In Rome, sunset brings unexpected magic! A stroll in the cool of a summer evening is made memorable by the romance of the Eternal City. The tourist who retreats at night to an air conditioned hotel room is missing the best time to plunge into Rome. Once the Museum s close and the crowds thin, Rome becomes intimate and approachable.
On your Roman night walks, sit close to a bubbling fountain that traffic noise evaporates. In the evening, it’s fun to jostle with kids to see the Gelato flavours or watch lovers straddling more than a bench, while strolling past polizia in flak-proof vests, one can Marvel at the ram shackle elegance that softens this brutal city, for those who were born here – and cant imagine living anywhere else. These are the flavours of Rome, best enjoyed after dark.
Rome after dark can turn into a delight, rather than imposing arenas and temples, one can enjoy the convivial piazza’s with kids kicking soccer balls until midnight, splashing fountains softened by velvety lighting, and marble benches populated by ice cream lickers.
A perfect night in Rome starts with an early evening stroll – the Italian ritual referred to as the “ Passeggiata” – strolling arm in arm down the streets and alleyways. The streets of Rome are safe and inviting for a walk at dusk, and there is no better way to feel the city’s pulse.
If you want to be elegant, join Rome’s “passeggiata” in the area around the Spanish Steps, where chic people window shop in front of up scale boutiques. For a more come as you are vibe, head to Piazza Popolo or via del corso. Working class youth from the suburbs converge in these spots , like American kids hanging out at the mall. Italians call this spectacle “ Struscio” (literally, “the rub”) with everyone checking each other out.
After a sociable stroll, take a break with an “aperitivo” – a before dinner drink. Pick a “roof top bar” at a hotel for a splurge, or just settle in at an outdoor cafe on a Piazza. You can sit comfortably for as long as you like, with an overpriced drink and enjoy a “front row” view, of Rome unwinding.
When its time for dinner, you will find that Romans love to dress up, go out, socialize with friends. You’ll fit right in if you dress up as well. A Piazza that might have been a vegetable market by day, morphs into a dinner destination with colourful eateries – i.e. such as the floodlit facade of the Pantheon – becomes the social scene in Rome of an evening.
With Italian meals, it’s all about the pace of things. Rome has a few fast food joints, but they are held at bay by places that celebrate slow food. Dinner alone, can become the evening’s entertainment. Clustered around a rickety table outdoors, with traffic roaring past and crowds milling by, Romans still manage to create a slice of intimacy.
The two fascinating districts in Rome to visit of an evening as well are – Trastevere – Rome’s “other side of the tracks” – located on the other side of the Tiber River. Rome may be a big bustling city, but Trastevere proves that it’s never lost it’s “ Village “ feel. Coming here, you enter the intimate side of Rome. A place of red pastel buildings with green ivy hanging down, and little squares peppered with cafe’s and pizzaria’s, perfect ringside seats for observing the river of life coursing through.
One can skip the restaurant’s dessert when in Rome. Rather wander the medieval back lanes with a late night Gelato. Walking down a cobble street, softly illuminated as if by a candle, it’s easy to imagine that you are rubbing shoulders with the past.
Another gem, not known by many who visit Rome, is the “Jewish Ghetto” district – right across the Tiber River from Trestavere.
Always remember: “While in Rome, give yourself the night”
Other enchanting visits at dusk
– Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.