Updated: Oct 31, 2018
This one is for those of you who just want to let loose and shake that thang all night long! Now, you already know that the nightlife here starts late, so if you’re a fan of staying out into the wee hours of the morning… Roma is the city for you.
Out here if you want to dance, you’ll need to head to a “disco”, short for “discoteca”, which is the correct term to use rather than a nightclub or a club. However, people will most likely understand what you mean but there could be an event where someone may confuse your meaning with a football club.
To give you a better understanding of the discos, and the overall scene, I’m going to break everything down for you into 3 steps, the music, the dress code, and the best places to go. Basically, the 3 most important pillars of the Roman disco.
A quick reminder that when I came to Rome, I knew nothing about Italian culture and that meant I knew nothing about Italian music. So, my first time going to a disco I was going in completely blind. I didn’t completely expect to hear American music but I wasn’t sure that Italian music was the best to dance to (yes, I was ignorant, shoot me). I didn’t get either. My friends, the musical tastes of Europeans are usually fulfilled by house or EDM.
Of course, if you’re European you understand that house music and EDM is a big deal over here. For my fellow Americans or non-europeans this may not be what you’re used too but give and a shot and you may be fist pumping and stepping sooner than you know it.
The Dress Code
Alright this is specifically for the American’s here. The dress code in Italy is nothing close to club wear in Italy, at least when it comes to women. For places that have an more elegant dress code, my advice is to stay away from the too short, too tight body con dresses. You’ll immediately be pegged as an American and that isn’t always a good thing. Your best bet is to keep it a bit more conservative. You’ll notice that Italian women don’t really show that much skin, so if your goal is to blend, consider showing either cleavage or legs… not both.
For the spots that don’t have a strict dress code, you can never go wrong with a nice top and jeans.
If you’re a guy looking to head out on the town, it’s a bit simpler for you. For an elegant dress code, a nice shirt and jeans will do the trick, just be sure to grab an sleeker shoe than a sneaker.
Where to Go…
Now that you know what to expect once you hit the disco, you’ have to know where to go. So here’s a quick list of some of the best places to spend your Friday and Saturday nights.
Located in the historical center and right along the Tiber river, La Cabala is one of the most exclusive clubs in Rome. The crowd here is grown and sexy, think 25 and above, so you won’t be running into a study abroad or Erasmus students if that’s what you’re hoping to avoid. The night usually begins with the piano bar before the DJ set gets the part started later on.
Located near Piazza di Spagna, this disco is posh posh posh, however not as difficult to get into as La Cabala. If you like to mingle among the rich and famous then this is the place for you. Get ready to look your best and explore the two dance floors while bumping into the who’s who of Rome.
Another posh option here in Rome (I think I have a problem). This disco is located directly in the historical center near the Pantheon. It has 3 levels with different genres of music including, hip-hop, house, and EDM. Here you’ll find a fairly international crowd so no worries if your Italian is not up to snuff.
If you’re not so big on dancing but prefer good music and an easy too step, Voodoo bar is an excellent location. Usually best to visit during the summertime where you can fully enjoy the outdoor seating and “jungle-like” atmosphere. Plus, if you get hungry for a snack they’ve got sushi, pizza and pasta options surrounding the main floors.
This is a big one for the LGBTQ community, however you’re more likely to see gay men and drag queens in this location. Located in the Testaccio district where all the clubs are lined up next to each other on a single street, this option give you the best opportunity to sample a few of the clubs here in Rome. That is if you even decide to leave L’Alibi in the first place.