The days are long, the weather is mild, and the events are hot, so make the most of May in Rome.
Primo Maggio – Monday 1
Just as in many European countries, the first of May is Labor Day in Italy, but it doesn’t just mean a day off of work: it’s the chance to see world-class live music at a free outdoor concert with multiple headliners. The line-up of performers is as yet unannounced, but past artists have featured the likes of Elton John, B.B. King, Robert Plant, Iron Maiden, Lou Reed, Radiohead, Sting, Sinead O’Connor, Blur, Jon Bon Jovi, Alanis Morissette, Oasis, and Nick Cave. The audience promises to be loud and rowdy, so if you don’t like big crowds, this might not be the event for you. The concert kicks off at 3pm and continues until midnight. Find more information at primomaggio.it. Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano.
Il Tango delle Capinere – From Tuesday 2 to Sunday 14
Playwright and director of experimental theater, Emma Dante presents her latest triumph, Il Tango delle Capinere, a celebration of life, love, joy, and memories, interpreted through the lens of tango. The performance begins with an elderly couple, dressed in wedding garb, who kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, before traveling back in time to their younger selves, to celebrate the arrival of the new year by dancing their love story backwards. What ensues is a kind of flashback of their greatest moments of joy, grief, and passion, as they relive their lives in reverse to the strains of tango music. Teatro Argentina.
Race for the Cure – From Thursday 4 to Sunday 7
The largest event for the fight against breast cancer in Italy and around the world, Race for the Cure is back in Rome this year to raise money to fight a disease that affects the lives of over 56,000 women every year in Italy alone. Sponsored by Komen Italy under the patronage of the President of the Republic, the event kicks off at Circus Maximus, with similar events taking place later this month and into the summer in five other Italian cities: Bari, Bologna, Brescia, Matera, and Naples. The protagonists of the event are the “women in pink,” who are facing or have faced breast cancer, or who love or have lost someone who has. With their unmissable pink shirts, they seek to raise public awareness of the importance of prevention. The event is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Sign up at raceforthecure.it
Open House Roma – From Saturday 20 to Sunday 28
This semiannual celebrates Rome’s unique architecture and design. Every spring for one week only, a slew of private Roman palaces, buildings, and villas of high architectural and artistic value—sites that are usually closed to the public—throw open their doors to curious and design-loving visitors, complete with guided tours. The highlights of this, the 11th edition of the event with the title Equilibrio, span the centuries, from the Middle Ages to today, and include Casa Albero, Villa la Saracena, We Gil, the American Academy in Rome, and many others. Best of all, it’s entirely free of charge! More information and reservations at openhouseroma.org
Bruce Springsteen – Sunday 21
After an absence of six years, the Boss is back in Rome for a mega-concert that will take place in one of the biggest (and certainly one of the oldest) concert venues in the world: the Circus Maximus. It’s the first live performance for the American singer-songwriter and his E Street Band since the conclusion of their 14-month-long River Tour, which was named by Billboard and Pollstar as the best tour of 2016 and concluded in Australia in February 2017. Hear new hits as well as old favorites in one of the most evocative concert settings in the world. Tickets available at ticketmaster.it