City Life

Entertainment & Nightlife

We asked around all our friends to put together the following recommended club list. The best-known area for the density of its nightclubs is the area called Testaccio: try Cafè Latino, via di Monte Testaccio, 96, or Akab, not far away, and enjoy choosing many different places. Not far from there you will find the Ostiense Station area, here you’ll find Goa, open Fridays, probably the hippest pure dancing place, at via Libetta, 13, and some pubs (Barone Rosso etc).

There’s also Ketum Bar, via Galvani, 24, a sushi restaurant (fairly expensive) which often has Friday music nights. In Prati, there’s The Place, via Alberico II, 27/29, which has live music. Otherwise, try and enjoy San Lorenzo and its live music pubs. San Lorenzo is close to the University ‘La Sapienza’, you get there by bus n° 3 (it used to be a tramway but due to renovation works a bus took the place of the tram) from San Giovanni in Laterano or from Manzoni (line A of the metro), or by tramway n° 19 from Piazza del Risorgimento, near St. Peter’s. It is the student-crowded area with as many pubs as Trastevere, many of them have also got live music shows on their calendar, try for ex. Beba do Samba on Via dei Messapi.

Otherwise you might want to try and discover Trastevere area with Piazza Trilussa, usual meeting point, and a dedalus of narrow streets with pubs and pizzerias. You get there with tram n° 8 from Torre Argentina – get off after the river Tiber and walk 200 metres - or with bus n° H from Via Nazionale, in front of Palazzo delle Esposizioni.

In the central area and around Piazza Navona and Campo dei Fiori, are the following:
La Cabala is good for Friday nights on via dei Soldati. La Maison is on via dei Granari, and Centrale is in Piazza del Gesù. Near the Pantheon, there’s Salotto, a very fashionable cafè-bookstore, at Piazza di Pietra, 42. In Villa Borghese, there’s Art Cafè on via del Galoppatoio, and off via Veneto is Room at Via Lucullo, 9, (Saturdays). You may want to try and find a typical USA atmosphere at Hard Rock Café in Via Veneto 62 A – here you will find good music and beverages and good food, both USA style and tex-mex and Italian, often mixed - and a collection of memorabilia and products to buy from clothing to home décor.
For a more mature crowd, Gilda’s on Via Mario de' Fiori, 97, has a piano bar and disco floor. It’s very well known and easy to find from either via Tritone or Piazza San Silvestro.

For a more traditional Italian experience, try a neighbourhood enoteca, or vineria, these are basically wine bars, and some of them also serve excellent snacks. Two famous haunts in Rome are Bar della Pace and Harry’s Bar. Bar della Pace has a superb 50’s décor, and outdoor tables against a vine-covered exterior. It’s on via della Pace, 5, not far from Piazza Navona. Harry’s Bar (“legendary”), is the where-to-be-seen spot, with prices to match at via Veneto, 150, up from Piazza Barberini. Another really elegant (and high-end) bar is the Stravinskij Bar in Hotel de Russie, on via del Babuino, 9, off Piazza del Popolo and near the Spanish Steps. For a more bizarre mix of locals and visitors, there’s Jonathan’s Angels at via della Fossa, 16, near piazza Navona.

For those interested in cultural events: you can subscribe to this newsletter – as it provides a very rich calendar of weekly events around Rome, from Jazz concerts to classical music and cultural visits in Rome.

There is also the Azienda di Promozione Turistica di Roma - that's the office where you can find useful information about events, routes, buses, theatres etc in Rome. The address is Via Parigi, 11 - 00185 Roma - Tel. +39 06488991 - Fax +39 064819316. Internet address: and email:


Some cinemas in Rome occasionally show movies in English. These include the Metropolitan on via del Corso near Piazza del Popolo, Warner Village Moderno/Medusa at Piazza della Repubblica, Cinema America at V. Natale del Grande and Nuova Olimpia on via in Lucina off via del Corso.
- Cinema Warner Village Moderno/Medusa, Piazza Della Repubblica – metro line A Repubblica
- Cinema America, Via Natale Del Grande, 6 (near Ospedale Nuovo Regina Margherita)
- Cinema Metropolitan, Via del Corso, 7 – metro line A Flaminio

During the summer there are some outdoor film showings, one from Isola Tiberina, another in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele (metro station of the same name near Termini).


The main opera theatres in Rome are Teatro dell'Opera on Piazza Beniamino Gigli, and Santa Cecilia, which is now located at Auditorium Parco della Musica of Rome. This auditorium was designed by the architect Renzo Piano. Santa Cecilia Opera Theatre used to be located on Via della Conciliazione, near St. Peter’s, before moving to the Auditorium Parco della Musica, and there still is an Auditorium on Via della Conciliazione.


Some churches in the centre are known for their occasional choral and classical musical performances. One is the beautiful, small, Baroque church of Santa Barbara dei Librai (patron saint of sudden death) in Largo dei Librai off via dei Giubbonari, between via Arenula and Campo dei Fiori.

The Auditorium Parco della Musica is a spectacular building and its bars and ambience make it a superb venue for classical and modern concerts. You can search the calendar for upcoming events and buy tickets online at:
If you're interested in Jazz, La Palma on via Giuseppe Mirri, 35, is a taxi away (not easy to get to otherwise) but its complex of different levels of bars, tables and seating around an outdoor stage make it a really interesting place to watch bands. Another famous jazz spot is in Prati, Alexanderplatz, at via Ostia, 9.


Every year there’s a Fandango Jazz Festival held between June and July shared between la Palma and the Auditorium Parco della Musica.
Trastevere has its own neighbourhood street festival, The Festa di Noantri (“the festival of we others”), for two weeks in mid-July. It’s held in honour of the Madonna del Carmine, with processions, a special market and a big fireworks display.
Throughout summer, from June-September, Estate Romana puts together art exhibitions, opera, ballet, contemporary dance, theatre, readings, cinema, classical music, jazz and other performances at indoor and outdoor venues throughout Rome.

• January
Epiphany celebrations, nationwide. All cities, towns, and villages in Italy stage Roman Catholic Epiphany observances. One of the most festive celebrations is the Epiphany Fair at Rome's Piazza Navona. Usually January 5th to 6th.
Festa di Sant'Agnese, Sant'Agnese Fuori le Mura. During this ancient ceremony, two lambs are blessed and shorn, and their wool is used later for palliums (Roman Catholic vestments). Usually January 17th.

• February
Carnevale, Piazza Navona, Rome. This festival marks the last day of the children's market and lasts until dawn of the following day. Depending on Easter Day.

• March

Festa di Santa Francesca Romana, Piazzale del Colosseo near Santa Francesca Romana in the Roman Forum. A blessing of cars is performed at this festival. Usually March 9th.
Festa di San Giuseppe, the Trionfale Quarter, north of the Vatican. The heavily decorated statue of the saint is brought out at a fair with food stalls, concerts, and sporting events. Usually March 19th.
Easter Sunday (Pasqua). In an event broadcast around the world, the Pope gives his blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's.

• April
Holy Week observances. Processions and age-old ceremonies - some from pagan days, some from the Middle Ages - are staged throughout the country. The most notable procession is led by the Pope, passing the Colosseum and the Roman Forum up to Palatine Hill; a torch-lit parade caps the observance. Beginning 2 days before Easter Sunday.
Festa della Primavera, Rome. The Spanish Steps are decked out with banks of azaleas and other flowers; then orchestral and choral concerts are presented in Trinità dei Monti. Dates vary.

• May
Concerto del 1° Maggio (May 1st concert): in front of St John’s in Lateran a big stage is set where rock groups play from 3 pm to around midnight, celebrating the traditional annual working-free day together with the three main labour unions of Italy.
Concorso Ippico Internazionale (International Horse Show), Piazza di Siena in the Villa Borghese. Usually May 1st to 10th, but the dates can vary.

• June
Son et Lumière. The Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Tivoli areas are dramatically lit at night. Early June to end of September.
Festa di San Pietro, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. This most significant Roman religious festival is observed with solemn rites. Usually around June 29th.

• July
Festa di Noantri. Trastevere, Rome's most colorful neighborhood, becomes a gigantic outdoor restaurant, with tables lining the streets, and merrymakers and musicians providing the entertainment. After reaching the quarter, find the first empty table and try to get a waiter--but keep a close eye on your valuables. For details, contact the Ente Provinciale per il Turismo, Via Parigi 11, 00185 Roma (tel. 06/3600-4399 ). Mid-July.

• August
Festa delle Catene, San Pietro in Vincoli. The relics of St. Peter's captivity go on display in this church. August 1st.
Ferragosto. Beginning on August 15th, most city residents not directly involved with the tourist trade take a 2-week vacation (many restaurants are closed as well). This is a good time not to be in Rome.

• September
Sagra dell'Uva, Basilica of Maxentius, the Roman Forum. At this harvest festival, musicians in ancient costumes entertain, and grapes are sold at reduced prices. Dates vary, usually early September.

• December
Christmas Blessing of the Pope. Delivered at noon from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, the Pope's words are broadcast around the world. December 25th.

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