Our last full day in Rome just so happened to be the last full day of 2017!  We spent weeks trying to find things to do for New Year’s Eve researching online about public fireworks displays, concerts and Rome traditions.  Once in Rome we asked around for good NYE options and finally settled on a NYE Pub Crawl which was suggested by one of our tour guides.  Here is quick run down of our New Year’s Eve in Rome!

Before I jump into NYE, here is a quick note about Christmas.  Do not go to Rome on Christmas.  As I kind of expected, this Catholic city shuts down on Christmas and the day after.  Most business including restaurants were closed and many parts of the city were a ghost town.   Now, NYE on the other hand? The city came to life!  Our hostel started filling up as the new year approached and I noticed a swell of tourists that was not present before.  So note to self, spend Christmas with the fam and hit the air on the 26th for NYE.

Pub Crawl Stop-1

Like I said, our tour guide suggested the NYE option to us during a free walking tour.  We were happy to learn that another pair of ladies from our tour intended to join in on the fun, so at least we knew some other folks attending.  We booked ahead of time and headed to the meet up point near the Spanish steps with little expectations.

The meet up point happened to be the Highlander a Scottish pub that appeals to American tourists.  Each television displayed an NFL game and American fans came donning their favorite team gear.  Then several of the staff members were ex-pats speaking exclusively English.  For a minute, I forgot I was even in Rome.   We settled in and made a new British friend while we waited for the festivities to begin.

New Year's Eve in Rome-2

Round one of the open bar!

Our first stop at the Highlander included one hour of open bar of mixed drinks and a shot coupon.  Seeing what this night would entail, we ordered some nachos.  I won’t even gross y’all out with a picture of the nachos, but just know they are doing these ALL wrong in Rome.  Luckily, our ticket included pizza which arrived soon after.

Stop 2

As we closed out stop 1, our guides started talking about heading to “the party bus.”  Well nothing we read said anything about a party bus, so I figured they were just trying to be funny and really meant our feet walking these Rome streets.  But guess what! There actually WAS a party bus!  A two story bus with a bar and music to take us to our next location!

New Year's Eve in Rome-3

Blurry photo of my New Years Prosecco toast!

The next location was a small bar called Disco Pub.  We walked in to early 2000s American artists playing.  Back at home we would have called this lame.  BUT, when you are in a foreign country and Missing You by Puff Daddy (that was his name back then) and Faith Evans comes on, you sing it as LOUD as possible.  There may or may not be a video of this moment.  We rang in the new year and headed to our final spot, a club called Alien.

Stop 3

So when we started the evening at the Highlander we found that one of our guides for the night was a Laurence Fishburne look alike from Philly.  As he was literally one of the few African Americans we had encountered the whole trip, we had to talk to him about his experience in Rome.  My sister bluntly asked him if there were any of US here.  He assured us that our last stop, Alien would be ALL us.  He ain’t never lied.

Alien was the most diverse space we visited the entire time we were in Rome.  It felt very much like any large hip hop club in America in terms of the music and the vibe of the crowd.  The funniest part of the evening though, was when the go-go dancers came out to dance on the main stage.   The beat could not be found among that group.  Also, butt injections are not a thing in Rome which is probably a positive.

By this point it was after two am and we had to figure out how to get back to our hostel, so we did not stay at the club too long.  The club apparently stays open till 5 am and at 2 there were still a crowd of people clamoring to get in.  So it seems to be a popular spot!

The Takeaway

So the free walking tour I went on is through Rome’s Ultimate, which also promotes and hosts parties like the NYE pub crawl.  If you are traveling alone in Rome or just looking for a guide to the nightlife, I highly recommend their events.  They host something every week and as residents of Rome, they provide valuable insight to the hot spots.  The best part for me though was hanging with a group of people from all of the world!

For the rest of the Black Girls Who Brunch Guide to Rome head here.