Nightspots in and around Venice can be difficult to categorize. Pubs, of the English or Irish variety, with beer on tap and occasional live music, are easy enough to identify and are especially popular with local and traveling youth. When you're looking to dance, things get murkier: lounge-type piano bars generally have small dance floors, while dance clubs are scarce but may serve snacks and even late-night meals. Bars and cafés are even harder to classify, as availability of snacks, meals, beverages, and music varies with the time of day and the season. Many also decorate their walls with works by local artists, whose paintings are for sale.
The proximity to the university makes Campo Santa Margherita and the surrounding area one of the livelier gathering places in town after dark. The Erbaria, a wide open campo running along the Grand Canal at the foot of the Rialto Bridge on the San Polo side, and the Fondamenta Misericordia in Cannaregio are two other areas that have a happening evening scene.
It's worth noting that during Carnevale many ordinary bars, which close around dinnertime the rest of the year, stay open around the clock.