The bohemian atmosphere, terraces, cobblestone streets and wooden shutters reign in Trastevere when the sun goes down. All of these details create a truly Italian feel that make visiting this neighbourhood at night one of Rome's must-visit plans.
Chances are, once you start your tour, you'll want to stay there all night long. Use the time of your visit to venture out and discover the wonders of this area close to the west of the great river Tiber. Here I recommend the best of them.
1. Get to know the heart of the place in Piazza Santa Maria.
The famous Piazza Santa Maria is considered the heart of this neighbourhood, where you will meet locals and tourists alike. And an ideal way to get to know all its history and essence is to book a tour of Trastevere where an expert guide will give you all the details.
In this square, you will see a basilica that many people take the opportunity to visit at night because it closes at 9 pm. It has the same name as the square, a surprising façade, golden mosaics and a bell tower that captivates the eye with its many bright lights. In addition, the fountain is the oldest in the city, among all those still in operation.
Clearly it is not enough to simply walk through the square, the idea is to spend some time, as the difference between day and night is undeniable. You will probably enjoy the nightlife more, even though there are plenty of other things to do in Trastevere during the day. During the morning there are usually only locals passing by, lost tourists or teenagers playing truant. But after dark the best part starts. There will be more people and the chances of having a good time in the place increase.
2. Taste and enjoy the local gastronomy in the best restaurants
One of the must-do's in this neighbourhood at night is to treat yourself to a pizza, because there are many fantastic restaurants that represent Italian gastronomy, where you can try typical Roman dishes such as pasta carbonara, cacio e peppe and all'amatriciana. For this, I recommend you to book a gastronomic tour in Trastevere. For this, I recommend you book a gastronomic tour of Trastevere.
Of course, you should not miss tasting the best pizzas in Rome originally Italian and a delicious tiramisu for dessert. The variety and quality in each restaurant varies, so it is not easy to choose.
If you really want to eat at the best places in Trastevere, here is a list of which ones deserve to be considered as such:
- Pizzarius: Its very name indicates that it offers a candidate for best pizza in the world, although it's not very cheap. If you are in Piazza Santa Maria you can buy it by the slice and eat near the fountain. It is open from 10 am to midnight.
- Grazia & Graziella: A favourite for both the food and the service, which is guaranteed to make you laugh a lot. The carbonara, gnocchis, tiramisu and carciofi alla giudia are the most acclaimed dishes. The queue goes fast and, if you sit outside, you'll enjoy the good atmosphere. Open from 10am to 2am.
- Carlo Menta: A place with a classic and casual style that is ideal if your budget is low. That's because it has a varied menu and promises an excellent quality-price ratio. You can go between 12 noon and 11.30 am, as it will be open.
- Also, keep in mind that Trastevere is home to some of the best gelato shops in Rome.
3. Stop by the beautiful and unique Ponte Sisto
The Ponte Sisto is among the most beautiful places that crosses the Tiber, connecting Trastevere with Rome and its centre. Visiting it is therefore a great answer to the question of what to do in Trastevere at night. Across this bridge, you will find a variety of musicians to delight and entertain you.
When crossing it, you should take it easy if you're looking to get some of what the street vendors have to offer. This way, some pieces of their street artists will stay with you and you will take them home as a pleasant souvenir. Of course, don't forget to bring your camera and keep those images for a long time. You can also visit it on a tour of Trastevere.
This pedestrian bridge was built during the 15th century by order of Pope Sisto IV. Parts of an old Roman bridge were used. There are even rumours that a part of it was also made with stone from the Colosseum. Besides, the views towards St. Peter's dome in the Vatican are fantastic.
4. See the city from the small hill of the Gianicolo
One of the best options to see the city from Trastevere at night is the Gianicolo hill or mountain. It is 88 metres high, which makes it the second highest of the city's hills. From this vantage point, if you go up to its main terrace, you will have some of the best views of Rome. They are truly spectacular.
You will see the magnificent centre of the Italian capital with its fantastic night-time illumination. Among so many structures, the monument made for Vittorio Emanuele II will especially stand out and, with its lights, looks even more imposing at night. As you start to climb this hill at sunset, you will notice that there are several points with excellent perspectives.
Of course, the views are not the only attraction of the place; there are other things to do in Trastevere at night there. For instance, visit some of Rome' s best monuments that give the hill its historical interest and value.
5. See the imposing Acqua Paola fountain.
The huge Acqua Paola fountain is one of the top 5 fountains in Rome. When it gets dark, the fountain is illuminated and in front of it there is a viewing platform from which you can see part of the city. The atmosphere around the fountain at night is very lively and, thanks to the subtle lighting, very romantic.
Its design may remind you of the Fontana dell'Acqua Felice, also known as the Fountain of Happy Water. The reason behind it is that it was apparently the inspiration for the Acqua Paola. It was inaugurated in the early 17th century to commemorate the restoration of an ancient aqueduct.
This famous landmark on the hill is made of marble, partly from the great Roman Forum. It also incorporates 6 columns that once belonged to the ancient façade of the Vatican and its history makes it locally beloved. Luckily, it will only take you about 20 minutes to reach it on foot.
6. Have a good time in Campo de' Fiori
Yes, its name means "Field of Flowers", but don't be fooled, that doesn't mean it's a garden or any similar space. Campo de' Fiori is a square widely visited by tourists and Roman citizens alike, especially in the evenings, making it one of the most famous squares in Rome and one of the places to visit in Trastevere.
As is common in the squares of the Italian capital, there is a fountain and a (somewhat sombre looking) statue of Giordano Bruno. In the mornings there are food stalls, and when they start to leave, a night-time atmosphere is generated. This is a favourite with the city's young people.
What can you do if you go to Campo de' Fiori at night? Around the square there are terraces where people sit and enjoy food and drink. As you do so you can watch the locals enjoying themselves and discover why this is such a popular place at night.
7. Watch the Manfredi Lighthouse light up the city
On Mount Gianicolo you will find a lighthouse built in 1911. Nearby there is no sea and no ships looking for a light to guide them. What there is is a beautiful panoramic view from where you can see the Italian city when the sun has gone down.
Locals and tourists alike come to the Manfredi Lighthouse to marvel at the night sky and the illuminated Rome. Near this point there are small trails that you can walk along to reach other parts of Mount Gianicolo.
From many parts of the Gianicolo you get some of the best views of Rome and the Manfredi Lighthouse is no exception. A curious fact about this building is that it was a gift made to the city by Italians who emigrated to Argentina.
8. Visit Piazza Trilussa and enjoy the musical atmosphere
Piazza Trilussa will give you a warm welcome to the Trastevere neighbourhood in Rome, as it is like an aperitif. It is one of the must-do's in Rome.
Its beautiful structure and steps are the perfect place for you to sit and relax and listen to the street performers that gather there. In addition, the beautiful and eye-catching fountain dominates the entire Piazza and provides a good view. When you gather there with friends or family, you will enjoy a cheerful and festive atmosphere.
The name of this square is in homage to the poet of Rome, Carlo Mariano, known as Trilussa. You can walk up to the bronze statue of him. He was famous for writing in the Romanesque dialect of Rome and for his satires on politics and social issues.
9. Increase your love of books at Open Book
Do you like to read and love to visit bookshops or old libraries? Then Open Book will be like a little paradise in Rome. Entering this famous bookshop in Italy's capital should be on your list of things to do in Trastevere. Although the shop is tiny, you'll find baskets and shelves full of books.
The ones that are there are used, in Italian and mainly in English, but they're priced a bit on the cheap side. For this reason, if you don't want to leave empty-handed, it is advisable to save some money. This place, which has been open since the 1970s, is located on the Via della Lungarretta.
Of course, you can only go there at night on weekends, when it is open non-stop from noon to 8 pm. Alternatives to this bookshop are Ottomassimo, Minium Fox and Almost Corner Bookshop. The first is in Luciano Manara, the second in della Lungaretta and the third in del Moro.
10. Visit the same nightclubs as Roman citizens
If you like to party with friends or family, on your holidays it is also possible to do so. Trastevere is characterised by being a modern and bohemian area, and there are many nightclubs where you can go. The atmospheres are different, so you are sure to find something that suits your preferences.
Some of the most popular nightclubs in Trastevere are the following:
- Piper: one of the most famous party places in all of Rome, if you like the atmosphere of the 1960s, Piper is perfect for you.
- Art Cafe: this is one of the trendiest nightclubs in the Italian capital, the atmosphere is modern.
- Circolo degli Illuminati: there are three rooms, each one dedicated to a musical genre: Techno, Hip Hip and Chill.
- Anima Club: if you are young or you are travelling with a group of young people, I recommend you this option, as it is very visited by the youngest people in Rome.
- Spazio 900: 1000 square metres ready to welcome those who love dancing. In the disco there are also two terraces. If you plan to attend, I don't recommend you to dress too casual.
11. Go to the Noantri Party
If you're going to Rome in July, make a note. The Festa de' Noantri begins in mid-July, this is such a special occasion for many of the citizens that even in the evenings it is celebrated. For two weeks the streets are illuminated, filled with markets and people coming from different neighbourhoods of Rome.
For two weeks the image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is placed in the Church of St. Agatha. Anyone who wants to can go to this religious centre to venerate her before she is taken back to her church.
Thanks to the activities that take place during this festival, nightlife in Trastevere is very lively. This is why even non-religious people attend the celebration.