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Waiting for midnight and celebrating until the Epiphany: that’s how the Romans do it.
Whether a fanatic of the countdown or not, you will not regret celebrating New Year’s Eve in Rome; The capital offers many alternatives to welcome the new year greatly, with popular clubs, Michelin-starred restaurants, parties and concerts and Sorrentino’s Great Beauty inspired monumental scenarios.
For the farewell aperitif to 2017, go up to the recently renovated rooftop of the Hotel Eden, where you will have Rome at your feet and a perfect, spiced Negroni in hand, or at Zuma Lounge Bar, on the top floor of Palazzo Fendi to try the signature Rubabu with rhubarb-infused sake, vodka and passionfruit.
Have you forgotten something essential for the New Year’s Eve dinner – maybe wild salmon, lentils, cotechino or Champagne? Stop by Ercoli 1928, in the Parioli district, the ideal culinary shop (also a restaurant and cocktail bar) for high quality products, where, on this occasion, you can also order a glass of Vermouth at the bar to start the party.
To celebrate midnight outside – weather permitting – consider climbing to the Terrazza del Gianicolo to enjoy the best view of the city illuminated by fireworks. Otherwise, the coolest squares, where you can exchange fake new year’s greetings with strangers, are those of the historic centre such as Piazza del Popolo, the Spanish Steps and Campo de’ Fiori.
The real people of the night, in any case, go to Goa, one of pioneering clubs of the party scene in Rome. The best international DJs have been playing here for over 20 years. If you plan to dance until dawn, make note of the Ex-Dogana, an old industrial space that today hosts themed evenings and events, and the Raspoutine, the Roman branch of the Parisian club made up of red velvets and damask walls, opened within the Palazzo Dama boutique hotel.
On January first, assuming you manage to get out of bed at a decent hour, why not enjoy a peaceful and quiet, (almost) private Rome? Lazily stroll around, upturned nose, among the neighbourhood streets of the otherwise chaotic Monti, Testaccio and Trastevere and then go to a cinema to usher in the new year with a film d’auteur. Choose one of the few privileged, historic theatres that withstood the siege of multiplexes, such as the Nuovo Sacher, loved not only for the quality of the films but also because it belongs to director Nanni Moretti.
If you plan to stay in Rome until the Epiphany, you need to do as the locals do and spend the afternoon in Piazza Navona, which has always been a place where people celebrate the Epiphany in an old-fashioned, joyful atmosphere, among stalls of toys and cotton candy, pipers and street performers.