Rome after dark is pretty spectacular. The city comes alive and the monuments basking in night light are simply breathtaking. And the after dark scene is a whole lot of fun.
Romans go out late and stay out late and they love to dance. So as they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans and get your party shoes on with this list of the city’s best dance club spots.
The Testaccio or Ostiense neighborhoods are quite the place to be on a Saturday night with a huge concentration of dance clubs. In fact, on Via di Monte Testaccio, you’ll find a whole heap in a row to suit any taste and music genre from dance to salsa. There are many others scattered across town and in the historical center like La Cabala and Shari Vari Playhouse.
Most dance clubs don’t kick off until about midnight and you should know that your entry fee usually includes your first drink. During the summer months, many venues in Rome transfer to outdoor locations or to the beach and it’s recommended one check their websites for further information. Whether you’re in Rome on holiday or perhaps passing through on business, 10 Best has the perfect round up of places to head for a night of dancing and a whole lot of fun.
Photo courtesy of Death Disco ddxxx
Akab has been a fixed staple and one of the most popular nightclubs in Testaccio for years. It’s best known for the quality of live entertainment that it puts on. If you come here in the early evening, you’re likely to hear some live rock and jazz music. After 11pm, the dance floor opens up and the music changes to house, dance, reggae, acid jazz, disco, funk and soul music. Like most dance clubs in this area, Friday and Saturday nights can be quite busy and it’s best recommended you arrive early. BUS: 30, 75, 3. TRAM: 3. Metro: Piramide.
Pictures yourself listening to some really good jazz music in a sublime villa that used to belong to one of Rome’s most dangerous criminals. The villa where the Casa del Jazz stands today used to belong to the former ex-boss of the Banda della Magliana, a big, bad street gang in Rome that was notorious for its criminal acts and dealings in the 70s and 80s, until the City of Rome took possession of it many years ago. Today, this glorious villa puts on some pretty great concerts, lectures and special events surrounding the history of jazz music. At the Casa del Jazz there’s also a pretty good caf— and restaurant where one can eat. In the summertime, concerts and other performances are often held outside all’aperto.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Tap your feet to the tunes of jazz at a venue that has something for everyone.
Maria’s expert tip: Make sure to check out their website www.casajazz.it for a full list of upcoming events and groups performing.
For more than 30 years, Piper has been a magnet for the young, ‘Roma per bene’ crowd. This place is particularly happening on Friday nights. Piper was a real big hit in the 60s and 70s when it first opened and attracted all sorts of big Italian music artists to play during its heyday. Since then, the decor has been updated and the music has changed slightly. Though they tend to still play general disco, Piper also features a bit of house and Top 40. The club also organizes fun gay nights and afternoon discos for teenagers. They’ve also recently started playing live music concerts and hosting battle of the bands type competitions. BUS: 86
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Piper is a Rome dance club institution, particularly happening on a Friday night.
Maria’s expert tip: Call ahead to verify what the night’s theme is in order to avoid being trapped in a sea of teeny boppers.
Photo courtesy of Death Disco ddxxx
One of the best nightclubs in Rome within the gay community is L’Alibi. Though, it attracts a mostly male gay clientele, eclectic Romans from all walks of life have been known to come here too. The summertime is particularly nice here when the club opens up its lovely roof garden. The music ranges is a mix of house, soul, dance and disco music. The venue is quite exclusive in that it can be quite difficult to gain entry, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s best that you arrive early to avoid disappointment at this place. BUS: 30. Tram: 3.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: One of the Rome’s best gay dance club night out.
Maria’s expert tip: It is notoriously difficult to get into L’Alibi on Friday and Saturday nights as the bouncers are pretty selective on who let in.
Photo courtesy of Underbelly Limited
Radio Londra is a ‘punto di ritrovo’ (a meeting place) for Rome’s alternative crowd. On any given night you might run into people with dreadlocks, piercings everywhere and emo attire. But clothing aside, this club is loyal to playing good music which is diverse, eclectic and vibrant. Live music can be listened to four nights out of the week. Bands usually play in the pub and pizzeria area located just above the dance floors. The resident DJs change regularly and are a mix of local and international talent, so keep in touch with the venue through their site for a what’s on update. BUS: 30. TRAM: 3.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Radio Londra features one of the best list of alternating DJs in town.
Maria’s expert tip: For a sample of what the resident DJs are like at this club, check out Radio Londra’s website: www.radiolondradiscobar.com.
Photo courtesy of Mixtribe Photo
One of Rome’s flashiest and most exclusive nightclubs, La Cabala is situated in a medieval palazzo on top of the restaurant Hostaria dell’Orso, a 14th century building that overlooks the Tiber River. It’s pretty much Rome’s version of a classy supper club and located in the ever stylish Piazza Navona area it’s no wonder the venue has developed this reputation. The is quite big and it is spread out across a three-level space that includes a piano bar, restaurant, and nightclub. The crowd is very stylish and generally aged 25-30+. Music is generally house, dance and techno and the venue is open only on weekends, Friday to Saturday. BUS: 30, 492. Metro: Spagna.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Stylish and all class, La Cabala is one of Rome’s premiere nightclubs.
Maria’s expert tip: Saturday is the busiest night of the week.
Ever wonder where all of Rome’s beautiful people are? Look no further than Gilda. This club is notorious for attracting Rome’s rich and famous crowd. It’s also quite frequented by Italian soccer players from the AS Roma and SS Lazio teams, aging politicians and D-list Italian celebrities. Essentially, it’s a see and be seen kind of crowd. There is a piano bar for private parties, as well as two dance floors where disco music is always spinning. Jackets for men are an absolute must. Gilda is also quite popular among locals because it is one of few dance clubs that is open on Sundays. METRO: Spagna.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Gilda has the right mix of locals and international visitors for a great night out.
Maria’s expert tip: In July and August, Gilda closes up shop and moves to its seaside location in Fregene for some fun dancing in the sand.
If you’re looking to shake things up in the heart of Rome, THE place to do it at is Micca Club. Though the club has a small dance floor, the venue attracts top-notch DJs from all over the world featuring music ranging from soul, funk, jazz to rock’n’roll. The club also hosts a ‘gourmet’ aperitivo everyday for those looking for something to do in the early evenings. The venue hosts a series of themed events and burlesque shows as well as leasons so you can learn the art yourself. Their website updates all activities quite regularly so be sure to check to see what’s on. METRO: Barberini
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Micca Club is super chic and great for a burlesque night out.
Maria’s expert tip: About once or twice a month, the club also hosts burlesque shows. The shows were so popular that Micca decided to open up its very own ‘Burlesque Academy’ where one can take lessons and learn from the experts!
Photo courtesy of Death Disco ddxxx
Shari Vari Playhouse has fast become the new It-girl on Rome’s nightclub scene. The club, which was formerly known as the Supper Club, is huge and is conveniently located just around the corner from both Largo Argentina and the Pantheon. It has three levels of rooms to choose from with each featuring a different dance genre including hip-hop, retro, house and dance music. It attracts quite a stylish international crowd and very well-dressed Romans with a worldy attitude. To avoid disappointment, it’s highly recommended to reserve a table. The club hosts regular themed events and promote these ‘serate’ on their website. BUS: 64, 40, 46. TRAM: 8
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Central and stylish, Shari Vari is perfect for a late night boogie.
Maria’s expert tip: To get on the guest list or to reserve a VIP table here, contact Rome’s PR guru and party guy Marc Cefaratti: 334.253.2673.
Located in the Ostiense neighborhood, which has long been home to many nightlife spots, Vinile is a new kid on the block. Well, sort of. The venue is very well known to Romans with the old 45 Giri nightclub formerly holding residence here. Opened in late 2014, the venue is open from Tuesday to Sunday from aperitivo time right through to the wee hours of the night. During the aperitivo time and through to about 11:00pm there is live music with local and international performers ranging from folklore, rock, swing, blues, big band orchestra and jazz. The aperitivo is quite extensive and in an all you can eat buffet style. With it’s high ceilings and floor to ceiling bar display, you could be mistaken for thinking you’ve walked into a New York club. After the live music ends, a DJ sets closes the evening. METRO: Piramide, TAXI from center around 15 euro.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Whether it’s aperitivo or a night of boogie, Vinile is your place.
Maria’s expert tip: Check out the website to see what themed nights are on the program.