Brochures tourist organizations, bus and railway stations, and hostels in Rome give promise unforgettable times for New Year’s Eve, but what does Rome indeed offer during this traditional annual celebration time? Bearing in mind that the ancient Romans dedicated the New Year’s Day to Janus, the god of beginnings, it might be a good idea to welcome January right here, in the glorious city of Rome, especially because you can experience a lot for only a few nickels and dimes.
The holiday Italians celebrate on December 31st is called La Festa di San Silvestro, and Il Capodanno is what is celebrated the next day, on January 1st. Romans usually have dinners at home and after that, continue celebrating outdoors on one of the many public squares.
During the evening of San Silvestre in Rome, there’s a traditional concert of classical music on the Piazza del Quirinale, located on the highest of the seven hills of Rome. It’s a custom for Italian president to attend the concert, which is not that strange taken into account that the Quirinale Palace, the home of the president, is situated on the same square. Together with other important politicians and people gathered on the square, he waits for the arrival of midnight to cheer to the New Year.
For a totally different experience people, especially those with kids, go to a square in the shape of a perfect circle, with a 36 meter high Egyptian obelisk in the center – Piazza del Popolo, lying inside the northern gate in the Aurelian Walls, where they can enjoy colorful acts of numerous clowns, musicians, acrobats, jugglers and fire-eaters and, immediately after midnight, half an hour long firework show.
In Via dei Fori Imperiali, near the Coliseum, people enjoy live music from 10 pm on. Last year, more than 200,000 people came here for the New Year’s Eve to see Claudio Baglioni, famous Italian singer, who sang and danced for almost 3 hours. Even the Mayor came to greet the people in this overcrowded street.
Those faithful usually attend Holy Mass at magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic sites, so they could, together with thousands of goodwill people, make New Year’s resolutions for the oncoming twelve months.
On the next day, Capodanno, thousands and thousands of people gather to take part in the Rome New Year’s Parade, which culminates in the Piazza San Pietro by receiving the Pope’s blessing and the message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace. Participants, including marching bands from all over the world, process along the streets having the spectators march, whistle, and wave alongside.
However, those who are not fond of celebrating on the streets, can choose from many indoor parties, dinners and gatherings organized in almost all restaurants, castles and hostels in Rome, but in that case, they should book early since all the capacities in Rome are always sold out months before the event. Undoubtedly, Rome is, indeed, a metropolis which has a lot to offer to the holidaymakers from all over the world, and celebrating the New Year’s Eve in Rome can be a once in a lifetime experience.
Photo by: neigesdantan