Nightclubs & Entertainment
Rome has is jam packed with meeting places, mainly concentrated in certain areas and districts that have made this activity their calling card. You will be impressed, particularly in summer, by the sheer number of events, shows, outdoor cinemas and concerts in a wide range of musical genres. No matter your taste, you will never be bored as you spend pleasant Roman evenings going from one place to another until even five in the morning.
The top district for Roman entertainment is undoubtedly Trastevere. Brimming with enchanting views even by the day, by evening every piazza comes to life with tables, musicians and small kiosks that sell crafts. You will be spoilt for choice by the wide selection of traditional trattorias, beer bars and trendy establishments that serve delicious aperitifs with buffet.
Romans typically arrange to meet in the theatrical Piazza Trilussa. Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere is the meeting place of students and sales reps who settle on the steps of the square’s large fountain and often improvise concerts with percussion instruments or juggling shows.
Just a stone’s throw away from Trastevere is the Granicolo hill with its breathtaking views of sunset over the city. The Baretto del Gianicolo in Via Garibaldi is worth a visit. From a historic little neighbourhood bar, this establishment has become the hot spot of the Roman movida. Like many bars in the city, it is always open: serving croissant and cakes in the morning and wine and cocktails during the day, until 2am. The most popular night for aperitifs is Fridays from 7pm.
In the very heart of the city, Campo de’ Fiori, the square dominated by the statue of Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake there in 1600, should not be overlooked. The interesting aspect of Campo de’ fiori is that, in addition to being a meeting place for Romans, it is one of the main places where foreigners and tourists tend to meet. During the day the square transforms into a traditional fruit and vegetable market that supplies the historic centre’s clubs and restaurants.
Once you get to know your way around, you will discover all the clubs that come to life, particularly at aperitif time. Caffè della Pace and Salotto 42 near Hadrian’s Temple in the vicinity of Piazza Navona, in a particularly charming corner of the city, are well worth a visit.
Young residents of the more exclusive districts of northern Rome prefer the modern bars and restaurants with designer furnishings around the Million Bridge, while more Bohemian students from the La Sapiens university meet in the San Lorenzo district, near Termini and Pignut.
After a rich aperitif, dinner in an oratorio or a very thin pizza with lots of toppings as only Romans can prepare, the night owls move onto music clubs.
A historic disco in the centre is Gilda, near Piazza di Spagna, frequented mainly by people involved in the world of television. Gilda is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, from aperitif time on.
In Monte Testaccio you will find all sorts of clubs: hip-hop, Latin American, house music, design bar, underground and social clubs.
Outside the historic centre, in the Ostiense Quarter, is the second night-life centre: Via Libetta, once an industrial zone and now called “Libetta Village”.
Classico Village is perhaps the best-known club on the street, with a surface area of 1400 square metres. The Classico Village stage has hosted artists such as Francesco De Gregori, Claudio Baglioni, Giorgia, Nek and other big names from the Italian and international music scene.
Goa is also in Via di Limetta and is the capital’s most famous disco. Founded by “Giancarlino”, who together with his partner Claudio Coccoluto, peps up Thursday nights with UltraBeat. Other clubs in this same street include the Quarantacinque Giri, a disco known for its captivating design, with indoor restaurant and artistic direction by Mario Fargetta.
For lovers of jazz evening, one city cult establishment is Alexander Platz in the Ottaviano area. The clientele is mature and sophisticated and mainly consists of fans of the genre.
Again for jazz lovers, we recommend La Casa del Jazz, a splendid villa with a garden near Terme di Caracalla. As well as hosting interesting photography exhibitions and its auditorium, Casa del Jazz also boasts a fine restaurant. Saturday evening dinner is served with piano music in the background.
It also serves brunch between 11am and 12.00pm on weekends, followed by aperitifs and a fixed-price lunch.
As for large events, the Auditorium has a year-round programme of events, including shows and concerts of international standing.
Cinema lovers have the choice of 34 cinemas in the historic centre, from modern multiplex to small exclusive cinemas, without counting the summer open-air cinemas in the various arenas. A number of cinemas screen cult films and films during film seasons, including the Trevi and the Farnese. The Metropolitan, just a stone’s throw away from Piazza del Popolo screens foreign language films. Casa del Cinema at Villa Borghese also has an interesting calendar of events.
For a night at the theatre, we recommend the Brancaccio, under the artistic direction of Luigi Proietti, the Sistina and the Argentina for big names and productions, the Vascello for experimentation, the Teatro Verde for children and adolescents, the Teatro Tirso de Molina for traditional performances in Romanesco (the local dialect) and of course the Teatro dell’Opera, which in summer moves to the extraordinary setting of Terme di Caracalla.