When in Rome… Indulge in endless Aperol!
The concept of aperitivo (the Italian take on happy hour) may have originated in C.18th Torino, but it was undoubtedly the Romans who perfected the pre-dinner tipple tradition. Today, of course, the Eternal City has an unlimited array of options for those seeking an evening sip n’ snack, but we’d stake our Spritz that these are the top spots. Saluti!
Best for… La Dolce Vita vibes and well-made mixers
On balmy nights the wisteria-scented courtyard of this swish boutique stay is about as close as you can get to living in a Fellini film – creeping vines, gurgling fountains, chilled tunes and an artsy crowd that’s as bella as the surrounds. Add in classic tipples and complimentary seasonal bites that go well beyond the standard bruschetta, and you’ve got the quintessential apero experience.
Hotel Locarno, Via della Penna, 22, Popolo, Roma. +39 06 361 0841, hotellocarno.com
Best for… Hi-so snazzy sips
Just a skip from the Vatican, this swish marble-lined lounge-bar inside the Auditorium Conciliazione is heaven for libation lovers, and your best bet if the weather nixes alfresco options. The signature swills by Massimo D’ Addezio (regarded as one of Rome’s best barmen), refined finger food (order the foie gras), and deco-dent decor will have you singing like a castrato.
Want to go glam outside? The fave haute haunt of fashionistas is the Stravinskij Bar in the lovely leafy courtyard of the Hotel de Russie.
Chorus Cafe, Via della Conciliazione, 4, Roma. +39 06 6889 2774, choruscafe.it
Best for… Thumping soundtrack and scene
Stylish ‘living room’ mere minutes from the Pantheon, with cool tunes and oh-so pretty peeps. In summer the well-heeled spill out on the piazza with berry-spiked wines and nibbles, on colder days the magazine-lined inside is just as atmospheric. If you want to nab seats, aim to arrive around 7pm then stay put, this place really hots up as the night goes on.
Salotto 42, Piazza di Pietra, 42, Pantheon, Roma. +39 06 678 5804, salotto42.it
Best for… Low food miles and industri-vintage flair
This all-day eclectic groover goes from breakfast till late, but really rocks around twilight when Monti’s bohemes and hipsters crowd the alfresco tables for tasty ever-changing plates that show off local Lazio produce, plus locavore vintages and nice negronis. Perf people watching too.
Urbana 47, Via Urbana, 47, Monti, Roma. +39 06 4788 4006, urbana47.it
Freni e Frizioni
Best for… Casj neighbourhood ambi and veggie eats
Once a greasy auto repair shop (the moniker translates to ‘brakes and clutches’), now this cool imbiber tempts the Trastevere cool kids with Tiber-side tables and crafty concoctions like the bitter-sweet Ramone Fizz (Johnny Walker Black Label, orange Curacao, vanilla, Angostura bitters, egg white and club soda). And to pair? Middle Eastern-inspired fare, much of which is veggie- and vegan-friendly. Start your engines!
Freni e Frizioni, Via del Politeama, 4/6, Trastevere, Roma. +39 06 4549 7499, freniefrizioni.com
Ai Tre Scalini
Best for… Vino rosso and romanceIf you’re less tippler than oenophile, grab your amore and amble down to this rustic, ivy-clad centenarian enoteca for top drops. Try a bottle of Barolo and some ricotta with truffle honey, to nibble right on the cobblestones. Or, for fun retro vibes and organic wines try Litro in Monteverde.
Ai Tre Scalini, Via Panisperna, 251, Monti, Roma. +39 06 4890 7495, aitrescalini.org