Locals come out to enjoy the evening after work, businesses close, and café-lined piazzas begin to brim with after-hours activity. In so many ways, the Eternal City comes alive at night. If you’ve spent the day bouncing between museums, seeking out iconic architectural sites, and trying to pack in all that you can, take the evenings to unwind and seek out simpler things to do in Rome. From romantic strolls down unheralded cobblestone streets to people-watching while enjoying creamy scoops of gelato, discover why Romans have a specific word for the art of embarking on a leisurely stroll at night—passegiata.
Give in to Rome’s penchant for long-lasting dinners as you draw out your dining experience into the night. Start off by grabbing an aperitivo to warm-up your appetite, look for a café with outdoor seating, and linger over multi-course meals that showcase simple, but elegant Italian fare. If you need a helping hand organizing your evening out, consider an expert-led walk with City Wonders, whose knowledgeable guides lead you on a tour of illuminated sights, help you order up a light aperitivo along the way, and end the walk among the cafes and bars around Piazza Navonna so you can drift into a slow-paced dinner and continue the night on your own.
Embrace the Future
The Eternal City’s endless architectural wonders and ruins are dramatically different at night, and always worth a second visit if you’ve only seen them during the day. Make the return trip easier by hopping on a Segway to glide between sights with an experienced guide from Italy Segway Tours. You’ll snag nighttime views of can’t-miss landmarks like the Pantheon, and you can skip the legwork you already put in earlier in the day (less traipsing leaves more time for gelato).
Dinner on the Tiber River
Snaking through the heart of the city, the Tiber River was once a critical waterway for Rome’s booming shipping trade. Imagine ancient ships and fishermen lined along its banks as you climb aboard an evening dinner cruise with Top Service and settle in for a delightful meal paired with waterfront views of the city. In the golden glow of street lamps, drift past the colossal dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, float under centuries-old bridges, and take in views of the city from the same perspective of its ancient traders and merchants.
Go out in Monti
Behind the marbled ghosts and weather-washed ruins of its once great empire, modern Rome is as chic and sophisticated as any major city in Europe, and nowhere is that more apparent than Monti. Dress up for a night out in this Bohemian slice of Roma, where artists and musicians blend their own brand of ambience that feels light years away from what you’d expect. Explore trendy coffee shops and hip bars, shop for vintage clothes in artsy boutiques, and find out what the city’s new generations are doing to claim Rome for their own.
Piazza People Watching
Ditch the TV in your hotel room for the far more inviting scenes playing out across Rome’s piazzas. Whether you settle up next to the Bernini Fountains in Piazza Navonna, grab a seat on the Spanish Steps, or watch romantics toss wishful coins into Trevi Fountains illuminated waters, there’s plenty to take in near most of the city’s biggest landmarks. Grab a few scoops of gelato to pair with the evening’s entertainment, a sweater in case it gets chilly, and maybe a few coins to toss in the fountain yourself.
For those who want darker things to do in Rome post-twilight, pair up with a guide from City Wonders and explore the Eternal City’s eerie mysteries and spooky legends. From Hear about the public executions once held in the Campo de’ Fiori, look for apparitions crossing the bridge to Castel Sant’Angelo, and find out what haunted happenings drove residents from their home along the Via del Governo Vecchio.