Rome by night
When the sun goes down and the piazzas, fountains and buildings take on an orangey hue, Rome really comes to life. After a day wandering the city’s streets, discovering its history and admiring its architecture, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it couldn’t possibly get better. At night, cloaked in shadow, the buildings of Rome take on a completely new aspect, their ornate and somewhat outrageous adornments fading among the silhouettes cut by the street lights and the soft glow of the moon and the stars.
Around 7 p.m. the locals head to the piazzas and terraces to get the evening started with a glass of wine or a spritz. In Rome, there’s no shortage of nightlife! Read on for our pick of the best spots.
Nightlife in Rome: Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Navona and Via della Pace
The streets and neighbourhoods of Rome’s old town are full of life. By night, they transform into outdoor bars where friends get together to drink, talk and admire the beautiful buildings all around. The bars and cafes on Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Navona and Via della Pace are the perfect spot for discovering what Rome is really like after sunset. The old town is the place to be, and from June to September hosts a selection of outdoor shows and events.
Campo de’ Fiori with its market and terraces is one of the liveliest piazzas both day and night. In days gone by it was packed with artisan workshops and shelters that were used for horse markets, as well as being a location for public executions. There’s still a market on Saturdays (though not a drop of blood in sight).
Piazza Navona is Rome’s most Baroque piazza and considered by many to be the most beautiful in the whole city. It’s full of bars, and the narrow streets around it are lined with fashionable restaurants. Be prepared to dig deep – it can be a pricey part of town.
The nearby Via della Pace has a few charming restaurants and bars tucked away where you can find cheaper eats and a lively atmosphere.
This colourful, bohemian part of town is famous for its restaurants serving typical Italian food. It’s one of the most buzzing areas of Rome at night with plenty of bars, pubs, restaurants and live-music venues. The lighting adorning the Medieval-style buildings that line its cobbled streets paints a completely different picture of the neighbourhood. Trastevere is shy by day and insatiable by night. Piazza Santa María is the most popular spot for meeting up before heading out for a drink, dinner or whatever the night has in store.
Clubs in Testaccio
If you’re looking for clubs and want to dance until the break of dawn, this is the place for you. The doors don’t close here until 5 a.m. Via di Monte Testaccio has the most bars and clubs in one place. On Wednesday and Thursday nights it’s a hive of Erasmus students. In fact, the cultural scene and somewhat rough-around-the-edges feel makes this neighbourhood on the edge of the old town a favourite among young people in general. The local trattorias serve large portions at reasonable prices and are a typical stop before heading to places like Akab or Coyote Bar.
Ostiense, mixing drinks with industrial heritage
Close to Testaccio is the industrial neighbourhood of Ostiense, where factories have been turned into museums and cultural spaces. It’s another fabulous place for a night out. Along with street art and a hipster vibe you’ll find several ristodiscos where you can have dinner and then dance without having to change venue. There are also plenty of more laid-back places for drinks or dancing in various settings.
San Lorenzo, for something alternative
San Lorenzo is in Rome’s university area, next to Sapienza – Europe’s largest university and one of the largest in the world. It’s home to students, artists and all manner of urban tribes and has the most alternative vibe in the city. The graffiti-covered walls may be worlds apart from the old town but don’t write off San Lorenzo just yet.
After sunset, the bars serve endless appertisers and the food stalls and restaurants (among the most affordable in the city) welcome thousands of young people looking for a great night out. Libraries, art galleries and cultural centres coexist alongside bars and live music venues which open every day (usually from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.) where you’ll have your pick of wine, beer and cocktails. Beba do Samba and Le Mura are two of the most popular.
Rome by night is a chance to discover interesting places and get to know the other side of the city. There’s something new and exciting waiting for you at every turn.
Information of interest
- How to get around: Night bus and taxis (the metro closes at 11.30 p.m.)
- Venue opening times: from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.