Rome's premier cultural venue is the Teatro dell'Opera, which may not be Milan's legendary La Scala, but offers stellar performances nevertheless. The outstanding local troupe is the Rome Opera Ballet.

Rome doesn't have a major center for classical music concerts, although performances of the most important orchestra, the RAI Symphony Orchestra, most often take place at the RAI Auditorium or the Academy of St. Cecilia.

Rome is a major stopover for international stars. Rock headliners often perform at Stadio Flaminio, Foro Italico, and in the EUR, at Palazzo della Civilità del Lavoro or Palazzo dello Sport. Most concerts are at the Palazzo dello Sport.

Ballet & Dance

Performances of the Rome Opera Ballet are given at the Teatro dell'Opera. The regular repertoire of classical ballet is supplemented by performances of internationally acclaimed guest artists, and Rome is on the agenda for major troupes from around the world. Watch for announcements in the weekly entertainment guides to see what's happening at the time of your visit and to check on other venues, including the Teatro Olimpico and open-air performances.

Opera at the baths of Caracalla

After a long slumber (since 1993), opera has returned to the ancient Baths of Caracalla, Via della Terme di Caracalla. Productions were shut down when it was feared that nightly audiences of 5,000 were damaging the open-air ruins. The season lasts only from July 9 to August 5, and tickets should be reserved as far in advance as possible. Conservation-minded officials have ordered that once-grandiose sets be scaled down and the stage moved to 39m (128 ft.) from the actual ruins, which are now a mere backdrop and not part of the scenery, as before. Only 2,000 spots on the wooden bleachers are now available. For tickets and information, call or go to the ticket office at Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1 (tel. 06-4817003;, open Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 9am to 1:30pm. 

Nocturnal Outdoor Entertainment

In summer, the streets of Rome become a kind of outdoor festival. Many Romans live in hot apartments without air-conditioning, and they spill into the cooler streets at night to enjoy evening concerts and other events.

The best of these occur along Via di Monte Testaccio in the Testaccio sector, which becomes a venue for jam sessions, jazz concerts, and other entertainment. Bars and restaurants overflow onto the streets, and there are food stalls, markets, and shops operating until late at night. From June until August, the street is blocked off from 8:30pm to 2am, and entry is free.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.