Rome has always been Italy’s go-to city for epic evening adventures. Whether it’s a romantic rooftop drink, dinner in a boisterous restaurant, or dancing into the wee hours, Roman nightlife has always been a scene set for a movie.
Director Federico Fellini immortalized nocturnal Rome in his many films about life in the Eternal City. Satyricon showcased Lucullan all-night banquets (and some more naughty entertainments) of the days of the emperors, while La Dolce Vita flaunted nightclubs and paparazzi of the city's Hollywood-on-the-Tiber era. And as the director lovingly showed in Fellini's Roma, the city’s streets and piazzas offered the best place for parties and alfresco dinners. Many visitors would agree with Fellini: Rome, the city, is entertainment enough. The city's piazzas, fountains, and delicately colored palazzos make impressive backdrops for Rome's living theater. And Rome is a flirt, taking advantage of its spectacular cityscape, transforming ancient, Renaissance, and contemporary monuments into settings for the performing arts, whether outdoors in summer or in splendid palaces and churches in winter. Held at locations such as Villa Celimontana, Teatro dell’Opera, the Baths of Caracalla, or the church of Sant'Ignazio, the venue often steals the show.
Of all the performing arts, music is what Rome does best to entertain people, whether it’s opera, jazz, or disco. The cinema is also a big draw, particularly for Italian-language speakers, and there's a fantastic array of other options. Toast the sunset with prosecco while overlooking a 1st-century temple. Enjoy an evening reading in the Roman Forum or a live performance of Shakespeare in the Globe theater in Villa Borghese park. Top off the night in your choice of Rome's many bars and dance clubs. When all else fails, there's always late-night café-sitting, watching the colorful crowds parade by on a gorgeous piazza—it's great fun, even if you don't speak the language. Little wonder Rome inspired Fellini to make people-watching into an art form in his famous films.