Best Live Music in Rome

When in Rome, Rock Out Like the Locals Do

Sick of going to nightclups to get your groove on? In Rome, there are lots of other places where you can go to have a good time that doesn't involve standing in line at a night club. In fact, it's packed with clubs where musica dal vivo (live music) is the next best thing since sliced bread! Believe it or not, Romans are crazy about going to have a drink or dinner even, and listen to some Jazz, Blues and some good ole' fashioned American Rock'N'Roll music. 

For a chilled, relaxing night out on the town and a place that's a little bit more low key, the Casa del Jazz, a villa formerly owned by an ex-gang member from Rome's former Banda della Magliana (the local organised crime group of the 70s and 80s) is your spot. This place puts on nightly Jazz and Blues concerts, lectures and special events dedicated to the history of Jazz music. For some good swing and blues music, head on over to the Parioli-Trieste district for the cool Cotton Club owned and operated by the former British singer/actress Minnie Minoprio.

Looking for something a bit livelier? At Mahalia in the San Giovanni neighborhood of Rome, not only can you find some of the best Rock'N'Roll music around Rome, but you can also treat yourself to some pretty darn good steak too. New on the block is Vinile in Ostiense with nightly (except for Mondays) sets from jazz to blues to big band orchestra! Then of course, there's the funky and famous alternative rock club called Circolo degli Artisti. Whatever your taste of music may be, there's certainly something for everyone to enjoy!


If you find yourself wandering the streets of Trastevere, one of the most romantic neighborhoods of Rome and you're looking for a place to go out a night, check out Big Mama. It's a cool little club that's been around in Rome since the 80s where locals have been going to rock out or jam to the tunes of some pretty darn good bands play. While the locale specializes in blues music, from time to time you might find some groups playing rock, jazz and swing music here too. If you didn't get a chance to eat before heading over here, never fret. Big Mama also has a small dinner menu with some items to choose from. BUS: H. TRAM: 8

Recommended for Live Music because: From funk to swing to blues, Big Mama is a Trastevere institution.

Maria's expert tip: You have to purchase a membership card to get inside here which costs �15. After that, most entrances are free with the exception of when big venues are playing or special events take place. You will be expected to order a drink or some food once inside though.

Read more about Big Mama →


For more than 30 years, Piper has been a magnet for the young, 'Roma per bene' crowd. This place is particularly happening on Friday nights. Piper was a real big hit in the 60s and 70s when it first opened and attracted all sorts of big Italian music artists to play during its heyday. Since then, the decor has been updated and the music has changed slightly. Though they tend to still play general disco, Piper also features a bit of house and Top 40. The club also organizes fun gay nights and afternoon discos for teenagers. They've also recently started playing live music concerts and hosting battle of the bands type competitions. BUS: 86

Recommended for Live Music because: With a series of themed nights, Piper has been entertaining locals and visitors to Rome for over 30 years.

Maria's expert tip: Call ahead to verify what the night's theme is in order to avoid being trapped in a sea of teeny boppers.

Read more about Piper →

Who takes you to dance in the shadow of the Colosseum? Rome Tram Tracks that's who! You will no doubt see all the sights and main attractions in Rome but never have you seen them on board a vintage tram with live music, wine and aperitivo snacks. The energy on board is electric and as Domenico and his band belt out tracks by the Rolling Stones, Elvis and Italian artists like Antonello Venditti and Lucio Battisti, you just can't help but be on your feet and dancing. The ride runs for about an hour and 45 minutes and is one of the most unique ways to spend a night in Rome. The total price is �40 and includes all food, beverage and entertainment. Shows are currently running twice a month (generally Monday evenings). Visit website for details. BUS TRAM: Porta Maggiore.

Recommended for Live Music because: For live music and one of the most unique nights out in Rome, book a spot asap on Tram Tracks.

Maria's expert tip: Spots for Rome Tram Tracks are limited and bookings are mandatory so visit the website and get in early.

Read more about Rome Tram Tracks →


Alexanderplatz is perhaps one of Rome's most famous places to go to, to listen to some really good music live. The club which is located underground in a basement-like locale is the most popular place to go to for jazz and blues music livers. Since it opened nearly 28 years, ago it has been attracting big venue Italian and American artists. The club hold nightly performances and there's also a restaurant if you wish to order some food. The club has a nice collection of photos and other memorabilia hanging on the walls from artists who have performed here in the past. BUS: 492, 495 METRO: Cipro, Ottaviano.

Recommended for Live Music because: A crowd favorite in Rome, local and international artists have performed live at Alexanderplatz.

Maria's expert tip: Everyone must buy a monthly membership card that runs about €12. After that, every entrance is free unless unless special venues call for a supplement. Once inside though, you are expected to purchase a drink or order some food.

Read more about Alexanderplatz →

The Place is the perfect spot to go to if you're looking to listen to some good ole' fashioned live music. Locals who appreciate good music are faithful customers here. Just about every night of the week, one can come here and listen to live bands performing a wide range of music from country, folk, jazz, blues and good ole' fashioned rock'n'roll. The music tends to be cover band music and only on occasion do bands play original music. The Place caters to a slightly older crowd between the ages 30s-50s. On the weekends, this place gets packed, therefore, if you want to guarantee yourself a seat, you must absolutely reserve! BUS: 492, 40.

Recommended for Live Music because: For a slightly older crowd and fans of folk, jazz and blues, The Place is your place in Rome.

Maria's expert tip: When you call to reserve, ask you a table downstairs on the groundfloor. As the upstairs seating area gets really hot and humid and depending on where you're sitting, can be difficult to see the stage.

Read more about The Place →

Fonclea offers a variety of great live music every night: jazz, country, rhythm and blues, swing and cover band rock music. The pub is located in the cellar of a Roman building which attracts all walks of life. For those who wish to munch on something while listening to the music, Fonclea also serves some pretty decent pub food like hamburgers, fries, sandwiches and crepes. The pub is open daily from 7pm to 2am. Concerts typically start around 9:30pm. The pub is closed in July and August when it moves to its outdoor summer location along the banks of the Tiber River. BUS: 492, 40.

Recommended for Live Music because: Fonclea boasts a huge variety of choice with nightly live music ranging from jazz right through to country.

Maria's expert tip: If you want a place to sit, it's best to call a head and reserve a table. Otherwise, it's standing room only.

Read more about Fonclea →

Scholar's lounge may not be the oldest one on the block, but it's certainly one of the most popular especially with Americans in Rome. Indeed, Scholar's Irish Lounge is pretty much a newbee on the pub scene in the Eternal City as it was only founded in 2005. Yet the owners who are 100% Irish knew exactly what draws in a cool crowd: pub quizzes, live cover-band rock and Irish music, and a wide-range of American and British sports games featured nightly on their TV screens. The food at Scholar's is also pretty decent for those who wish to munch on some snacks or sit down for a proper meal to go with your pints of beer. Aside from Italian pizza and pasta, they also serve a typical Irish breakfast, Tex-Mex Nachos, Baked potatoes, chicken nuggets and wings. Talk about comfort food!

Recommended for Live Music because: Scholars is a favourite for live music and other events among tourists and locals alike.

Maria's expert tip: Cover band music ranges everything from The Police, U2, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. If you're looking for a little karaoke, check out the pub's website for karaoke night scheduled nights.

Read more about Scholar's Irish Lounge →

Piazza Venezia

The Nag's Head is a popular Scottish pub located around the corner from Piazza Venezia. On any given night, you can find this pub packed with English-speaking tourists and locals. As soon as you walk into the pub, you are greeted by kitschy knights in armor and swords. Though, once inside the pub, the atmosphere is that of your typical neighborhood pub. For those that are hungry, Nag's Head serves great salads, burgers, pizza and believe it or not, tiramis?. Stick around for dinner and show your best moves on the dance floor here or sit back and relax while listening to bands playing live music. Tram: 8, METRO: Vittorio Emanuele.

Recommended for Live Music because: There isn't a more central pub in Rome than the Nag's Head. Head here for nightly live music.

Maria's expert tip: Nag's Head has a roster of events posted on its website including theme parties such as toga and 70s night.

Read more about The Nag's Head →

Fairy Tales is a historic Irish pub located in the heart of Prati, a neighborhood that borders Vatican City. This Irish Pub isn't very known to tourists, rather it's frequented mainly by locals. The pub is a fun place to hang out with a group of friends. If you're lucky, they'll seat you in booths that look like big beer barrels. If you get hungry, you can try one of their pizzas, crepes, sandwiches or burger with fries. Fairy Tales is also a cool place to come for those looking to listen to a little live music. Most nights, they feature cover band music. However, at least one night a week, you can come to listen to some traditional Irish music. METRO: Cipro, Ottaviano

Recommended for Live Music because: A fun Irish pub with everything from live Irish tunes to trivia.

Maria's expert tip: On Sunday nights, a trivia game much like 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' is played at Fairy Tales.

Read more about Fairy Tales →

For some of the best live music around town, you will never be disappointed at Circolo degli Artisti. The centro sociale (underground bar) is situated between San Lorenzo and another hip, bohemian part of town called Pigneto, an area that is up and coming with great places to eat and a few cool cocktail bars. Plenty of big name indie rock bands (both Italian and international) have played here such as Pete Doherty, Billy Corgan, Sonic Youth and others. The club is rather big and has various rooms full of activities such as movie screenings, makeshift picnics and art galleries.

Recommended for Live Music because: Circolo is a local institution and the Pigneto area is great for dining and drinking with friends.

Maria's expert tip: There's also a lovely garden outside where one can not only escape relief when temperatures get boiling inside between dancing and all of that rocking out. But also during the summer months, the club hosts a fantastic aperitivo on Sundays outside in the garden.

Read more about Circolo degli Artisti →


Meet Maria Pasquale

Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne.

An award winning food and travel writer, in addition to 10Best USA Today she also...  More About Maria