Rome’s district of Trastevere is perhaps the most lively and vibrant sector of the city in terms of nightlife. Sitting on the right bank of the Tiber river and just South of the Vatican City, Trastevere has always been considered a hotspot amongst fun-loving locals and like-minded tourists. The narrow cobblestone streets feature a wide array of bars, restaurants, and shops; providing endless entertainment for an evening out on the town.
Although most nights in the illuminated streets can be arbitrarily navigated by following aromatic smells, festive music, and moderate crowds, there are a few specific spots in the area that should top any and every list.
AperitivoSimilar to an American happy hour, aperitivo is a time in which Italians unwind at the conclusion of a long work day with friends and drinks. The difference being that happy hour usually symbolizes the end of the evening while aperitivo signifies the beginning. The classic beverage of the aperitivo is the spritz which combines liqueurs like Aperol and Campari with club soda. However, most menus will include a full list of cocktails and wines available to order. Some drinks are accompanied by a free order of food or snacks like cheese, chips, or nuts. In warmer months this activity is done alfresco, or in the open air, on patios and rooftops. This makes for a truly traditional Italian aperitivo. Aperitivo menus can be found in nearly any bar or restaurant in Trastevere but Santo , Freni e Frizioni and La Prosciutteria - Cantina dei Papi are all great places to start as they offer tasty drink selections at a more than reasonable price.
Piazza TrilussaWhether you’re waiting on a dinner reservation or simply looking to extend your aperitivi in a more open atmosphere, Piazza Trilussa is the place to be. The boisterous plaza can be found in front of the Ponte Sisto bridge, at the waterfront of the Tiber river. On warmer evenings, one could expect to see crowds or art exhibitors, listen to live music from local street musicians, and lounge on the staircase leading up to the fountain. A popular hangout spot for both Romans and travellers, the square is intended to serve as a tribute to late Roman poet, Carlo Alberto Camilo Mariano Salustri, better known as Trilussa. The fountain of Ponte Sisto sits at the back end of the square where its staircase, as previously mentioned, usually alternates between impromptu concert seating and park benches.
Where to End Your Night (Restaurants)After you’ve finished your drink (or two) and built up your appetite it’s time for the main event. Dinner typically begins and ends somewhere between eight o’clock in the evening and one o’clock in the morning. Trastevere offers a plethora of fine dining options, trattorias, and pizzerias that include traditional Italian cuisine. Otello is a centrally located trattoria in Trastevere known for its generous portion sizes and budget friendly prices. Choose from an extensive list of pastas, pizzas, and wines to get your fill on true Italian cooking. The establishment is also known to have plentiful seating accommodations for larger groups and special occasions. Nannarella is another hotspot of the neighborhood that often requires a reservation to get in without an excessive wait time. It’s often regarded to have some of the best carbonara in all of Rome. A brave declaration that many pasta lovers would be more than willing to test out.
Cover photo: Michiel Jelijs | Flickr/CC BY 2.0
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A night out in Trastevere
Trastevere, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy