Rome - Around Town : Ancient Rome (part 2) - Rome’s Trendiest Nightlife, Traditional Roman Restaurants

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A Morning Parkland Stroll

The parkland on the other side of the Circus Maximus from the Palatine Hill conceals exquisite early churches and other gems. Start on the south side of the Circus Maximus, now a sunken patch of dust and weeds, but once a majestic racecourse until the popes plundered its stones to build their palaces. Head up the hill to the Rose Garden . In spring and summer few places in Rome radiate such beauty. Continue along the old wall and enter Parco Savello’s Orange Garden to take in the view from the parapet. Next door is Santa Sabina . Use a torch and binoculars to scrutinize carved wooden doors and the Crucifixion scene. Stop next at Piranesi’s Piazza of the Knights of Malta and peer through the celebrated keyhole.

Wind down Via di San Alessio until Viale Aventino and San Saba. Take time to appreciate the notorious St Nicholas fresco on the left wall. In the Parco della Resistenza dell’8 Settembre you can get a gelato in the park’s café and gaze at length on the 3rd-century Aurelian Wall .

Cross over to the lovely Protestant Cemetery, pay your respects at the graves of Shelley, Keats and friends, pause to reflect on the splendid Pyramid of Caius Cestius, and leave your donation in the box as you exit.

Volpetti is a fabulous choice for lunch with a made-to-order gourmet sandwich.

Rome’s Trendiest Nightlife

  1. Alpheus

    Alpheus contains three individual discos, each of which plays different music, plus a garden. It holds special shows too, plus theme nights and the occasional live concert. The entrance ticket includes one free drink.

    • Via del Commercio 36

    • DA

  2. Nazca

    This is the place where Rome’s bright young things sip a well-mixed cocktail or two before sampling the other delights of the Testaccio-Ostiense area. It has a good sound system and an equally trendy restaurant.

    • Via del Gazometro 40

  3. Radio Londra

    One of Rome’s perennial favourites for an energetic night out. This is a noisy, buzzing rock-and-roll venue with an air-force theme and occasional up-and-coming live bands. Food is also available.

    • Via di Monte Testaccio 65B

    • DA

  4. L’Alibi

    This is Rome’s largest and most famous gay disco, with several dance floors, lounges and a huge terrace garden to cool off in summer.

    • Via di Monte Testaccio 44

  5. Villaggio Globale

    Occupying part of an old slaughterhouse, the “Global Village” offers great world music, plus ethnic snacks. Winter only.

    • Lungotevere Testaccio

  6. Akab

    Cinema, art exhibitions and varied music keep all ages partying here.

    • Via di Monte Testaccio 68

    • 06 5725 0585

    • Closed Sun, Mon

  7. Café de Oriente/Caruso

    Occasional Brazilian bands rock the samba, while the rest of the time Latin-tinged disco gets you going.

    • Via di Monte Testaccio 36

    • DA

  8. Four XXXX Pub

    This popular English-style pub features South American-inspired food. Jazz and Latin music on occasion.

    • Via Galvani 29

    • DA

  9. Joia

    Joia comprises a restaurant, wine bar, piano lounge, disco and a terrace on the top floor.

    • Via Galvani 20

    • 06 5740 8062

    • Closed Sun, Mon

  10. Caffè Emporio

    This pub projects a genuine English atmosphere with a zippy Italian twist. Guinness is on offer, along with snacks.

    • Piazza dell’Emporio 2

    • DA

Traditional Roman Restaurants

  1. Checchino dal 1887

    Among the great Roman restaurants, the menu offers offal-based delicacies such as rigatoni alla pajata (pasta with calf intestine).

    • Via di Monte Testaccio 30

    • 06 574 6318

    • Closed Sun–Mon

    Checchino dal 1887
  2. Agustarello

    Roman-style, heavy-duty dishes are the standard here. Sample tripe, coda alla vaccinara (oxtail), lingua (tongue) and other peasant fare .

    • Via G Branca 98

    • 06 574 6585

    • Closed Sun

    • No credit cards

  3. Da Remo

    One of Rome’s quintessential pizzerias. Authentic, cheap and always packed.

    • Piazza S Maria Liberatrice 44

    • 06 574 6270

    • Closed Sun

    • No credit cards

  4. Volpetti

    Rome’s premier delicatessen and the ideal place to have a lunchtime sandwich or a whole picnic made to order.

    • Via Marmorata 47

    • 06 574 4306

    • Closed Sun

  5. Felice

    This simple trattoria is one of the best places in the city to try the traditional carciofi alla romana .

    • Via Mastro Giorgio 29

    • 06 574 6800

    • Closed Sun

  6. Il Ristoro dei Cocci

    The speciality here is delicious pizza, and the focaccia bread is among Rome’s best.

    • Via di Monte Testaccio 34/B

    • 06 572 88940

    • Closed Mon in winter

    • No credit cards

  7. Di Pietro

    Good traditional Roman fare is served at this neighbourhood favourite, close to the Caius Cestius Pyramid. Take-away (tavola calda) is available from the buffet.

    • Piazza di Porta San Paolo 6A

    • 06 578 0252

    • Closed Tue

  8. Acqua e Farina?

    At “Water and Flour?” practically everything on the menu, from savouries to sweets, is pastry-based and made to an original recipe.

    • Piazza O Giustiniani 2

    • 06 574 1382

    • Closed L

  9. Il Seme e la Foglia

    Great for large salads and inventive sandwiches, such as goats’ cheese, radicchio and olive spread.

    • Via Galvani 18

    • 06 574 3008

    • No credit cards

  10. Né Arte ne Parte

    Run by two Italian TV actors, the menu features such Roman classics as carbonara and roast lamb.

    • Via Luca della Robbia 15–17

    • 06 575 0279

    • Closed Tue L, Wed L, 3 wks July

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