Join the Carnival celebrations Rome is embracing its carnevale traditions for the first time in centuries. The events lineup, spanning February 6 to 16, includes costume parties, musical performances, butteri (equestrian shows by Tuscan cowboys), and a parade in Piazza Venezia on February 14. Fireworks will cascade over the Pincio Hill, near the Piazza del Popolo, on Carnival, February 16. Free.
Dance and photography take center stage There's always something noteworthy happening at the Renzo Piano-designed Auditorium Parco della Musica. It just launched Equilibrio, a month-long contemporary dance festival, while February 18 to 21 brings an exhibition with photos, food, and films related to Gran Sasso National Park. If you're looking for something to do this weekend, Sunday, February 7, is the last chance to skate at the Auditorium's outdoor rink. viale Pietro de Coubertin 30, 011-39/06-8024-1281. Equilibrio tickets from €2, exhibition free, skating rentals €8.
2-for-1 admission on Valentine's Day Rome's National Museums (Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, the Baths of Diocletian, Crypta Balbi) and several archaeological sites, including the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Villa dei Quintili, are treating couples to 2-for-1 admission on February 14. Museums open 9am-7:45pm (last entrance one hour before closing. Archeological sites open 9am-4:30pm (last entrance one hour before closing). Museum admission €7; admission for archaeological sites, €6 to 12.
Spend a Sunday at Caffarella Park Less than two miles from the Colosseum and Circus Maximus, the vast Caffarella is home to grazing sheep, Roman ruins, and bike paths. Each Sunday in February, park authorities are organizing games, walks through the park, and bike rides geared to local children. It's a unique way for travelers to mingle with local families, and the idyllic setting is a welcome change of pace from the traffic of the city. Events are free, bike rentals €3 per hour. Organized visits begin at 10am on Sundays, but the park is open from 8am until one hour before sunset daily.
Michelangelo's monumental vision The Capitoline Museums' annex plays host to an exhibit on the architecture of Michelangelo through February 21. It counts more than 100 drawings, prints, letters, and models related to St Peter's Basilica, Palazzo Farnese, and Piazza del Campidoglio, designed during the artist's nearly forty years in Rome. Keep an eye out for signed drawings and two portraits of Michelangelo. Piazza del Campidoglio, open Tues-Sun 9 a.m.-8 p.m., admission €6.
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