Everything You Need To Know About Rome Nightlife
If you’re wondering where to kick off your night, a recent craze to hit Rome is ‘Aperi-cena.’ Coming from the term ‘Aperitivo’ which started out as a few snacks with a drink before dinner, it has now turned into a yummy buffet in Rome’s chicest bars. The cost includes a drink or cocktail and as much as you can eat from a choice of pizza, pasta, salads, rice and more. It’s a very popular option for meeting friends around 7-9pm and also a cost effective dinner!
This next part is important and something that I learned the hard way. Rome’s nightlife calendar moves around, and nothing stays the same throughout the whole year. The main nightlife calendar is actually from late September to May, and right around the time when most tourists come (in the hotter months from May to September) is when the clubs and live venues shut up shop. I discovered this on a September trip to Rome; while I hunted for the best live music bars I kept finding closed doors with a note saying ‘gone for holidays.’ Only a few stay open all year round.
Rome’s nightlife calendar moves around, and nothing stays the same throughout the whole year.
The reason for this is the stifling heat in the city and the fact that many music venues and bars are situated in cramped digs or below ground in the basement of apartment blocks. Clubs in old warehouses can get unbearable in this period, and it’s a time when everyone wants to be outdoors.
The party usually moved to Ostia, the closest seaside with a host of beachfront venues. Around 6pm at the free ‘cancelli’ beaches, canopied bars built for the summer crowds offer up simple pasta or rice dishes with a refreshing drink while DJs start to pump out lounge house music. However, it’s a bit of a trek for a night out for non-locals. The good news is that things are shaking up in the city.
Rome’s nightlife changes completely in the summer and has a fantastic selection of massive outdoor eclectic club opening roughly from May until early September that will have you dancing under the stars until the early morning. Venues change location each year and more are opening all over the city so it’s always growing. The electronic and dance scene here is huge with many international DJs making their way to Rome.
There are lots of night buses that run all night so don’t be afraid to try a fantastic venue that seems a bit far away.
Even more recently, popular live music venues have started moving to the relative freshness of the waterfront on the central banks of the river Tiber and also along the canal in Testaccio, with outdoor seating and live tunes to take in the romance of the summer. Then there’s the simple local-style way of socialising in the warmer months; grab a bottle of wine or a beer and head to the cobbled piazzas of Trastevere or uber-cool Monti to mingle with the crowds.
As a female foreigner in Rome, I take a proactive approach to going out. There are lots of night buses (all the stops are listed at each stop and available online) that run all night so don’t be afraid to try a fantastic venue that seems a bit far away. It’s not unusual for me to take a metro and then a bus to a place, because the city is so spread out for going out. It’s normal that the best clubs are not in the centre, so get out there and experience Rome’s true nightlife!