Winter is gone. We can finally set our clocks back one hour and we enjoy the sun until late.
And this can only mean one thing: it is open-air aperitivo season.
The dim light of the end of the day and Rome’s fresh evening air make for exceptional conditions to enjoy a perfect aperitivo at a nice little terrace or garden.
Once again, we decided to share with you some of the places we liked the most in the Italian capital, this time focusing on the best open-air aperitivo spots to share with your friends.
Following the same philosophy that we used for London Calling: 5 Top London Bars You Can’t Miss! and Rome: 5 cocktail bars you need to know, this is merely a list. There are no winners or second places, simply choose the one you like the most. To be the least biased as possible, the order of mention will be geographic, going through the map of Rome clockwise.
Let’s start from north; right at the heart of the Flaminio district. The TreeBar is located within a garden, in front of the building where I went to primary school (Yes, I might be biased). Back in the day, the same place used to be the location of a run-down sketchy bar. Now, however, it’s been completely revamped and it’s now living a second youth, and a much better one at that. The structure is reminiscent of North European architecture, all wood and glass, but the real gem of this place is its wide open-air space made up by the garden, where you can sit, kick back and enjoy the breeze during summer evenings. Throughout the years, the TreeBar has become a reference, initially for the inhabitants of the Flaminio neighborhood, but now for anyone willing to sip an aperitivo in a relaxed environment.
Tree Bar (Image Source)
Terrazza del Lanificio
Lanificio is an outstanding building located between Via di Pietralata and Aniene river. It originally was a woolen mill, which in Italian is a “lanificio”. This building was first used for parties and private events, but it immediately became one of the quintessential clubs in Rome. After its initial success this place’s potential started to be fully harnessed. For instance, a whole area within the enclosure was set aside for art expos and exhibitions. Another area was granted to dance schools. In order to add even more value to the building, a portion of it is now the venue of an exquisite restaurant: the Lanificio Cucine. This restaurant is an ideal spot to have lunch, dinner or brunch with a scenic view of the vegetation around the river. Lately, the space has expanded even more. In fact, the rooftop is home to a 1,000 square meter terrace which opens during the summer, and is dedicated to aperitivo and barbecues. It’s truly a breathtaking spot, with a 360-degree panoramic view and peculiar circus-style furniture.
Lanificio Feria (Image Source)
Our imaginary clock now reads 6 o’clock; everything suggests we drink an aperitivo. We are now in the heart of Garbatella, an old and historical area of Rome. This bar, though, is definitely new; it was born from the ashes of another establishment that, sadly, never managed to succeed. Latteria is a refined bar, somewhat hipster in style, a place to enjoy excellent cocktails while eating delicious meat dishes or fish carpaccios and tartare. Once inside, you’ll notice 2 things immediately: the beautiful marble counter and a large “Vota Garibaldi” (Vote for Garibaldi) sign on the wall. “Vota Garibaldi” is also a drink on their cocktail menu, made up of gin, white vermouth, lime juice, red orange juice and sugar syrup. Besides, this bar has a spacious garden courtyard, surrounded by roman-style buildings, typical of this area of the city.
Latteria Garbatella (Image Source)
The hands of our clock are now slightly moving forward while we travel from the south towards the center of Rome, to the Aventino district. The venue is a hotel, restaurant, club, lounge garden, etc. What is it not?
We will focus on its most relevant aspect for us: the lounge garden. A stunning liberty-style terrace brimming with trees and various plants, creating a sort of frame for the iron gazebos and armchairs on which guests can kick back and enjoy a great cocktail. Apart from classic cocktails, always impeccably served, you should try the specialties of the house. For example, the Labuan, a cocktail made with pisco, vermouth, punk ipa (yes, the beer) and Aphrodite bitter. Your drink will come with some excellent appetizers, which can vary among Spanish “pata negra” ham or mint and eggplant meatballs.
The Corner Lounge Garden (Image Source)
Terrazza San Pancrazio
Right in the bustle of the city center, between Gianicolo and Trastevere districts, you’ll find this stunning terrace in a surprisingly calm street. The terrace is divided in two spaces. On one side is the restaurant, and on the other, the cocktail bar. Needless to say, the latter is what we’re interested in.
Similarly to many bars of this style, Terrazza San Pancrazio has adapted to the times and now serves dinner to its guests. They serve a fusion of tapas and sushi. Anyways, though, we prefer to suggest this bar mainly for its cocktail bar and aperitivo offer. The environment is very relaxing, the terrace is surrounded by vegetation and the street is luckily not affected by traffic jams, so you’ll be able to forget those annoying horns and honks.
Terrazza San pancrazio (Image Source)
This is our +1. The hands of our clock are almost back to their starting position. We are very close to the TreeBar, but on the other side of the river Tevere. We decided to add this bar to the list even though its main focus is not the aperitivo, but rather an after-dinner club. Open every evening during the summer, this bar has also adapted as a restaurant, and they serve South American cuisine specialties. Magick bar is a magical space right on the river banks. Right in the middle of the foliage you’ll see a wooden platform, furnished with leather sofas and esoteric details such as a strange church confessional. This bar is an after-dinner reference, and is even a right fit to have a couple of drinks and warm up your dance moves before going to a club. There is a DJ playing every night, with a focus on electro and techno music. This is a perfect place to dance away your warm summer nights.
Magick Bar (Image Source)
You might have already known some of the bars on this list. Maybe all of them, maybe none of them. In any case, remember such places whenever you crave an open-air spot for your aperitivo needs during spring or summer.
No need to say that Rome offers a lot more places than the ones listed, we might even be unaware of many of them. So if your favorite place is not included here, feel free to let us know and we will make sure to go there and select the ones we like the most for future articles.
My name is Ettore Velluto, I’m a vermouth enthusiast, I like extraordinary cocktails and I’m definitely a foodie. I earned my MsC in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School.