Via di Monte Testaccio loops around a hill made entirely of broken terracotta amphorae, or oil jars, which were discarded by ancient Romans. Lining this historic street is a whole bunch of nightclubs, including the popular Akab club. Hosting house, rock, dance and funk and soul nights, among others, Akab has been entertaining partygoers in Rome since its opening in 1992. Check the website for details of guest DJs who have previously included Gilles Peterson and acid-jazz devotee Giancarlino.
Via di Monte Testaccio, 69, Rome, Italy, +39 0657250585
In the student-packed quartiere of San Lorenzo, bar and nightclub Le Mura particularly attracts live music fans. Early evening sees local bands (and the occasional touring group from elsewhere) take to the stage. After midnight, revellers can dance to a mix of indie, funk and classic pop. When feet begin to ache, relax in the seating area, complete with cosy fairy lights, vintage sofas and even a selection of books and magazines to enjoy.
Part restaurant, part bustling nightclub, Shari Vari Playhouse has been pulling in the crowds since it first opened its doors in 2009. Inside, the theme of the décor is distressed-vintage, with the occasional trashy ornament thrown in for fun. Throw some shapes to hip-hop, house, dance and a smattering of Top 40 hits.
Via di Torre Argentina, 78,Rome, Italy, +39 06 6880 6936
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Close to Piazza Navona lies one of Rome’s most exclusive nightclubs, La Cabala. Half piano-bar, half discotheque, La Cabala offers a stunning view of Rome from its position on top of Ostaria dell’Orso on the river Tiber. The mood generally attracts those aged 25 and above, but anyone looking for a stylish place to dance away the evening is welcome.
Via dei Soldati 25, Rome, Italy, +39 0668 301 192
In 1996 Goa made its home in an ex-motorbike repair shop in the once industrial but now up and coming district of Ostiense. Named after the Indian state of Goa, famous for its full moon parties, the club’s décor follows the same theme. A reputation for electronic house and techno music has earned this spot many local supporters who come to hear resident DJs such as Giancarlino, Fabrizio Sala and Adiel.
Via Giuseppe Libetta, 13, Rome, Italy, +39 06 574 8277
Il Bosco delle Fragole (which translates to wood of strawberries) is one of the most popular summer venues in Rome. Set among umbrella pines, guests can enjoy a hedonistic party complete with international DJs, light shows and professional dancers. Located next to the Stadio Olympico, this open-air club moves indoors to Chalet nel Bosco in the winter months.
Piazzale dello Stadio Olimpico, 8, Rome, Italy, +39 06 323 6086
Tucked away between Via Veneto and Villa Borghese is Art Cafè; the nightclub of choice for Rome’s ‘in-crowd’. Amid the flawlessly dressed ladies and often abundantly aftershave-scented men, it’s sometimes possible to spot a local celebrity or two. As well as extravagant club nights, Art Cafè also hosts one-off events like fashion shows or film screenings.
Viale del Galoppatoio, 33, Rome, Italy, +39 340 620 7432
One of the biggest clubs in Rome, Qube has dancefloors sprawling across three levels. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming club nights, most notably the ever-popular Muccassasina Friday night special, a favourite with the LGBT community. Expect drag queens, fire dancers and plenty of theatrics.
Via di Portonaccio, 212, Rome, Italy, +39 06 438 5445
Spazio 900 is located inside the Palazzo dell’Arte Antica, a striking example of fascist architecture built by Mussolini in the 1930s. Today, the palazzo is used for conferences, exhibitions and trade shows, as well as club nights hosted by Spazio 900. Check the Facebook page for event listings and be sure to get tickets for big name DJs early to avoid disappointment.
Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 26/b, Rome, Italy, +39 06 54221107
Once a dogana, or customs checkpoint, this industrial space now hosts thumping club nights with guest DJ sets from the likes of Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock. Not content just playing the best techno, house, funk and dance tracks every weekend, Ex-Dogana has also evolved into a creative space for film screenings, concerts and one-off events.
Viale dello Scalo S. Lorenzo, 10, Rome, Italy, +39 334.3849185
Located close to the often-overlooked neighbourhood of Coppedè, Piper has been getting Romans on their feet since 1965. In its 1960s and 70s heyday, international artists such as The Byrds, Procol Harum and Pink Floyd all played there. These days, Saturday nights are strictly house music nights, but 80s themed events, tribute bands and live music feature throughout the rest of the week, Wednesday to Sunday.
Via Tagliamento, 9, Rome, Italy, +39 06 855 5398
Taking inspiration from New York’s underground club scene of the 1970s, Vicious is a small club with a big personality. The décor is dark, grungy and almost exclusively black or mirrored, while the music is always loud. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for scheduled electro, techno, or indie events.
Via Achille Grandi, 7a, Rome, Italy, +39 328 687 8160