The Magic of Rome at Night

The Magic of Rome at Night

There’s no place like the Eternal City, and there’s no place like the Eternal City at night. It was perhaps our favorite time of day, post sun-blazing heat and the weariness of touring amongst the masses. Rome comes alive at night in ways you don’t see it during the day. The colors, the food, the drink, but most of all the spectacular historical architecture set against a backdrop of lights and night sky.  You can’t escape the enchanted, even mysterious, feeling one gets in Rome once the sun goes down. I’m not sure there’s any better city to doddle around at night than in Rome.

Playing in a Roman piazza at night.

Sunset hour on a rooftop hotel in Rome.

How did the kids make it for late nights after touring around all day in the heat? It’s called jet lag. New York is 6 hours behind, so 10:00 p.m. there was 4:00 p.m. or us. It worked. And we loved our nights, eating out and strolling around the buzz of the people and the piazzas and the lit up buildings such as the Pantheon. Everyone is about, and it’s refreshing and relaxing in the cool of the air, people at leisure taking in the magnificence of it all. The energy is contagious, and you want to keep walking and checking things out, rounding the next bend to see what might be going on in the square beyond.

Walking the streets of Rome at night.

It’s also perfect for kids. The street vendors are selling their stuff, and even if you’re not a fan, you’ll still buy it just to see your kids play with all the toys that light up in, say, Piazza Navona. Swirling balls of lights that they toss up in the air for what seems like an eternity is not only sort of magical to watch, given the backdrop, but keeps those kids occupied forever! Move to another piazza and get some gelato and have them do it all over…that’s how our nights happened (post delicious meal of course).

Our favorite places to hang out were the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the bustling neighborhood of Trastevere and Piazza Santa Maria, with its bridges swirling with night colors. This is an especially fun part of Rome to wander about – though crowded – like the Greenwich Village of Rome, with a zillion trendy restaurants and shops, and entertainment in the squares.

Crossing a bridge lit up at night in Rome to get to Trastevere.

A bustling piazza in Rome lit up at night.

So if you’re going to Rome sometime in the near future, or ever, make sure to leave some time for night strolling. You’ll appreciate it, and so will the kids (you can vaguely spot them throwing up their night glow toys in the distance in the photo below). All photos were taken with my I Phone, so not the best captures, but hopefully convey the mood!

Playing vendor games in a piazza in Rome at night.

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Exploring the magical city of Rome at night.



  1. March 4, 2016 / 5:50 pm

    The dog in teh pic adds something

  2. March 4, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    Agreed. Love the wild delirious vibe that starts to set in during the later afternoon and enchants you until the sun comes up. What a place!

    • March 4, 2016 / 9:05 pm’s something else. Thanks for reading:).

  3. March 4, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Did you see that strange square full of cats – especially odd by night!

    • March 4, 2016 / 9:09 pm

      Funny you mention that spot – my girls, especially my oldest, is obsessed with cats – we spent a good 45 minutes just gazing into it and walking around following all the cats. Reminds us of the book “Eloise and the Cats of Rome”.

  4. March 5, 2016 / 8:23 am

    great photos!

  5. March 6, 2016 / 8:23 am

    I love how you’ve described Rome at night. You’ve got it spot on. You really brought me back there, it’s one of my favourites!

    • March 6, 2016 / 1:33 pm

      Thanks – it’s nice to reminisce about Rome and go back there, esp through pics;).

  6. March 6, 2016 / 1:05 pm

    How nice to look at those lovely balmy evenings in Rome in the middle of a cold spell – glad you kept this back, they definitely help lift spirits in wintery weather!! Completely agree with the evening strolling too, we love Rome at night and Florence in the evening is just perfect as well.

    • March 6, 2016 / 1:35 pm

      Yes, Florence too though our most recent trips have been day trips – but I do remember how fun it was at night when I was a twenty something;).

  7. March 6, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    Oh, you’ve got me sighing again! Must plan an Italian adventure this year 🙁

    • March 6, 2016 / 10:28 pm

      I’m sure you’ll make it there Jo, you and your adventurous spirit!

  8. March 6, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    I couldn’t agree more!!! Rome is not only my favorite city, but the evening is the best part. It’s so alive!

    • March 6, 2016 / 10:28 pm

      Completely! We couldn’t get enough.

  9. March 8, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    You’re totally right, Rome in the evening is absolutely marvelous! Love that the whole family was able to enjoy it, that entire area is so magical! Thanks for reminding me how great Rome is! #citytripping

    • March 8, 2016 / 8:13 pm

      Thanks for your comment! Glad my whole fam could enjoy it too and that my girls were jet lagged so they could stay up!

  10. March 9, 2016 / 8:24 am

    Italy at night, full stop! I agree that it’s great to see cities at night, especially in southern Europe where they just come alive in a different way form the daytime. It’s funny, I’ve only ever seen Rome in the day and Verona in the night! Jet lag has its positive side after all!!

    • March 10, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      Ha! I’ve never been to Verona, but that’s made me start to think of the places where I’ve been only at night..interesting to think about. Thanks for commenting!

  11. March 9, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    A really lovely post and I think your pix are great, they do capture the mood. It’s great that jet lag can have its advantages – so good that you were able to enjoy the evenings with the children and so different from your everyday life I imagine. That’s what holidays are for! I love the Italian evenings too. #citytripping

    • March 10, 2016 / 1:49 am

      Yes that’s what holidays are for is right! So nice to not be on a schedule and take in those relaxing, spontaneous nights..

  12. March 10, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Gorgeous – I agree, it’s lovely to wander when it’s feeling so laid-back and warm without being blisteringly hot. Great when jetlag works in your favour too! #citytripping

    • March 10, 2016 / 5:50 pm

      Yes! That was a huge bonus and something to always take advantage of. Really made things so much easier, I guess except for waking up in the morning;).

  13. Wander Mum
    March 10, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Italian towns and cities in general are wonderful to experience at night – especially in the summer when it’s far cooler. The buzz is fantastic. Glad the jet lag worked in your favour and you could all experience it together. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  14. March 10, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Thanks – yes, the buzz is fantastic and the cooler temps can make all the difference. The heat in Rome can really take its toll!

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