Rome Outdoor Movies: Catch a flick “al fresco”

Posted in: Rome Sights


Enjoying a movie outdoors in Rome's Isola Tiberina cinema. Photo: Antmoose
Enjoying a movie outdoors in Rome's Isola Tiberina cinema. Photo: Antmoose

By Nicole Arriaga in Rome—

During the summer nearly all the locals in Rome enjoy wining and dining all’aperto. As most restaurants (and apartments) in Italy don’t have air conditioning, many residents prefer dining outdoors in a lovely piazza or going for drinks with friends along the banks of the Tiber River.

Another activity that is molto trendy for Romans during the summer is to catch a movie outside, al fresco. Through September, there are several outdoor cinemas set up around town where locals and tourists can watch a movie under the stars. How romantic is that?

Here are three outdoor cinemas in Rome that I recommend:

Isola Tiberina
Cost: Free – €8

First up is the famous Isola del Cinema. Every June through September, this event offers movies at Isola Tiberina, near the hospital. Every night, films are projected at 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

This year, the films celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy with two film series. One is called “Cantiere Italia” and showcases films made with famous Italian celebrities. The other category, “New Italian Cinema,” features films made by (and with) emerging Italian artists.

There are three locations where you can watch the films: Arena, Cinelab and the Tiberscreen. Depending on the flick, tickets range from free to €8 per person. The great part about catching a flick here is that following the film you can go for a passeggiata (stroll) along the banks of the River. Do a little shopping, dining or grab a cocktail at any one of the numerous stands that make up this fabulously fun outdoor village!

Piazza Vittorio
Cost: €6

Then there’s Piazza Vittorio, famous for its ethnic diversity. For years this area has churned out good food, music and a market offering fabulous ethnic food and spices. If you know where to go, the vibe here is great. So, of course, it makes perfect sense to hold an outdoor cinema right here in Piazza Vittorio.

The event is officially called “Notti di Cinema a Piazza Vittorio” and runs through September 11, 2011. Hollywood blockbuster movies are shown (dubbed in Italian) as well as a selection of award-winning international films in their original languages. There are two “maxi screens” that usually project a few movies each night. Movies begin between 8:40 p.m.-11:15 p.m.

My favorite part about this outdoor theater is that you can see two films for the price of one! The cost of the ticket enables you to see two films back-to-back on the same screen.

Casa del Cinema
Cost: Free (until seats run out)

Last but not least, there’s the Casa del Cinema located in the heart of Villa Borghese. Through September 12, 2011 the Casa del Cinema hosts an outdoor movie theater that projects famous films nightly, including such classics as The Godfather and Italian films made by Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti. Don’t miss the Casa del Cinema’s “Shakespearean Mondays”; Every Monday until the end of summer films dedicated to Shakespeare will be shown.

Best of all, these movies are absolutely free, so make sure to get there early if you want to grab a seat. Movie times are usually around 9 p.m.

About the author

Nicole Arriaga

About the author: After her first trip to the Bel Paese in 1999, Nicole Arriaga knew she would one day return permanently in search of the good life. Before moving to Rome in 2003, Nicole worked as a TV producer and a writer in sunny Miami. She has written for Fodor’s, Insight Guides, The American and various other travel publications. She currently works as a freelance writer and as a programs coordinator for a study abroad organization in Rome.

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