Searching out Rome by night is not a tourist undertaking to ignore while in the capital of Italy. Plenty of visitors consider Rome has a unique nightlife, offering entertainment opportunities full of character, ranging from cultural pursuits to mainstream disco hopping. Cannier activities, such as extending a hearty dinner over a conversation in the company of friends while sipping on a glass of wine or cup of coffee, is an alternative to take into account, following the locals’ customs.
But nightlife in Rome assumes a special vibe in summer. The mild pleasant temperature makes it possible for tourists to delight in nocturnal sightseeing tours, most of the sights being illuminated. On top of that, festivals like the Roman Summer add unparalleled cultural and entertainment opportunities to the list of things to do while in Rome.
Briefly put, the eternal city’s nightlife revolves around its theaters and concert halls, its discos and clubs, its piazzas and parks. Thus, the summer nights don’t only appeal to the inquisitive tourist, but also to the locals who, again and again, rediscover the pleasure of strolling on the city’s streets, of admiring its monumental piazzas or relaxing on a bench in one of its splendid gardens.
Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is the leading cultural venue of Rome. The building proper was built in 1880, following a design by the Milan-born Achille Sfondrini. Initially, it was called Teatro Constanzi, bearing the name of a certain Domenico Constazi, the one who commissioned and sponsored its construction. Its name was changed in 1926, the opera house becoming Teatro Reale dell’Opera (the Royal Opera House), a name it assumed until 1946 when, eventually, it was changed again into the nowadays Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
By attending the programs organized by the Rome Opera House, tourists have the opportunity to enjoy the representations put on by the opera’s ballet, orchestra and coir. During the summer season, the programs are carried out at the historical Terme di Caracalla, an ideal open-air venue where the public does not only delight in the artistic performances, but also enjoys the set of one of the most prestigious historical sites of the capital.
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Auditorium Parco della Musica is one of the largest concert halls in Rome. It is, in fact, a complex of music halls (Sala Petrassi, Sala Sinopoli and Sala Santa Cecilia, as well as an open-air hall), counting a total of some 4,700 seats (the indoor capacity).
The complex was inaugurated no sooner than the late 2002, but it has undergone a skyrocketing popularity, quickly becoming one of the most frequented concert halls in Europe (worldwide even, by some reviewers opinion). This is where events like the Christmas at the Auditorium, the Gospel Festival, the Rome Jazz Festival, RomaFictionFest, as well as numerous others, are organized each year.
The tourist opening of the auditorium is evidenced, amongst others, by the fact Fondazione Musica per Roma (which manages the venue) organizes guided tours, providing visitors with valuable information about the history of the building, its architecture, and its cultural role on the scene of the performing arts of Rome.
The Italians are famed for their fondness of coffee. In fact, coffee has become, as it were, a sort of institution for the locals of the peninsula, which is why it’s no surprise to see the capital of the country is crammed with cafes where locals meet, sip their drink and talk. But of all the cafes in Rome, Antico Caffe Greco (or, simply put, Caffe Greco) is the oldest and the most stylish of all, an almost museum-like venue where clients can sip a cup of coffee, of tea or sample the excellent chocolate of the house.
This cafe takes pride in being the second oldest in Italy (only after the celebrated Caffe Florian in Venice). Founded in 1760, it has built a historical background and a guest book to raise the envy of all its counterparts in Rome. Thus, the likes of Byron, Liszt, Ibsen, Stendhal, Hans Christian Andersen, Goethe even and Mendelssohn have stepped the threshold of Antico Caffe Greco. The cafe has been keeping a high profile since its foundation, and even today it is a refuge for the bigwigs of the political, artistic and social scene of Italy (and of the continent, for that matter).
While out of the reach of a common traveler, Antico Caffe Greco remains a point of reference for the leisure opportunities of Rome, notable not only for its background and guest book, but also for the inner atmosphere: the ambiance is filled with classical music, the walls decorated with entire collections of paintings, the Napoleonic style furniture blending in perfectly with the front wooden bar and with the wide mirrors.
Alexanderplatz Jazz Club takes pride in being one of the most reputed jazz clubs in Rome. Founded in the early 1980s, Alexanderplatz Jazz Club entertains its guests not only with excellent live jazz performances (usually held from 10:30pm), but also with refined gastronomical specialties inspired from a variety of world cuisines, including the local traditional cuisine. The warm ambient and the etiquette observed by the staff make the venue ideal for business meetings, as well as for grand soirees, or, on the contrary, intimate dinner experiences.
Alpheus is one of the best places in Rome to experience the vibrant nightlife of the city and its live music scene. What is remarkable about this nightclub is it caters for a wider public, since each of its three halls focuses on a specific genre, namely, jazz, rock and Latino music. It’s hard to become disappointed with what Alpheus has to offer, and the proof of its reputation in terms of nocturnal pastimes in Rome lies in the fact locals are very fond of this venue, which also holds true with tourists. Especially notable is the variety of artists invited to perform daily (except Mondays, when the club is closed), which is the very feature that puts Alpheus on the essential nightlife map of Rome.
While Casa Bleve is deemed the best wine house in Rome, it is also deemed one of the top restaurants in the capital. The venue enjoys a historical location: the courtyard of the former Palazzo Medici, but this is just one of the many ingredients with turn it into a must-visit while in Rome. The exterior set is complemented, on the inside, by the stylish decorative patrimony and furnishings. While it’s true guests don’t come here for the pleasure of sightseeing, the visual delight is one of the major popularity drawing cards of the venue.
There’s a wide choice of wine labels, the best in the world even, and the staff is quite helpful when it comes to suggesting the best enogastronomical combinations. The menu does not fall short of the high profile of the wine list: gourmet delights which inflame the appetite and the culinary fantasy alike, comprising superb plates of cheeses, mouthwatering meat cuts, pasta-based dishes and tempting deserts. Visiting the cellars of the venue is also possible on request.