The Rialto: Be a Star!
There is also an excellent Centro in the Jewish Quarter called The Rialto.
I went to listen to a band called Liu (it means nothing in the Romanaccio dialect.) The singer is an Aussie from Wollongong and I was desperate for a dance so I suggested he think of the Palm Court in good old 'Gong and get me up in the floor.
I was being cynical because dancing - as I know it - does not seem to happen in Roma.
Anyway he did the trick and I had to dance and I danced my little butt off.
(Was it my fault the only space to dance was right next to the stage?)
Great - the audience are staring at me. Think I am part of the floorshow.
Great - the band is with me and urging me on.
And now someone is videoing me.
Only 57 she's the dancing queen.
Well - I did feel a bit foolish. When one surrenders to the urge to dance and one is the only one who has - one can.
But darling M - introduced me to the audience as (something like) "Mia amica, Jennifer. Ballentando Extraordinaire." (Italian is probably crap but that is what he meant.)
Then he indicated if I would dance again the band would do an encore.
So away we went again!
Then I staggered out to the bar area to dive into a large gin and tonic - waving the video camera away and assuring the young chappie on the sharp end of the camera I was so ordinary that in Howl At The Moon in Narre Warren I just jigged on the edge of the dance floor and let the young 'uns do it
M said that I had inspired a generation. But I don't think so.
First off you have to really really want to dance.
Dress Code: Come as you are. Be cool.
Trevi fountain at night
to cool down after the hot day as you go from bar-bar there is always a large crowd at the fountain and a great atmosphere..As you throw your one euro coins in the fountain wishing to return watch the scumbags with sticks with magnets fish them out the scurry away
4:20: More drinking than eating
This is a local's spot, I bet me and my friend were the first tourists to go there. I went there a lot of times because my boyfriend loves their White Dog Stout, with which they also make the best tiramisu I ever ate! It was much better than the original.
They have a large variety of beers and whiskies, and they even had Porto and Madeira wines! For those who appreciate it, it's surely a good place to go (I go just for the tiramisu! ;-P) The food selection is not so good, they don't have a lot of choice.
The music was good but a bit too loud for me on the interior floor; but if the weather is good, they have a terrace (where the owner is planning to make a pool) with large wooden tables where you can have a more peaceful chat.
Dress Code: No dress code.
Trevi fountain: By the fountain
The Trevi fountain is always popular, even at night. It's a nice spot to hang out in the evening and there are lots of people around - tourists and locals. There are restaurants and ice cream places in the area too.Related to:
- Study Abroad
Circo Massimo: Big Night Out
I was lucky to be in Rome in 2006 for the World Cup Final.
And Australia did so well.
(Until we were robbed! By Totti who is a local guy from Testaccio. Okay so in the market the next day they were all asking me where I was from and when I replied - Australia - they laughed and laughed. But we were robbed!)
Anyway - my sister was visiting and we reckoned we would like to go and see a public screening. Apparently there were several but Circo Massimo was the nearest.
We were a little afraid of soccer thugs - but my sister assured her kids in Australia if we saw anything we didn't like we would come straight back home.
I was very impressed. The crowd was amenable and not a bit violent or drunk. My sister was amazed at the lack of eskies filled with cans. Security was great. Crowd control was great. There were officials handing out bottles of water.
We had a top night.
Then of course the streets went mad so we had to watch our step with the traffic on the way home. But all good clean fun. High spirits. The bars all stayed opened of course - but again no violence or drunkeness that we saw.
They have all sorts of free events - like a free concert by Genesis is happening soon - but don't be afraid to go out and have fun. You'd have to be really unlucky to get in trouble.
Our mother was visiting too but she stayed home and was in bed by the time we had walked back - stopping off at a bar or two.
She wasn't asleep and we asked her to guess who had won.
She replied - Italy!
The streets were going mad. No mistake about who had won.
Big Momma in Trastevere: Truly truly bad. Unspeakable. Almost funny.
Words almost fail me. I would have put this tip in Tourist Traps - but (1) Quite a few locals were here and (2) I got to talking to a guy on the travel forum who thought this might be an authentic blues spot - and if someone like him was looking for great nightlife he might not look in the Tourist Trap tips - because that is not what he is looking for.
I was told Santana were playing here.
I said - "What! Santana?"
Oh well - I thought. No harm in that. So I let myself get talked into it.
I had to pay a 13 euro yearly membership fee. Oh well. The drinks were pricey. Oh well. But they were playing a cd of Santana as we waited for the band to appear. That was nice.
And then the band came on stage and the cd of the real stuff was turned off.
Oh what horror.
Words fail me.
If the band arrived at the end of a piece they were playing at the same time - that was rather surprising.
They obviously hadn't rehearsed very much at all. They obviously had very little skill and talent.
I began to suspect the same band had to cover a different group each week.
Santana this week. Rolling Stones next week.
I never wanted to go back. Once was enough.
When my bag was stolen and I lost my yearly membership card I did not care one little bit. I never want to go back to that place.
I did feel sorry for the keen, young Santana fans who were waiting so eagerly. They tried to keep liking it and enjoy themselves, but that was not possible.
And who on earth thought it was a good idea to play a cd of the real stuff before the cover band went on????!!!!!
Centro Sociale: Fun in Rome
I have put off writing this tip because I don't want everyone and her mother knowing about them.
I was looking for fun in Rome. And I could not find fun. I found Tourist Traps aplenty but where were the cool people having their fun?
Then an amico of an amico took me to a Centro Sociale in Monti.
No way would I have ever found it. A few lights around a dim doorway. Then up four flights of stairs and across a echoing foyer (this place had been a school) and there - in the courtyard -all the cool people having fun.
Cheap bar and eats run by students. Plays in the chapel, art exhibitions, bands. Nights of homage to the book - when students came to your table and quoted chunks of Moby Dick in Italian (like Fahrenheit 451 - I quoted back my favourite Shakespearian sonnet) and lectures by disaffected members of the Red Brigade. Alas in Italian. Could understand not a word.
However - most of the people who go to Centros will have some English and will probably be chatty.
Alas, I think this place closed down just before I left Rome - but they would have regrouped somewhere else.
They are like squats. Semi official I believe. The buildings don't get trashed because they are occupied.
Do be a little careful. Apparently some Centros are hotbeds of Skinheads or worse.
But you know they are really cool places. Cheap as chips. Never know what is going down. But you will probably need a local to tell you where they are.
Dress Code: Ask a local where they are. Make sure the local is not a Skinhead. Or worse.
"Coming Out" bar: Gay bars
Coming out bar is on Via san Giovanni in Laterano along with a couple of other cafes. This road is like a smaller version of Old Compton street in London, on a nice evening the road is full with gay guys drinking and enjoying the night. Buy yourself a drink in Coming Out and then walk down the small road (it feels like your on a catwalk being checked out), then just hang around. Age range of guys about 18-30, l think older gay guys will look somewhat out of place here.
I also found the local guys to be very friendly and happy to chat if you instigate some communication (or a cute look) and yes l pulled on this street ;-)
The road is just behind the Colloseum and has a great view of the Colloseum at night.
Dress Code: Casual, sexy
L'Alibi nightclub: Gay clubbing
When we went it was busy and the music was great. I would say a must for someone looking for a Rome gay club, the only fault would be that all the guys were popping pills.
It's also good to go down to the testaccio district, loads of straight bars and clubs and really great party atmosphere at night.
Dress Code: Casual
Micca Club: a cool jazz club in Rome
Anyone fancying a night out in Rome with live jazz and groove and no mainstream tourists could try the Micca club in Porta Maggiore, a stones throw from Termini Station.
We popped over to Rome at the end of November to see Eddie Roberts, who recorded the Salvos ‘Trenta’ c.d, with his red hot funk outfit The New Mastersounds.
The club is situated in a basement on a residential street and the stairs lead down to a very cool club, beautifully lit and kitted out, complete with radio station
The bar staff, in 60’s style dresses, mixed nice strong cocktails at 10 euros apiece and you can reserve a table if there is a bunch of you.
After the live bands, the club has a retro music policy based on soul, jazz, funk and Italian rhythm and blues and 60’s shake.
We were there on a Saturday when the music was all groovy 60’s Italian, It was great fun people watching, seeing the flirty Romans at play, and the well dressed crowd was a good mix of ages, from 20 to 50.
To guarantee entrance you must log onto their site and email them. You can reseve a table if thetre are enough of you (don't know how many). The entry was cheap and the STRONG cocktails were all 10 euro's.
Dress Code: The dress was casual in the Italian style i.e not 'street', I did not see one pear of trainers/sneakers in the place!Related to:
Villagio Globale: You've never been to a place like this
Going to this place made me feel like I was a hippie... We went here not knowing what to expect and it was amazing. A huge gathering place that was comprised of what seemed like an abandoned museum or something then out back there was a huge concert tent and there was a reggae concert going on.. Crazy
Dress Code: Anything you are comfortable in.. I wouldn't bother wearing heels.. I don't remember there being a clean floor anywhere
The Ice Bar: A bar made entirely of ICE--even your drink glass!
I'm trying to remember how much this place was... I'm remembering a cool 10-20 euro for a place that was pretty much empty. But, you may, like us, decide that you're willing to fork it out for a once-in-a-lifetime place like this: a bar made entirely of ice, kept at -5 C. Walls, bar, benches, tables, the glasses, ice sculptures, the works. You get a thermal cape and gloves to help keep you warm. The benches are draped in white sheep skins for a luxurious feel. The ice sculpture at the bar is carved out with a path to pour your shot in and a straw out one side should you be so daring. The cover gets you a margarita-sized drink from their fun selection in an ice glass. Not sure how full the bar is othewise. This place seemed more for groups of Americans to freak out for 15 minutes till too cold to stay. A TV in the lobby shows you the other fools that are in where you are about to enter; if you're looking for nightlife, check it to see if there's anyone worth going in for.
Dress Code: Bundle up! The thermal cape is only a cape!Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Museum Visits
Wine bar: Wine bar Trastevere
I forgot the name but in a corner on the Piazza Giuditta in the Trastevere area there is a very good wine bar. There is room outside, but also inside it is very nice. The wine was delicious and they have a whole selection of excellent bruschetta's. And the two girls who held the bar open that night were very friendly.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Around Piazza della Spagna: New Year 2007
To tell you the truth, I was very optimistic regarding place in a restaurant for the New Year dinner. Since we were only two, I told my wife it wont be problem and there is no need to book place in advance. How wrong! I was many many times in Italy but this was only second time that am staying during new year ev. The first one was in Milano, years ago, and I spend it in a home of my friends.
We decided to search for the place somwhere in between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza della Spagna, since there are number of small and cozy restaurants and trattorias. It took us more than hour in strolling around because all places in the restaurants were booked in advance. It was passed 10:30PM and we vere pretty much hungry and nervous being affraid that this evening might be a total disaster. Finally I managed to convince one trattoria holder, in a small side street, to serve us dinner out on the table in front. It was the best food we had in our four days in Rome. I was so exited and happy and have forget to take the pictures. The next day we went again in that area but unfortunatelly couldn't find the place.
Around the Trevi Fountain: Eating out
On the first night we arrived late from the plane journey, and headed out for something to eat. We went to a small restaurant, filled with the locals (the tourists had been earlier) I sat in the corner surrounded by gabbling Italians, and a radio that kept playing Natalie Imbrulia but I still felt most welcome. The food was great (it was part pizzaria) and the restaurant was next to a Gelatera (Ice cream parlour) so if you wanted Ice Cream the waitress would go next door for you and get it. I enjoyed it so much I returned to the same place for the other 4 nights.
If you want to feel Italian go between 9:00 and 11:00 when the locals go and the streets are filled again. I was overwhelmed by the helpfullness of the waiters and waitresses. If you had finished your meal and they weren't doing anything they would just come over and talk to you in either English or Italian ( my Italian wore thin by the end of the holiday). It was great and very good value for money.
Dress Code: There is no dress code. Turn up as you want. The waiters and waitresses wore casual clothes so there is no reason why you can't.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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