Hot Dates October 2021

by Danilo Brunetti

October in Rome ushers in a rich season of exhibitions, concerts, and cultural events that are sure to whet any art-lover’s appetite.

Open House RomaSaturday 2 to Sunday 3

Rome’s annual Open City Roma, a free event that celebrates Rome’s unique architecture and design, is back after a two-year hiatus due to Covid. Every year for one weekend 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 9th edition of the event, span the centuries, from the Middle Ages to today, and include the Casa delle Armi in the Foro Italico, Palazzo Corrodi, Villa Mariani, Accademia d’Egitto, The Living Chapel (pictured), 28 Piazza di Pietra, Villa Medici, Casa dei Crescenzi, and many more. More information and reservations at

Verdi’s Joan of ArcSunday 17 to Sunday 24

When you think of a Verdi opera, giants of the repertoire such as Aida, La Traviata, and Rigoletto no doubt spring to mind. But the great Italian composer wrote a number of operas that are rarely performed today. One such is Giovanni d’Arca, an opera in four acts that tells the story of the passionate and extraordinary life of Joan of Arc and her ultimate demise. This relatively unknown work kicks off the new season at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, with Maestro Daniele Gatti at the podium, and the staging and choreography—completely redesigned for this production—in the hands of Davide Livermore. Young opera-lovers can take advantage of the Anteprima Giovani, a special preview performance on the 15th open only to audience members 26 and under. Teatro Costanzi. Information and tickets at

Klimt ExhibitFrom Tuesday 26

The first mega-exhibit of the season is a monographic show dedicated to the work of the inimitable Klimt. A jaw-dropping number of Klimt’s most iconic works—well over 200—are on loan for the occasion from the Belvedere Museum in Vienna as well as the Klimt Foundation. This sublime exhibition, held at the Museum of Rome in Palazzo Braschi, is an unmissable event for fans of the Austrian symbolist painter, not to mention anyone who is passionate about art. Reservations highly advised.

Jeffrey Chong Wang & Tokuhiro KawaiFrom Saturday 16

Dorothy Circus Gallery, Rome’s pop-art gallery par excellence, is hosting a duo-exhibit by Jeffrey Chong Wang and Tokuhiro Kawai this month, displaying captivating and surreal canvases by the two storytellers and figurative painters. Beijing-raised and Canada-based artist Jeffrey Chong Wang fuses a personal and surrealist vision with a refined and realistic pictorial technique to tell stories of everyday life in China. Characterized by a soft, vintage palette, Chong Wang’s works are reminiscent of the iconography of Wood’s American Gothic style, while Japanese artist Tokuhiro Kawai leads viewers into a world of magic and fantasy, filled with bright, floating figures. Inspired by the Western Renaissance, Kawai elaborates on legends and myths, adopting an intriguing visual language that finds its roots in storytelling and traditional pictorial iconography.

New Season at Santa CeciliaFrom Wednesday 13

Boris Giltburg

A dazzling new season is opening at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome’s premier classical music organization, presenting works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, and world-renowned soloists on the bill. The season opens on the 13th with guest conductor Kirill Petrenko directing the prestigious Santa Cecilia Orchestra in an interpretation of Brahms’ Concerto for Piano, no. 2 with solist Boris Giltburg , as well as works by Mendelssohn and Brahms (repeat performances on 15 and 16 October). Pianist Ivo Pogorelich plays an all-Chopin solo recital on the 18th, and Santa Cecilia Orchestra performs Brahms’ Symphony no. 1 and The Chairman Dances by John Adams, as well as Schumann’s Concerto for Cello featuring soloist Kian Soltani, with Maestro Maxim Emelyanychev at the podium on the 21th, 22nd, and 23rd. The 25th sees a truly unique performance of cellists Mario Brunello and Giovanni Sollima playing pieces by composers from Bach to Stravinsky to Queen, and the final days of the month host the orchestra once again playing Schumann and Mendelssohn with soloist Alexander Lonquich, all under the baton of Philippe Herreweghe.