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Rome neighbourhood guide: artsy San Lorenzo

6 Dec 2017

 

Photo credit: airbnb.com

With a vibrant student population, a gritty personality and shabby-chic style, the Quartiere San Lorenzo is one of our favourite neighbourhoods in Rome. An artistic area that's full of energy, this neighbourhood is known for its thrift stores and great nightlife, so check out our local's guide to San Lorenzo and come and experience it for yourself!

Welcome to San Lorenzo, one of Rome’s oldest areas. Despite this, it’s considered a very young neighbourhood because it's close to La Sapienza University - the first university of the city that’s like a sort of citadel with all the faculty buildings inside - so many students live here. Sometimes, during the night the citadel is open for special occasions called “White nights”, where events, gigs and performance are held inside and outside the buildings for the whole night. You can literally breathe culture around every corner, along with having some fun nights as well. 

 

 

Photo credit: flickr.com 

 

First you probably need a coffee, and the best place to have it is Bar Marani (Via dei Volsci 57), an old bar where you’ll find the best coffee in San Lorenzo inside a lovely courtyard, surrounded by ivy. No problem if it's too cold, you’ll be able to keep warm thanks to their mushroom heating mats. You could walk around the square and find a free seat at Giufà Libreria Caffè (Via degli Aurunci 38), a charming little bistro, where you can flip through the pages of a book or a graphic novel. You can eat delicious pies, or enjoy happy hour if you time it right, and they often held book presentations and other interesting cultural events.

 

Photo credit: ilprimatonazionale.it

 

Most of the life of the neighbourhood happens in the so called Piazzetta, the main square of the area, where at the weekends you can hardly move without bumping into someone. From there, you can easily find two historic spots to have a drink: Celestino (Via degli Ausoni 62), which opened in 1905, is the oldest bar of the area and it's definitely a must see if you drop by San Lorenzo. The other is il Bar dei Brutti (in English, Bar of the Ugly ones, Via dei Volsci 71-73), where you’ll be greeted with the typical Roman attitude and you can have a quick drink before dinner. And for a quick bite to eat, San Lorenzo has two very good taverns where you can taste the best pizza in the area: Formula Uno (Via degli Equi 13) and L'Economica (Via Tiburtina 46).

 

Photo credit: airbnb.com

 

The Tibur (Via degli Etruschi 36) is the only cinema in the area, and it has a great selection of films  and often shows OV movies. But there's a former cinema that recently became Nuovo Cinema Palazzo (Piazza dei Sanniti 9A), a space where different kinds of events take place: gigs, dj sets, stand up comedy performances.

 

Photo credit: airbnb.com 

 

Also check out the Ex-Dogana (Viale dello Scalo San Lorenzo 10), a former train factory that now hosts all sorts of events: co-working spaces, outdoor gardens, food trucks, gigs, movie and book presentations, dj sets and outdoor and indoor cinema. Not far from there there's La conventicola degli Ultramoderni (Via di Porta Labicana 32), a nightclub suspended in time, where you can sip wonderful cocktails while watching performances of various kinds, in the style of old cabaret shows. 

 

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