The aperitivo used to be a simple drink consumed before dinner, accompanied by some nuts or olives. While this is often still the case, in the trendiest neighbourhoods of Rome the aperitivo is now the pride of many restaurants and bars that serve the best wines with gastronomic snacks. You often end up eating so much that you can just skip dinner!
The aperitivo is the Italian version of the cocktail hour and generally takes place between 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Italians rarely eat before 9:00 pm). These are the ideal hours to spend chatting with family, friends or colleagues. Although the aperitivo is a popular tradition throughout Italy, the Romans really know how to make it an event. Here are some bars which will definitely not disappoint you.
Get your designer sunglasses and handbags ready: the chic Stravinskij Bar is for seeing and being seen. With its purple velvet chairs and dimmed lights, it has the atmosphere of an exclusive lounge club, but the beautiful garden is the real reason why people come here en masse. Try their award/winning cocktails under elegant the white parasols and swaying palm trees.
Stravinskij Bar, Via del Babuino 9, Rome
In addition to its fantastic aperitivo, Oppio Caffè is also very popular for its wonderful view of the Colosseum. This is a great spot to take a picture of this iconic amphitheatre from a different perspective. There are both inside and outside tables at Oppio Caffè, and your first drink comes with a plate you can fill with delicious snacks from the bar. It’s not an all-you-can-eat buffet, but a second plate can be quickly arranged for five euros extra. The food includes pizza, rice, salads and the famous fritti – fried snacks such as mozzarella balls.
Oppio Caffè, Via delle Terme di Tito 72, Rome
‘Doppio zero’ means double zero and refers to the type of flour used for pizza dough in this cosy wine bar. The pizzas here are second to none, and the rest of the food is also of excellent quality: Romans literally queue up to get in here after work. The aperitivo buffet of Doppio Zero is known as one of the most extensive in Rome, and in addition to pizza, there are dishes such as foccacia, salad, couscous and sweet treats.
Doppio Zero, Via Ostiense 68, Rome
Go with the flow is the motto of Fluid Bar. This colourful cocktail bar on the fashionable Via del Governo Vecchio is especially popular among young people. Curious passers-by are enticed in by screens with bubbling liquid. This concept is elaborated even further inside: under the glass floor is a lava-like fluid that moves with every footstep, and the tables are filled with the same liquid. The buffet is quite filling and the cocktail menu long and extravagant.
Fluid Bar, Via del Governo Vecchio 46, Rome