Hot Dates October 2020

by Danilo Brunetti

Music and animals, Beethoven and Piranesi, experimental performances and riverfront walks, October in Rome has it all.

RomaeuropaAll Month

Rome’s hottest contemporary performance festival is back in its 35th edition this fall with the same cutting-edge performances and daring concepts that the international phenomenon has become famous for. This month starts with a bang, with Witches, Brigands, Devils, and Saints on 2 October, a performance piece by experimental band Salo. It’s a visionary staging that evokes the voices of outcasts and heretics, with the stories of those who opposed power and customs narrated and set to original music. Exciting concerts and shows continue all month, some live, at Teatro Argentina or the Mattatoio – Teatro 2, and many more online. Find the full program and more information at

Piranesi Today – From Friday 16

Rome’s Goethe House Museum is hosting an exhibit to commemorate the 300th birthday of the great engraver. It is thanks to the work of this master that we are able to know what Rome looked like in the 18th century, and his work continues to inspire generations of new artists. Forty engravings from the museum’s permanent collection are combined with works of contemporary German and Italian artists who were influenced by him, architects, photographers, visual artists and writers such as Gabriele Basilico, Sebastian Felix Ernst, Flaminia Lizzani, Elisa Montessori, Gloria Pastore, Max Renkel, and Judith Schalansky. The exhibition is an extraordinary dialogue between Piranesi and the artists and architects of today.

Piazza Tevere 2020 – Until Sunday 25

Make the most of the last bit of temperate, sunny weather by enjoying Rome’s brand-new pop-up riverfront walk. Set alongside the grassy banks of the Tiber River, Piazza Tevere is a temporary landscape-environmental setting that offers a space in which urban reality and nature, water and art, past and present can meet and mingle. It’s a “piazza” for encounter and culture, but also for the discussion of the benefits that nature can give to the city to counter the climate and health emergency we are all experiencing in this unprecedented time. Sip a drink at a bistro table, relax on a beach chair near the water’s edge, or listen to some live music. Located on the Trastevere side of the river between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini. 

Beethoven Marathon -Sunday 11

Israeli pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar opens the chamber music season of the prestigious Santa Cecilia National Academy with a Beethoven marathon to commemorate the 250th birthday of the legendary composer. Concerts go on literally all day (12noon, 5pm, and 8:30pm) so if you’re a true Beethoven fanatic you can make a whole day of it, or choose just one performance to attend. Ashkar will retrace the evolution of the Beethovenian style through his most significant sonatas, from those written in his youth and dedicated to Haydn, all the way to the celebrated Sonata n. 31, op. 110, a testament to the genius achieved by the composer in his maturity. Performances take place at the Sala Santa Cecilia of the Auditorium PDM.

Music at the Bioparco – Saturday 3 and Sunday 4

Combine your love for music with your love for animals as the Bioparco (Rome’s public zoo) hosts the latest edition of Villa Borghese Piano Days. All weekend long, from 11am to 9pm, a marathon of piano concerts will be offered free of charge to all visitors. After spending a few hours exploring the animal park, take in a concert of classical, jazz, and chamber music, many of which were conceived specifically with children in mind, such as Berlioz’s beloved Carnival of the Animals, on Sunday’s program. The musicians include emerging Italian talent as well as established performers on the international stage. In addition, at the entrance to the Bioparco will be a “play me” space where, from 11am to 2pm, budding young pianists will have the chance to perform. Sala dei Lecci, Bioparco. Corner of Viale Aldrovandi and Via Rossini.