After an incredible day exploring, tasting and marvelling through the streets of Rome, we still have the remaining hours of the evening to fill. After a quick rest and change of clothes, it’s time to put on your dancing shoes as we are about to adventure into the spectacular nightlife on offer!
This, for me, is a very typical evening in Rome; which just so happens to be perfect for more sightseeing and taking home a taste of Rome not many tourists would have! Take the Metro A and alight at Flaminio.
After spending much of the day in crowds of tourists, crossing busy roads or getting lost (hopefully not), Villa Borghese offers a much needed and earned break away from the noise and excitement of the journey so far. A huge park full of greenery, monuments, history, nature, lakes and general relaxing vibes it could be a perfect spot to take a nap.
Piazza del Popolo
A large and tranquil area that hosts a music festival each summer.
Piazza di Spagna
Follow the herds of tourists as you join them on the short walk to Piazza di Spagna to admire the Spanish Steps (although, there is work being done at the moment so they cannot be climbed). This is a very exclusive area hosting top fashion shops, such as Valentino and Gucci.
Here you will find one of the oldest Tea Rooms in the world; but expect to pay in excess of 8 euro for a hot beverage!
A short walk takes you to the famous Trevi Fountain. WARNING: there isn’t much space and you will feel like a sardine amongst the crowds of tourists; but you will be able to take a picture and toss a coin into the water. Via del Corso
Via del Corso is the main road that connects Piazza del Popolo with Piazza Venezia. It is the place to go if you want to shop, from high street brands to the luxurious brands. Currently, there is an exhibition of the works of street artist Banksy. If you have a spare hour, it’s a great collection.
From Piazza Venezia, you can walk to the Colosseo and on the way you will pass the Forum Romano. TIP: You really can see a lot of these ancient ruins without paying to enter the grounds. In fact, I would recommend saving your time and money by not paying to enter any of the main ruin sites as they can be viewed from the exterior and often the exterior architecture is more impressive than the bare space within.
Before you reach the Colosseo, take a detour to Cavour and have a drink at one of the various traditional or trendy bars.
TIP: I strongly recommend a pit stop at Analemma.
Colosseo and Arco di Costantino
From Piazza Venezia, your eye is drawn up into the distance and the monstrous structure that is the Colosseo. It’s unbelievable to see in real life, after most of us have only ever seen pictures or read about it in books. You can walk all around it as well as view the Arco di Costantino.
TIP: Again, I would say that it’s not worth the time or money queuing up to enter inside the Colosseo. There isn’t much to see and it is definitely more impressive from the outside.
One of my favorite and most frequented bars is situated right next to the Colosseo and is called Coming Out. It is in such a unique location, overlooking the ancient palestra ruins, where you can eat delicious Italian food and sip on one of the cocktails from the extensive list. This is where the night begins. One cocktail after another turns into one shot, then two, then three…
TIP: try the Italian shot, a pretty and colorful shot that represents the Italian flag yet packs a strong punch thanks to the absinthe! Also at this bar, you will meet people from all over the world.
Festa: Gay Village
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the summer is blessed to have the Gay Village. A festival of flamboyance, debauchery and damn good fun over three stages (House, Pop and Classics), where extravagant shows delight the crowds who flock here to get lost and party. Catch the last metro (Thursday at 11:30pm, Friday & Saturday at 1:30am) from Colosseo to EUR Magliana. A taxi home will cost no more than 20 euros or you can catch one of the many night buses back into the center.
Of course, Rome offers a range of bars and discotecas for you to choose from. There are always a variety of cultural events, if partying isn’t for you. For example, in Villa Borghese there is a replicar of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre that runs a programme of shows throughout the summer or in Trastevere you will find an open air cinema that is popular with Italians. TIP: Try ‘Fatamorgana’ gelateria in Trastevere, just a 2 minute walk from the open air cinema.
Overall, it is a schedule that demands enthusiasm, energy and hydration. But, it covers much of the top sites known and unknown to the majority of tourists.
Use the public transport- it’s a great way of discovering hidden gems as well as saving time and your legs travelling from one site to another!
Imagery credits: Kirby Moore