Sharpen your pencils and get ready to take notes. Your May calendar is going to be busy. May in Rome means the city is bustling with flowers, fashion and outdoor events. Here is a listing of what to add to your overly ancient and ridiculously Renaissance itinerary for Rome in May.
Back to the Future, May 6 through 8: The Road to Contemporary, Rome’s contemporary art fair, lights up galleries, museums, foundations and exhibition spaces across the city. On Saturday, May 7, several spaces will host Brunch in Galleria, a nice opportunity to nibble on some artistic thoughts with your morning cappuccino. Roma Contemporary will bring you up to date with present-day Rome, not just a walk in its ancient history.
Match Point, May 7 through 15: Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome’s stop on the tennis world tour. Crushing on Nadal? Need a Djokovic fix? Here’s your chance to get up close and practically personal with tennis tops. I’ve also got my eye on Federer, Roddick, Murray, Wozniacki and Italy’s phenom Francesa Schiavone, ranked #2. The Internazionali’s courts are just around the corner from the Stadio Olimpico and Foro Italico, modern Italian architecture and history.
Breaking Away, May 11: Though the Giro d’Italia does not pass through Rome this year, it does fly through lovely Orvieto, just an hour’s train ride from the Eternal City. Enjoy a nice Orvieto white while watching the two-wheeled demons speed by.
Days of Thunder, May 12-15: If you know me, then you know that I love cars, motors and motoring, especially in vintage gear, and thus am extraordinarily happy to live at the turn-around point for Europe’s most beautiful and historic vintage car rally, 1000miglia. At 9pm, on Friday, May 13, park yourself at Castel Sant’Angelo where over 300 vintage cars will promenade. Traveling through out Italy? The rally runs from Brescia through Desenzano del Garda, Verona, Cento, Gambettola, Sansepolcro, Spoleto, on the way, and Viterbo, Siena, Firenze, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Parma and Cremona on the way back.
Night on Earth, May 14: Notte dei Museii, International museum night, where almost every museum in almost every European city will keep doors open from 8 pm to 2 am for free, yes I mean free, entrances.
The Never-ending Story, May 19 through June 23: the Festival delle Letturature nearly month-long writers’ celeberation that conveniently coincides with my birthday every year, giving me the perfect gift-- basking in the words o Gary Shteyngart at the Basilica di Massenzio. You may prefer to catch a bit of sarcasm from David Sedaris (May 26). Yep, he’s coming.
National Velvet, May 26 through 29: For four days, Rome’s famed park Villa Borghese becomes an equestrian enclave, as the park hosts Piazza di Siena, an annual show jumping competition and equestrian event. The horses are beautiful, the riders exquisite and the villagio, pop-up village is a mecca for riders and aficianados. However, the best event is Sunday evening’s (9:30pm) carosello reggimento carabinieri a cavallo, when Italy’s mounted military police promenade, gallop and run free form leading to amazing military formations.