Must-see nightlife in Italy

  • Le Volpi e l'Uva in Florence: Snug bar with sidewalk tables for charcuterie & cheeses, plus a long list of wines by the glass.

    Le Volpi e l'Uva

    Boboli & San Miniato al Monte

    This humble wine bar remains as appealing as the day it opened in 1992. Its food and wine pairings are first class – taste and buy boutique wines by small…

  • Caffe Gambrinus.

    Caffè Gambrinus


    Gambrinus is Naples' oldest and most venerable cafe, serving superlative Neapolitan coffee under flouncy chandeliers. Oscar Wilde knocked back a few here…

  • Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina An extensive cellar of Tuscan wines paired with regional dishes on a terrace opposite Palazzo Pitti.

    Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina


    Wine lovers won't do better than this serious wine bar opposite Palazzo Pitti, run with passion and humour by charismatic trio Edoardo, Manuele and Zeno –…

  • Manifattura Classy spot for cocktails & Italian spirits in a dimly lit vintage-inspired space.


    Santa Maria Novella

    'Made in Italy' has never been such a pertinent buzzword in the city, hence this trendy cocktail bar – an unabashed celebration of Italian spirits and…

  • Locale in Florence: Creative Tuscan dining & inventive cocktails in a 1500s palazzo with a 13th-century basement.


    Santa Croce

    At home in a 13th- to 15th-century palazzo, this tucked-away drinking and dining space is designed to stun. From the exquisite craft cocktails

  • Cantina do Spade in Venice: bigoli in salsa and the cicchetti

    Cantina Do Spade

    San Polo & Santa Croce

    Famously mentioned in Casanova's memoirs, cosy 'Two Spades' was founded in 1488 and continues to keep Venice in good spirits with its bargain Tri-Veneto…

  • Stravinskij Bar in Hotel de Russie in Rome

    Stravinskij Bar

    Tridente, Trevi & the Quirinale

    Can’t afford to stay at the celeb-magnet Hotel de Russie? Then splash out on a drink at its swish bar. There are sofas inside, but the sunny courtyard is…

  • At the counter of Pasticceria da Cova

    Pasticceria Cova


    In operation for 200 years, the Quadrilatero's most historic bar was bought by LVMH and got a subsequent subtle nip-and-tuck eschewing any showy…

  • The famous cat symbol on Il Mercante's canopy

    Il Mercante

    San Polo & Santa Croce

    An hour's changeover is all it takes for historic Caffè dei Frari to transform itself into its night-time guise as Venice's best cocktail bar. If you can…

  • Longhi Bar in Venice: Stylish, old-world hotel cocktail bar with views of the Grand Canal & city landmarks.

    Bar Longhi


    Gritti Palace's beautiful Bar Longhi may be pricey, but if you consider your surrounds – Fortuny fabrics, an intarsia marble bar, 18th-century mirrors and…

  • Necci da 1924: Roman pasta & meat dishes, plus Italian wines & aperitifs, at a decades-old cafe with garden patio.

    Necci dal 1924

    Monti, Esquilino & San Lorenzo

    An all-round hybrid in Pigneto, iconic Necci opened as a gelateria in 1924 and later became a favourite drinking destination of film director Pier Paolo…

  • Al Timon in Venice, Italy

    Al Timon


    Find a spot in the wood-lined interior or, in summer, on the boat moored out the front along the canal, and watch the motley parade of drinkers and…

  • La Vite Turchese

    Langhe, Roero & Monferrato

    This friendly enoteca is run by passionate young staff who will talk you through their good stock of local wines – from a cheap and cheerful Nebbiolo or…

  • Alois Lageder Paradeis

    Trentino & South Tyrol

    Take a seat at the long communal table, crafted from the wood of a 250-year-old oak tree, at fourth-generation winemaker Alois Lageder's biodynamic…

  • Bastian Contrario


    Owner Marco has done up this cosy neighbourhood bar, fashioning a draught distribution system made from recycled farming irrigation piping, with tap…

  • Ciacco Putia Gourmet


    Run by Tuscan-Sicilian couple Anna and Francesco, this irresistible enoteca is a gorgeous spot to quaff Marsala wines with locally sourced salumi (cold…

  • Cortile Verga


    Take an aristocratic courtyard, add an intimate interior kitted out in vintage coffee tables and a Chesterfield lounge, and you have Cortile Verga. This…

  • Antico Caffè San Marco


    Opening just before WWI, and a favourite of writers Svevo, Saba and Joyce, this Viennese Secession giant is spectacularly decorated with theatrical mask…

  • Apollo Club


    Milan’s creative crowd loves to hang at this multifunctional space incorporating a handsome vintage-style bar with club chairs and chesterfields; a 30…

  • Les Rouges


    One of Genoa's surfeit of crumbling palazzi is being put to excellent use in this atmospheric cocktail bar. Three bearded, vest-wearing, red-headed…

  • Mercati Generali


    The 11km drive southwest of central Catania is worth it: this is one of Sicily's finest clubs, with top-tier Italian and international DJs and live-music…

  • Le Serre dei Giardini Margherita


    Bologna's best time: parking yourself, with an Aperol spritz (€4) in hand, among the cool kids and digital nomads at these formerly abandoned city…

  • Ranzani 13


    Ditch the city centre and venture just outside Bologna's ring road to a distinctly unremarkable apartment block where one of the city's best craft-beer…

  • Kundera


    Follow the lead of students and clued-up locals by searching out this artsy little backstreet bar for an early evening aperitivo. Until 9.30pm you can…

  • L'Angolo del Buon Gustaio

    Lago Trasimeno

    This is the most consistently packed spot on Castiglione del Lago's main drag, and for good reason. Ricardo, armed with a wealth of wine knowledge,…

  • Jigger

    Reggio Emilia

    Dapper, well-trained mixologists whip up sinfully good cocktails (€8) amid vintage radios, leather sofas, an old jukebox and even a hanging bicycle at…

  • Idyllium

    Val d'Orcia

    Located underneath Palazzo Piccolomini and accessed via the staircase between the palace and the duomo, this hybrid cafe and cocktail bar in the former…

  • Bohéme Mixology Bar


    There's no drinks list at this intimate cocktail den, decked out in mismatched furniture, gilded mirrors and the odd gramophone. Simply state your flavour…

  • Vermut


    Vermouth, vino and salumi (charcuterie) keep this budget-friendly hotspot pumping. Scattered with vintage liquor posters and old wooden tables, its ample…

  • Nero Café


    The best place for an afternoon pausa (break) in Agropoli is the leather-seated, art deco-tinged Nero Café, although the intended ‘pause’ could turn into…

  • The Roof, Pier


    Simply the best place in Trieste for sundowners is this bar perched atop the Marina San Giusto yacht club. Dressed with artificial grass and potted plants…

  • Ferramenta


    Once a hardware store, this genuinely cool, piazza-side bar-eatery now fixes long days with well-mixed cocktails and clued-in vino. Rotating wines by the…

  • Anche gli Angeli


    Sophisticated, LGBT-friendly and irrefutably cool, 'Even the Angels' is the place to schmooze in Noto. A cafe-bar, lounge, restaurant and concept store in…

  • Birrificio San Quirico

    Val d'Orcia

    Roberto Rappuoli is a devotee of craft beer who operates a sleek but petite brewery and tap room in the fortified medieval hill town of San Quirico d…

  • Bocum Mixology


    Decked out in contemporary art and eclectic objets, bohemian Bocum was Palermo’s first proper cocktail bar and remains one of its best. While the ground…

  • Morgana


    This so-svelte cocktail-lounge sports a new look every year, with each concept inspired by Sicilian culture, artisans and landscape. It's the place to be…

  • L'Antiquario


    If you take your cocktails seriously, slip into this sultry, speakeasy-inspired den. Wrapped in art nouveau wallpaper, it's the domain of Neapolitan…

  • Caffè Libarium Nostrum


    Offering some of the best views in town, this modish Castello bar has panoramic seating on top of the city’s medieval ramparts. If the weather’s being…

  • Vino Vero


    Lining the exposed-brick walls of this canalside bar are small-production wines, including a great selection of natural and biodynamic labels. The cicheti…

  • Nottingham Forest


    If Michelin awarded stars for bars, Nottingham Forest would have one. This eclectically decorated Asian/African tiki bar is the outpost of molecular…

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