Italy is one of Europe’s most popular travelling destinations, for many reasons. Steeped in history, art and romance, and with a ridiculously tempting array of fresh pasta, pizza and ice cream on every corner, there are many reasons to head to this boot-shaped beauty of a country. Not least, because they know how to party. As the nightclubs reopen in Italy, here are all the best party places in Italy that you need to know for your next trip.
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These are the best party places in Italy
Everyone knows Rome is the Holy Grail for history lovers, with its majestic remains of the Roman Empire everywhere you look: the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Roman Forum, not to mention the ornate Trevi Fountain and the ever-popular Spanish Steps. But at night this ancient city comes alive.
Organised bar crawls are frowned upon here, but if you’re staying in a hostel (I recommend The Yellow near the Termini train station), keep your ears open and you may find a group ready to hit the underground party scene on the down-low.
Be prepared to have spirits poured down your throat as you enter its bars, then cram yourself into a pumping, body-to-body packed club and get sweaty until the early hours. Check out Goa Club, which has gained a solid reputation for its techno and electronic house parties.
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Rimini is one of the best party places in Italy. This town is like a mini Ibiza. Every night during the summer there’s a different bar or club to check out and bar crawls are very much encouraged. Fortunately, this seaside town doesn’t get too overcrowded as it’s not on the radar of most international tourists.
The hostel where you’re staying (such as the awesome Sunflower Beach Backpacker Hostel) may have a party concierge, who will promote and organise tickets and transportation to the coolest bars and club nights. Try the Carnaby Club or Coconuts for fun drinks to get you started.
Take a disco bus to the neighbouring town of Riccione, where superclubs can attract some of the world’s top DJs. The stunning Baia Imperiale, with its Grecian columns and swimming pools overlooking the sea, has eight dance floors that can hold more than 15,000 people in total, making it one Europe’s largest clubs.
One of my favourite memories of Rimini is dancing on stage next to the legendary German DJ Paul van Dyk – an incredible experience.
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Florence is one of the art capitals of the world. Its famous Uffizi Gallery is stuffed to the brim with works from many of Italy’s greats. You can admire Michelangelo’s famously muscular David statue or have your portrait drawn by one of the talented street artists. As well as art, Florence is a fan of the good old-fashioned open air party.
Clubs open seasonally so ask around and you’ll be sure to find a pop-up street party, riverside bar, park festival or even a multi-floored outdoor bar where you can dance under the stars. Check out Otel Firenze, which hosts Italian and international DJs, while you can enjoy city views while partying at Flo Lounge Bar near Piazzale Michelangelo. A top tip from locals is to avoid the queues and arrive early to take advantage of the buffet and happy hour.
Stay at the popular Plus Florence hostel and you can have a lazy day by the pool the next day to soothe your hangover after dancing all night. Or for a serene private space, check out the stylish rooms and apartments at the Palazzo San Niccolò.
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A university town, Bologna is rich in history and notable for its attractive russet-coloured buildings. Be sure to take a walking tour of the city to find out more. Also, check out the nightlife, featuring diverse DJ sets playing everything from punk rock to avant garde electronic, techno, hip-hop, indie rock and more.
The industrial-style Numa Club, on the outskirts of Bologna, has a large central dance floor and an urban warehouse feel. Closer to the city centre in Bologna’s biggest park is Chalet dei Giardini Margherita, which in the summer months becomes a brilliant little nightclub with great tunes and a friendly crowd.
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Milan will bring out the fashionista in you. Hang out among the beautiful people, hit the shops and grab yourself some genuine Italian labels. If you fancy wearing your new designer gear on a night out to remember, you will need to do some homework as Milan’s hottest dance spots are notoriously underground.
Why not befriend some locals over a tasty aperitivo buffet in your local bar and see if you can bag an invitation to see and be seen at one of the most desirable nightclubs. Once you’ve chosen your destination it’s time to get dressed up to compete with those stylish Italians, pour yourself a shot of Sambucca and head to the dance floor.
Try Il Gattopardo, a nightclub set in a converted Baroque church, complete with high ceilings, chandeliers and marble balconies. Book a table early and avoid the queues to get in.
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Final thoughts on the top nightlife spots and party places in Italy
So what city has the best nightlife in Italy? What is the biggest party city in Italy? If you’re looking for an all-rounder in terms of sightseeing spots during the day and lively parties at night, Rome is your city. It truly has everything, from chic bars to cool nightclubs, plus all that incredible history and culture to discover.
However, if you’re all about the nightlife and you prefer to just sleep or chill out on a beach during the day, check out Rimini. This place has a party every night of the week over the summer. The only challenge is you’ll be having so much fun you won’t want to leave!
In Italy, when you’re done showing off your best moves on the dancefloor, you can grab some early morning munchies from the nearest takeaway van. But you may not find cheap greasy kebabs or burgers and chips on sale here. Instead you can buy freshly-prepared panini with gooey mozzarella and fragrant basil to fill your stomach. This is Italy after all.
Next up, discover the ultimate backpacking Portugal itinerary.