Nightlife & the Arts in Rome
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As the famous Italian film director Federico Fellini showed us over and over again, Roman nightlife has been setting trends since time immemorial—and being a native son, he would know. Fellini Satyricon focused on those Lucullan all-night banquets (and some more naughty entertainments) of the days of the emperors; La Dolce Vita immortalized the nightclubs and paparazzi of the city's Hollywood-on-the-Tiber era. And as the director lovingly showed in Fellini Roma, the city streets sometimes offered the best place for parties and al fresco dinners. Many visitors would agree with Fellini: Rome, the city, is entertainment enough.
The city's piazzas, fountains, and delicately colored palazzi make impressive backdrops for Rome's living theater, with a fortissimo of motor vehicles. It has learned to make the most of its spectacular cityscape, transforming its most beautiful places into settings for the performing arts, outdoors in summer and in splendid palaces and churches in winter. When performances are held at such locations as Villa Celimontana, Piazza Trinità dei Monti, the Baths of Caracalla, or the church of Sant'Ignazio, the venue often steals the show.
Of all the performing arts, music is what Rome does best to entertain people, whether it be opera or jazz or disco. The cinema is also a big draw, particularly for Italian-language speakers, and there's a fantastic array of other options. Toast the sunset with Camparis while overlooking a 1st-century temple. Listen to authors read excerpts in the Roman Forum and actors recite Shakespeare in the recreation of the Globe theater in the Villa Borghese park. Or get down at Rome's many bars and discoteches, where celeb-spotting remains a favorite sport (recently spotted were Owen Wilson grabbing drinks in Piazza Navona and George Clooney enjoying a table at the glam Hotel de Russie). When all else fails, there's always late-night caffè-sitting, watching the colorful crowds parade by on a gorgeous piazza—it's great fun, even if you don't speak the language. Little wonder Rome inspired Fellini to make people-watching into an art form in his famous films.
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