En Plein Air: A guide to Rome’s outdoor Cinemas

Rome’s outdoor Cinemas


Nothing says summer in the Eternal City like a movie under the stars (preferably with a gelato in hand). This month, piazzas, lush villas, and Rome’s only island transform into open-air cinemas, showing everything from classic flicks, to kid-friendly favorites, to new releases. Read on for our top picks of outdoor flicks in the city.


L’Isola del Cinema

Summer Outdoor Cinema in Rome

This year, L’Isola del Cinema’s annual film festival – one of the capital’s summer peak cultural events in the heart of the historic center – kicks off with a special edition. From 13 June to 1 September, in an arch of over 80 evenings, the historic Cinema e Cultura lounge returns, housed in the charming and elegant space of the Tiber Island. The Festival, conceived and directed by Giorgio Ginori, celebrates its 25th edition with previews, unpublished works, awards, competitions, thematic reviews, debates, masterclasses, exhibitions, screenings in original language and many other unmissable events. For the 2019 Edition, there are five halls where screenings, debates, meetings with directors and actors, events, awards, readings and thematic reviews will take place: the great Arena, the Cinelab space, which this year will be open air and it will also host literary presentations organized by Giovanni Fabiano and Maria Castaldo, the Tiber Screen and the nearby Sala dell’Assunta inside the Fatebenefratelli Hospital, and the new VR & Gaming Space.

Till September 1st

Piazza S. Bartolomeo all’Isola, 21 (Isola Tiberina)

Films shown nightly.  Arena Groupama 9pm; Cinelab 7pm; Spazio Young 10pm

Entry fee: €5-7


Caleidoscopio @Casa del Cinema

effetto notte Villa Borghese

Under the towering pines of Villa Borghese, Casa del Cinema will host its outdoor film festival Caleidoscopio, divided into themes. Eighty-six free open-air evenings dedicated to the stars of Italian and international cinema in the evocative setting of Villa Borghese. From June 16 to September 9, with the usual formula of a themed screening each day of the week.  Cinema will be told once again, opening an arena and a hall and hosting 300 spectators per evening, through international festivals, and tributes to two legendary Italian screenplays, Age and Scarpelli, to the late Italian author Carlo Mazzacurati and to a distribution company, Bim, known as the home of the authors. Also in store are films under the film opera category – films directed by illustrious film and vision directors – as well as astrophysical “excursions” organized by the Planetarium of Rome and the Istituto di Astrofisica. Among the special events, the memory of Cesare Zavattini 30 years after his death with a preview an original and unexpected preview, to celebrate with Aamod the new edition of the Zavattini Award.

Till September 9th

Largo Marcello Mastroianni,1 (Villa Borghese)

Films shown nightly, from 7.30pm onwards

Free entry


Cinema all’Aperto @Villa Medici

Summer Outdoor Cinema in Rome

After paying homage to Sophia Loren last year, this year’s edition of Villa Medici’s Festival di Cinema all’Aperto will be dedicated to one of Italy’s most iconic scriptwriters, directors and producers –  Paolo Virzì. He is considered the main heir and innovator of Italian comedy and his films deal with dramatic issues with irony and a compelling and human style. His works have received important awards in Italy (among others, 7 David di Donatello and 8 Nastri d’Argento) and in major international festivals. Five of his movies will be screened from July 15th to July 19th in the magical setting of Villa Medici’s gardens. The French Academy will open its doors every day from 8.30pm, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful setting until sunset. The movies that will be screened at 9.30pm and will be: Ovosodo (July 15); La Pazza Gioia (July 16); Il capitale umano (July 17); Caterina va in città (July 18) ; La prima cosa bella (July 19).

15-19 July

Villa Medici – Viale della Trinità dei Monti, 1

From 8.30pm

Free entry


Cinema in Piazza

cinema in piazza san cosimato

From June 1 – August 1, Rome’s piazzas are transformed into opportunities to rebuild community and experience intense civil and social value. Rome’s piazzas are once again being transformed into a movie theater, as the free outside movie festival, “Il Cinema in Piazza,” has returned to Rome for its 5th year. Just like last year, it will be hosted in three locations: Piazza San Cosimato, il Porto Turistico di Roma Marina in Ostia and Casale della Cervelletta in Tor Sapienza. There are 62 movie nights, running from June 1 until August 1st, and 104 films being shown between the three locations on 12×8-meter large screens. All films will be shown in the original language, with Italian subtitles. There will also be 40 encounters with national and international guests such as Paola Cortellesi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ennio Morricone, Giovanni Veronesi, Lina Wertmüller, Mathieu Kassovitz, Marco Bellocchio and more! Movies by Italian directors and filmmakers such as Federico Fellini and Matteo Garrone will be mixed in with those by Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino. Disney and Pixar movies will also be shown for a more family-friendly atmosphere on certain nights.

Till August 1st

Locations: Piazza San Cosimato); il Porto Turistico di Roma Marina in Ostia;  Casale della Cervelletta in Tor Sapienza

Films shown nightly at 9:15pm

Free entry


Cinecittà Film Festival

Cinecittà film festival

The Cinecittà Film Festival returns for its sixth edition, boasting everything from documentaries, to animated features, to submissions from rising filmmakers. Inspired by Cinecittà studios, (where productions such as Gangs of New York and Ben-Hur were filmed) the festival aims to show films that often have a social or political relevance, stimulating debate and discussion among viewers. There’s also a space with round tables divided by theme, open for participants interested in further discussing the films. Directors Dario Argento and Ascanio Celestini, and more have lent their support to the festival.

July 11th-14th

Parco degli Acquedotti

Via Lemonia


Arene di Roma

arene di romaMany locations throughout Rome:


Parco Talenti – Via Ugo Ojetti




Piazza Benedetto Brin


Entry Fee 6 euro


Largo Ascianghi, 1


Entry Fee 6 euro


Via Tommaso Fortifiocca, 71/via Appia Nuova, 520


Entry Fee €5

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