Are you looking for a place where musical improvisation is served up alongside fantastic cocktails and great food? If it’s jazz in Rome you’re after, there are more and more clubs that offer dining for the most demanding palates. Although, as George Gershwin would say, jazz works best when improvised, our tour is going to leave nothing to chance.
Despite its Teutonic-sounding name, the Alexanderplatz is Italy’s oldest jazz club. Based in a cellar not far from the Vatican, it has been a favorite of visiting big-name jazz musicians for over 30 years, as the signatures on the wall can bear witness. However, nostalgia is not what’s on the menu at the Alexanderplatz. Here, you can take a drink at the bar or sit down to a plate of the best that Mediterranean cuisine has to offer, while soaking up the music. Why not try the spaghetti “Casa Cupiello” with its extraordinary aroma? It’s just one of the many Neapolitan dishes served here. Whether swing, modern jazz, or smooth sounds in the style of Duke Ellington and Count Basie are your bag, there are many choices to suit your fancy from the packed program of gigs at Alexanderplatz.
When it comes to jazz in Rome, the BeBop Jazz Club is equally famous. Located in a disused World War II air-raid shelter in the city’s Ostiense/Testaccio area, its stone and rock walls are covered in symbols of ancient Rome, reminding you exactly where you are. There is ample seating, and the BeBop caters for a wide range of tastes. Jam sessions alternate between theater performances and exhibitions of fine art. The fare is organic and delicious, and accompanied by a dressing made from Sabina olive oil, the BeBop’s calling card.
As you travel back into town, you must make a visit to the Charity Café, a jazz club where you’re sure to be entertained well into the night. But don’t worry, because the variety of cocktails on offer will keep you company. Try the Charity Strong, a wonderful mix of fruit, prosecco, and gin, or the Negroni, one of the best in the area. Every Thursday to Sunday you can sit on the comfortable terraces in the small amphitheater and take in the sounds of blues and jazz, often performed by the capital’s brightest young talents.
They say jazz is the only form of music where the same note can be played night after night and sound different every time. Similarly, in Rome’s jazz clubs, you will always find something new each time you visit. The one thing that stays the same is the thrills they provide.