festival

14 to 30 November

Rome Jazz Festival has been a firm favourite for fans of European jazz since 1976. The annual festival returns to its traditional roots this year, following last year’s fusion of jazz with literature. This year’s theme is Swing and Jazz, naturally featuring an abundance of good music and encouraging attendees to let loose on the dance floor. Unsurprisingly, the festivals line-up features many renowned Italian and international jazz artists, promising the very highest quality. If you are a jazz aficionado, you will be both familiarly greeted and sonorously challenged by the Rome Jazz Festival. If you are unfamiliar with jazz, the event also serves as a great platform from which to dive into this popular genre.

Rome Jazz Festival, Auditorium Parco della Musica, 30 Viale Pietro De Coubertin, Rome, Italy, +39 06 9020 7045

Art | Mario Sironi

4 October 2014 – 8 February 2015

Mario Sironi has been labelled one of the greatest 20th century painters. His talent however, went largely unnoticed for the majority of his life, due to early affiliation with the Italian fascist movement. The exhibition of Sironi’s work at the Vittoriano Museum Complex is a comprehensive survey of the artist’s career. The exhibition displays 90 works by Sironi in varied media, showcasing his talents as an accomplished illustrator, architect, sculptor and decorator. Sironi’s style comprises of massive immobile forms, thus taking in the whole breadth of his varied work can be a powerful experience.

Mario Sironi, Vittoriano Museum Complex, Piazza Venezia, Rome, Italy, + 39 06 3225 380

By Rainer Mesi