Italy Bars & Nightlife
Bars & Nightlife city
Via del Moro 4, Duomo
The fruity cocktails here resemble mini masterpieces, topped with extravagantly cut fresh fruit and served with small bowls of salty popcorn. There’s a rotating selection of art on the walls and a sloping roof that makes you feel like you’re drinking in a warm cocoon. Service can be slow, but the friendly staff are still wonderful. Pro tip: Give up what you think you want and ask the bartender to surprise you. They know what they’re doing.
Bar at Hotel Locarno
Via della Penna, 22, Campo Marzio
The bar at the retro Hotel Locarno is permanently packed with Rome’s most fashion-forward crew.
Via Plinio, 39, Citta Studi
Owner Mirko Stocchetto can be credited with inventing his own drink: the Negroni Sbagliato (Mistaken Negroni). It was created when Stocchetto accidentally added prosecco instead of gin to Campari and sweet vermouth, and this is definitely what you should order here. Served with a single, hand-carved cube of ice, it’s hard to stop at just one.
Piazza Farnese, 52, Centro Storico
Sit outside right on the Piazza Farnese, order one of the four hundred wines offered and people watch.
Bar del Fico
Piazza del Fico, 34/35, Centro Storico
A stone’s throw from Piazza Navona, Bar del Fico is a fun spot frequented mostly by locals, which is nice if you’ve spent all day doing touristy things. At aperitivo-time, ordering a cocktail or a glass of wine will also get you access to bottomless snacks—or sit down for a full-on meal of house-made pizza and pasta (this is an excellent place for a mellow al-fresco lunch, too). The bar is open all day and well into the night (until 2am, actually), making it perfect for after-dinner drinks in a crowded-in-a-good-way, indoor-outdoor setting.
Bar in Piazza della Madonna dei Monti
Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, Monti
This little bar is so inherent to this piazza, it doesn’t have a name (or website or phone number).
Via Roma, 1/R, Florence
The oldest café in Florence was founded (ironically) by a Swiss family in 1733, initially as a bozzolari, or doughnut shop. These days, the sweet selection has expanded to include hundreds of traditional Italian pastries, chocolates, cakes, and the chewiest nougat. The interior resembles a grand stateroom, with wood-paneled walls, stucco detailing, and glittering chandeliers. Despite the elegant allure of a seat inside at breakfast time, the afternoon cocktail hour is best enjoyed outside. Sit at a table with a spritz and the accompanying assortment of sandwiches and snacks and watch the world fly by.
Via di Monserrato, 46, Centro Storico
Even though Rome is one of the most-visited capitals in the world, the local way of life hasn’t changed and you’ll find authentic aperitivo spots in every neighborhood. Caffé Perú is an unassuming hole-in-the-wall next to a newsstand. This tiny bar is on prime real estate in the Piazza Farnese, but is totally unpretentious and so untrendy it’s actually trendy. Always full of artists and students, it's perfect for hunkering down on one of the stools outside with a drink and a panino any time of day—a true slice of old Rome.
Via Ceresio, 7, Porta Volta
The main reason to visit Ceresio 7 is the setting—the rooftop of an office building. From here, the entire city is spread out before you, and it’s ideal, of course, to try and make it for a sunset aperitivo. As you’d expect from brothers Dan and Dean Caten of fashion label DSquared (they opened the place), the look is sleek and polished, with velvet seating, an Art Deco bar, and lacquered tables.
Piazza di Santa Croce, 6, Florence
Grab a table outside at this little local wine bar and take in every nook and cranny of the stunning Church of Santa Croce as you sip your Vino Nobile. In the winter months, retreat inside to the warm bar with its stone walls, candles, and platters of charcuterie.
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