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Rome bars and nightlife

Long balmy evenings relaxing in a piazza or medieval lane, a moonlit stroll over the Tiber... or a discobar packed with an energetic international crowd. Rome's nightlife tends toward the staid, but if partying is your thing you needn't go home disappointed.

Romans like taking it easy; and Rome's nightlife may seem rather tame to those accustomed to the cutting-edge buzz of other European cities. A typical night out for Romans usually involves a long dinner with a group of friends, starting after 9pm and continuing until after midnight.

Bars in the centre of town are good places to begin an evening. Most have tables outside where you can sit around and people-watch until the small hours. There have lately been initiatives aimed at reducing noise by earlier closing hours, but this isn't yet widespread. Campo dei Fiori, the Piazza Navona area, and Trastevere are some of the best places for an evening out. Locals and tourists alike stroll around the streets all evening, or sit at the many welcoming bars, which range from the stylish to the homely. If you want drunken good times, meeting other foreigners and predatory locals, head for one of the hundreds of Irish/Scottish pubs.

For nightclubs - discoteche - the best area to head for is Testaccio. The area around Piramide metro station and spreading down the Via Ostiense contains the highest concentration of nightclubs. In the summer most nightclubs close down, and nightlife relocates to the seaside and to 'villages' around the edge of town. Visitors from the UK will be surprised and maybe shocked at young people's night-time reliance on cars and scooters - and the cavalier attitude to drink-driving. Be prepared for venues surrounded by traffic chaos, which are hard to reach by public transport. Research your transport options; take taxi funds.

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