Hot Dates February 2020

by Danilo Brunetti

With modern dance, international rugby, world-class musicians, and more, February in Rome is shaping up to be a stellar month.

Momix’s Alicefrom Wednesday 12

One of the world’s most imaginative choreographers working today brings the beloved tale of Alice in Wonderland
to life in new and marvelous ways as part of Rome’s International Dance Festival. Moses Pendleton and his now-legendary dance troupe Momix interpret Lewis Carroll’s timeless story with charisma, originality, and the ingenious dance- acrobatics that the company has become famous for. Join the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and the entire cast of fantastical characters and enter a world where anything is possible. The performance is a co-production of the Roman Philharmonic Academy, and had its world premiere last year at Rome’s Teatro Olimpico. It’s now back at the same venue by popular demand.

Leonidas Kavakosfrom Thursday 13 to Saturday 15

Award-winning Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos teams up with the Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda to perform one of the most celebrated works for the instrument, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Classical music purists, be forewarned: Kavakos has been known to add embellishments and personal flourishes to the work, and has at times even conducted the orchestra while he plays. Catch it at the Auditorium PDM.

Liam GallagherSaturday 15

Following his 10th top- charting (and second solo) album, Liam Gallagher arrives at Rome’s Palalottomatica arena for a one-night-only performance this month to play the hits off Why Me? Why Not? Best known as the former frontman of the band Oasis, Gallagher is one of the most recognizable figures in British music. Don’t miss out on this rare show; for tickets head to

Rembrandt as St. Paul from Thursday 20

An extraordinary self portrait of Rembrandt as St. Paul, which once belonged to Neri Corsini and is now part of the permanent collection of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, returns to Italy for the first time in more than 200 years. This small exhibition brings to light a forgotten but crucial event in the history of European art collecting: the painting recalls an emblematic episode of the dispersion of artwork during the French occupation of 1799, when the Corsini patriarch sold the masterpiece to pay the taxes imposed by the new government. The exhibit, aptly held at Galleria Corsini, also displays a selection of Rembrandt engravings still owned by the Corsini family.

League of Six Nations RugbySaturday 22

Wear your red, green, and white and join the madness as Italy’s national rugby team goes head-to-head with Scotland in round three of the Six Nations Rugby Championship in Rome’s own Stadio Olimpico. For non Europeans, this mini-league features only one game per year for each pairing of the six teams: Italy, France, Scotland, England, Ireland, and Wales, meaning only three games are played in each capital city between February and March. Expect literally thousands of Scots (many in kilts) to descend upon this city over the weekend. Tickets available at

Carnevaleuntil Tuesday 25

If you thought the riotous pre-Lenten festival known as Carnival was invented in Venice, Rio, or New Orleans, think again. The Eternal City is the true birthplace of this libidinous event, and in recent years the city has revived everyone’s favorite late-winter celebration. The most important Carnevale events take place in Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, and along Via del Corso, just as they did five centuries ago. Events include outdoor commedia dell’arte performances, equestrian shows, staged gladiator fights, mask-making workshops for kids and adults, masked parades, and of course, plenty of stalls selling traditional sugary treats. Be sure to try frappe and castagnole before they disappear on Ash Wednesday!

February’s Calendar

1 Opening night of Ghost the Musical at Teatro Sistina.

2 Jam out to the Queen-inspired musical We Will Rock You at Teatro Brancaccio.

3 Pick up an exquisite new fragrance at perfumer to the royals, Essenzialmente Laura (p24).

4 Take advantage of the city-wide winter sales, continuing this month!

5 Don’t miss the last day of the Luigi Valadier exhibit at Galleria Borghese.

6 Pick up an English-language book set in Italy at Anglo American Book Co. (Via delle Vite, 102).

7 Enjoy an operatic serenade with dinner at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj (

8 Why not treat yourself? Check out our shopping guide dedicated to luxury pampering (p20).

9 Expose your kids to classical music with a children’s concert at Santa Cecilia.

10 Who says statues can’t be sexy? Take a tour of Rome’s most sensual sculptures (p14).

11 Make sure to catch the Bacon and Freud exhibit at Chiostro del Bramante before it ends!

12 Opening night of Momix’s Alice, a modern dance take on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale.

13 Hear violinist Leonidas Kavakos interpret Beethoven with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra.

14 Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic meal at Casa Coppelle (P.zza delle Coppelle, 49).

15 Catch former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher rock out at Palalottomatica.

16 Enjoy a sophisticated yet authentic meal at new restaurant SU Da Francesco (p34).

17 Learn the real story behind St. Valentine (and see his relics while you’re at it!) (p18).

18 Teatro dell’Opera presents Tchaikovsky’s Evgenij Onegin at Teatro Costanzi.

19 Escape the cold and learn something new at a cooking class (

20 Experience Danilo Eccher’s new exhibit, Who’s Afraid of the Dark? at the Musja (

21 See a rare work by Rembrandt, on exhibit at Galleria Corsini.

22 Watch the Italy v. Scotland rugby game at Stadio Olimpico.

23 Warm up from the inside out with a cup of steaming hot chocolate at Said dal 1923.

24 Marvel at works by the great neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova at Palazzo Braschi.

25 It’s the final day of Carnevale so stock up on fried sweets before they disappear!

26 Explore the works of American pop artist Jim Dine at PalaExpo (p56).

 27 Take in a classical concert of the Rome Philharmonic Academy (p53).

28 Catch Italian singer Riki at the Palalottomatica.

29 Learn about Frida Kahlo through The Chaos Inside exhibit at Spazio Eventi Tirso.