Hot Dates January 2020

by Danilo Brunetti

Kick off the New Year with fun for the whole family, with everything from parade to concerts, opera, ice shows, and sales!

Sales – from Saturday 4

If your pockets are hurting after the holidays, have no fear! Sales in Italy occur only twice a year, but they are city wide and well worth the wait. The first Sunday of the month marks the kickoff of Rome’s semi-annual sales, with winter stock at nearly every shop and department store in the city discounted by up to 70%. From independent boutiques to big international brands, from discount outlets to luxury labels, you can’t afford not to shop the sales!

New Year’s Day Parade – Wednesday 1

Starting from Piazza del Popolo at 3:30pm, Rome’s annual event brings international talent to the Eternal City to celebrate the New Year. The talented acts on the bill this year include Varsity Spirit, an all-American dance and cheer team; the Hickory Ridge High School Marching Band from North Carolina; and the MA–TRU music group of nearby Amatrice, Italy, all accompanied by massive balloons and vintage Fiats. The events also include performances organized by the Rome Festival, bringing several indoor and outdoor concerts to different areas of the city, including young choral singers, orchestral and jazz musicians, concert bands, and wind ensembles. For a full list of events, visit

Befana – Monday 6

On the Feast of the Epiphany, Italian tradition dictates that a friendly witch known as La Befana brings treats to good children and coal to naughty ones, just as the three kings brought gifts to baby Jesus. It’s a beloved Italian national holiday that marks the end of the Christmas season. The story goes that the three kings stopped at La Befana’s home to rest on their way to visit the Christ child and invited her on their journey, but she had too much housework to do. She changed her mind and ran after them with her broom still in hand and dropped candy at all the children’s houses hoping to find Jesus. Stop by Piazza Navona today to see La Befana in person.

Frozen on Ice – from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19

This brand-new ice show based on one of Disney’s most beloved movies is coming to the Palalottomatica for six shows this month. Disney on Ice: Frozen, The Kingdom of Ice will take spectators through the story as Anna goes to find Elsa after her powers are revealed. The show will include classic songs along with new ones, composed specifically for the ice show. Head to for tickets and more information.

PJ Morton – Saturday 18

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and producer PJ Morton headlines at The Alcazar for one night only this month. Best known for being the keyboard player of Maroon 5, Morton launched his solo career with the aim of creating traditional R&B and gospel music, and has picked up three Grammy nominations this year alone. Rome is just one of the many stops on the European leg of his tour in support of his sixth album Paul, released last summer. For tickets and more information, visit

I Capuleti e i Montecchi – from Tuesday 21 to Sunday 26

As you might surmise from the name, Bellini’s delightful bel canto opera The Capulet and the Montagues is a retelling of Shakespeare’s timeless play Romeo and Juliet. But while the story of the star crossed lovers is still a large part of the plot, the opera focuses more on the relationship between their families, characterised as opposing political forces, not just rival households. Teatro dell’Opera di Roma interprets this rarely performed opera at Teatro Costanzi this month, conducted by Daniele Gatti with stage direction by Denis Krief.

January’s Calendar

1 Explore works by Van Gogh and Monet recreated through VR at the Ex-Caserma Guido Reni.

2 The Mechanics of Monsters at the PalaExpo displays works by Carlo Rambaldi.

3 See paintings by Michelangelo’s students at Palazzo Barberini before the exhibit ends.

4 Head to PalaExpo for Brendan Fernandes’ dance performance, Art by Snapchat

5 Traditional Italian Christmas music is at the Auditorium PDM courtesy of La ChiaraStella.

6 Bring little ones to the PDM for an entertaining take on classical music with bubbles.

7 Watch the ‘50s thriller Don’t Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe, at the PalaExpo.

8 Don’t miss your last chance to see Swan Lake at Teatro Costanzi.

9 Manfred Honeck conducts the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Haydn’s The Creation.

10 See over 100 handmade Nativity scenes from around the world, on display at Sala San Pio X

11 Ara Pacis’s Once Upon a Time Was Sergio Leone explores the work of the iconic film-maker.

12 Take advantage of the winter sales by stocking up on some seansonable tweed (pag. 20)

13 Go for a spin around the ice-skating rink at the Auditorium PDM.

14 Discover rare works by Monet, Pissarro, and more at Secret Impressionists at Pal. Bonaparte.

15 Learn how to make fresh pasta or pizza at a cooking class (

16 Violinist Janine Jansen performs Mendolssohn with the S. Cecilia Orchestra.

17 Attend the blessing of the animals at St. Peter’s in honor of St. Anthony’s feast day.

18 Take the kids to see Disney on Ice: Frozen, playing at Palazzo dello Sport.

19 Pay a visit to one of Rome’s hottest new exhibition spaces (p14).

20 The Museum of Rome in Trastevere hosts works by photojournalist Inge Morathe.

21 Pick out exquisite threads for both him and her at chic boutique George’s (p24).

22 Palazzo Barberini hosts the exhibit Capolavori del Seicento with works of Caravaggio, Carracci, and others.

23 Raffaele Pe performs an anthology of songs dedicated to Julius Caesar at Teatro Argentina.

24 World-famous musical Kinky Boots plays tonight at Teatro Brancaccio.

25 Be enchanted by the Les Étoiles dance gala at the Auditorium PDM (p53).

26 Witness the heated rivalry of Rome vs. Lazio at a soccer match in Stadio Olimpico.

 27 Create a Rome sightseeing itinerary based on your astrological sign (p18).

28 Teatro dell’Opera presents Bellini’s The Capulets and the Montagues at Teatro Costanzi.

29 Frida Kahlo exhibit The Chaos Inside is on at Spazio Eventi Tirso (

30 Supermagic opens with its enchanting magic and illusion show at Teatro Olimpico.

31 Alexander Malofeev interprets Tchaikovsky with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra.