Halloween is not a traditional Italian holiday, but it has become very popular in the last few years. While the main holidays are still All Saints’ Day (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd), the custom of celebrating the night of Halloween has taken hold everywhere in Italy. You can find Halloween costumes and decorations on display in many shop windows and many costume parties along the cities, during the afternoon or early in the evening for children, and during the night for adults.

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Here are a few ideas of what to do if you are in Rome:

1 – Take part to a costume party

Many of Rome’s nightclubs, bars, and restaurants now advertise special costume parties.
Visit this site for some suggestion of fancy dress parties and special Halloween shows.

An example of a particular event for kids is Zoohalloween at the Museum of Zoology: with games, challenges and workshops during Halloween weekend. Children from 9 to 12 can take part to the Museo da Paura (Museum of fear): two nights of fear and terror at the museum where dark presence disturb the peace of the animals, an unforgettable adventure for intrepid investigators with flashlights and sleeping bags in dark mysterious rooms and laboratories.

2 – Search for Scary Places!

A-Procession-in-the-Catacomb-of-CallistusEven more interesting if you are in Rome for Halloween, may be plan a visit to some really Scary Places in the Eternal City: you can easily find underground burial places and human bones used like decoration!

Not to be miss is the crypt of the Roman Church Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, (one of the ten best churches of Rome): the remains of 4,000 friars literally decorate the walls, with bones and skulls that create ornamental designs… Isn’t that scary enough?

Very suggestive is a tour of Roman Catacombs, where early Christians were buried: underground tunnels dug in tuff, rich of Christian symbolisms, is an ancient (and spooky!) cemetery.

Another underground graveyard can be found under Saint Peter’s Basilica: Vatican Grottos, the burial site of Popes, Saints, kings and queens, and the Vatican Necropolis (city of the dead) with tombs from the 2nd century B.C., and the resting place of the Apostle Peter (the first Pope), are allowed only to true courageous people.

Exceptionally open this year is also the Domus Aurea (Nero’s Golden House): you have to bravely stay underground to enjoy the ruins of the famous Emperor’s enormous palace. And Sunday the access will be free of charge

3 – Spend a day to the museums

Sunday, November 1 st, will be “Domenica al museo” (Sunday at the museum), with free openings for all State-run monuments, museums and archeological sites. In Rome you’ll find free entrance, among orhers, to: the Colosseum, the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla, the Roman Forum, the National Gallery of Modern Art (Gnam), the Altar of the Fatherland (il Vittoriano), the Borghese Gallery, the Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo, the National Roman Museum, and the Pantheon.

4 – Visit Roman Cemeteries

angel of griefDuring the period of the Commemoration of the Deceased (the first days of November), the tour to Verano Monumental Cemetery can be taken at 3 different times of day – 10 am, noon and 3 pm – without having to make reservations. Or take a tour of the Non-Catholic Cemetery of Rome: you can find possibly the highest density of famous graves anywhere in the world. It is the final resting-place of the poets Shelley and Keats, of many painters, sculptors and authors, Goethe’s only son, and Antonio Gramsci, a founding father of European Communism, to name only a few.

Palazzetto_zuccari_09_portale_a_forma_di_mascherone5 – The Monster House!

Don’t forget to take a look to the Monster House, in Via Gregoriana 28, near the Spanish Steps: the Palazzo Zuccari, a 16th century palace, has monstrous mouths for doors and windows!

Most important of all: have fun!!!

Happy Halloween!

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