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Exploring Gay Rome – The Nomadic Boys

by: J. Scott Coatsworth

Everywhere you step you stumble over an ancient artifact that dates back millennia…

It's a great place to explore with a loved one. However, if you're looking for gay parties and nightlife, Gay Rome is rather limited. There are a few places to go, but suffice to say, a trip to Rome should be more about the culture over the gay scene.


Is Rome Safe for Gay Travelers?

Yes, Rome is very safe for gay travelers.

Rome is very touristy with people visiting from all around the world, which makes it very gay friendly. We saw many LGBTQ tourists in Rome during our many trips here and didn’t have any issues booking a hotel room or an Airbnb. Rome also has a gay scene, albeit a pretty small one.

Although a subtle warning about LGBTQ rights in Italy, large swathes of society remain very conservative. For example, Italy is the only remaining major country in western Europe that has not yet passed gay marriage laws!


In addition, Italy has limited adoption rights as well as limited anti-discrimination laws. You’ll be fine in the central touristic areas, but if you’re heading out to more rural areas or smaller towns/villages beyond Rome, then take care to limit PDAs to queer-friendly spaces.


Where is the Gay Area in Rome?

The gay area of Rome is congregated along the street called, “Via San Giovanni in Laterano”, located to the east flank of the Colosseum.


This street became so ubiquitous with Rome’s LGBTQ community that it was officially named“Gay Street” in 2007. Along the Gay Street of Rome, you’ll find the two main gay bars of Rome – My Way, and Coming Out. These two gay bars are essentially the beating heart and soul of the gay area of Rome. Weather permitting, crowds spill out onto the street outside converging into one big gay street party-like atmosphere.


There are a handful of other gay bars, clubs, and saunas scattered all around Rome including the Company ROMA bear bar, the Frutta e Verdura gay club, a whole heap of gay cruising clubs, and two gay saunas, all set out.


Where To Stay In Rome?

The official gay area of Rome is close to the Colosseum, so that's where you'll want to base yourself if you want to be close to the nightlife gay scene. However, anywhere in the city center you base yourself you'll be rewarded by being within walking distance of some of the most remarkable monuments on the planet.


Exciting Gay Bars in Rome

Rome is a place to come for culture more than anything. There are a few gay parties happening, but not like anything you'd find in other European capitals.There are however a few gay places to check out, in particular Coming Out and My Bar on the gay street near the Colosseum.


Coming Out


Coming Out is the most popular gay bar in Rome, going strong since 2001. There are themed nights at Coming Out, the most popular are Tuesday nights for karaoke, and drag nights on Sundays. By day Coming Out is a cafe resto/bar. By night it morphs into a glorious gay cocktail bar.

Opening Hours: Coming Out is open daily from 8am until 2am

Location: It's located at Via di San Giovanni in Laterano, 8


My Bar


My Bar is located next door to Coming Out on the gay street and is another institution on the Rome gay scene. My Bar is a cafe by day and then by night morphs into a bar. It has a stage and a small dance floor where its resident DJ spins out commercial house music. My Bar also hosts the occasional karaoke night with a few hot exotic dancers.

Opening Hours: My Bar is open daily from 9am to 2am

Location: It's located at Via S. Giovanni in Laterano, 12

Exhilarating Gay Clubs in Rome

In terms of location, they are spread out in different parts of Rome, which will require a taxi ride to get to.


Frutta e Verdura


Fruits and Vegetables is the literal translation of this gay club – a play on the diversity of men you can expect to find. The main gay events that take place here are the men-only parties on Saturday evenings. House and techno music rule the school at a Frutta e Verdura night out.

Opening Hours: Frutta e Verdura hosts Saturday/Sunday parties from 11:30pm until around 8am

Location: It's located at Via di Santa Passera 27 which is around a 25-minute cab ride northeast of the main gay street


Muccassassina @ Qube Disco


Qube itself is not a gay club but it's the venue that hosts ad hoc gay parties on Fridays.Spread out across 3 dance floors in a rugged building in suburbian eastern Rome, it feels more Berlin-like here, which we love! Music is a generous mix of rock, disco, techno, and my favorite, pop. A night out at Muccassassina can get pretty popular so expect a long queue if you arrive later.

Opening Hours: Muccassassina parties are usually held on Friday nights but sometimes they have Sunday T-Parties during the day and other special events, so check their Facebook to see what's coming up!

Location: It's located at Via di Portonaccio, 212 which is around a 25-minute taxi ride northeast of the gay street

Alibi Club


Latin music and reggaeton pop are the main music you'll boogie to at Alibi and we're not complaining! The main parties happen at weekends, but it gets pretty busy, so unless you come early, expect to queue for a bit before you're allowed in.

Opening Hours: Alibi Club is open on Friday and Saturday nights from 11:30pm until 4am and on Sundays from 9pm until 2am

Location: It's located at Via di Monte Testaccio, 40/44 which is around a 10-minute cab ride southwest of the gay street


Saucy Gay Cruising Clubs in Rome

To head to one of the gay cruising clubs of Rome, of which there is a surprisingly high number!


Censured Club

Censured is the newbie on the gay cruising club scene of Rome!It's set on two levels, which includes a bar, lounge, changing room, smoking area, showers, a red “play room” and obligatory dark room. Censured Club is located at Via dei Quattro Cantoni 5 and is open daily from 10pm until around 3-5am.


K Men Club


K Men is Rome's most famous leather club going strong since 1997.It has no bar but has an abundance of “glorious holes!“, private cabins, playrooms and a video room. It is located at Via Amati Amato 6/8, and is open daily (except Mondays) from 10:30pm until around 3/4am.


Il Diavolo Dentro


It's a pretty large space with a maze, cabins, play zone, bar, with smoking and non-smoking areas. Membership is required to enter but can be purchased on entry. It is located at Largo Itri, 23, and is open daily (except Mondays) from 9 or 10pm until around 3 or 4am (and from 3pm until 1am on Sundays).


Skyline Club


Skyline is a more chilled cruising gay club popular with men of all ages and body types. Skyline has a large cruising area with labyrinth, dark rooms, cabins, maze and video room. It is located at Via Pontremoli 36, and is open daily from 10-10:30pm until 3 or 4am.


Gay Saunas in Rome

There are two! Adam Sauna Roma and the Apollion Sauna.

Adam Sauna Roma


Adam Sauna (also known as “Illumined Sauna”) is the most popular gay sauna in Rome and also the largest. Inside it has a Jacuzzi, spa pool, cruising area, dark room, cabins, sauna, and steam room. It is located at Via Pontremoli, 28, and is open daily from 1pm until 2am -and for 24 hours from Saturday at 2pm.


Apollion Sauna


Apollion Sauna is a more centrally located sauna. It has a steam bath, chrome therapy, sauna, video room, dark room, and pool. Apollion Sauna is located at Via Mecenate, 59A, and is open daily from 2-11pm.


Gay beach in Rome

Rome has a gay beach! The Il Buco beach in the Capocotta Nature Reserve is the main gay beach of Rome.Il Buco is in fact one of the best gay beaches in Italy that we’ve been to and certainly worth a visit. It’s located south of Lido di Ostia, which is hidden inside the tranquil Capocotta Nature Reserve.



The Best Gay Events in Rome

Roma Pride is the main LGBTQ event in Rome, but be sure to also look out for the big queer electro music festival in September called Queerelle, a gay film festival in October, and the super popular leather based party in December.


Our Favorite Restaurants in Rome

Eating out in Rome was a big highlight for us. These are a few of our faves gay travelers should check out in Rome:


Pane e Salame


It's rare to find somewhere to eat in Rome that's delicious, fast and affordable, but somehow they manage it! It's often very busy but the lines move fast.We recommend the incredible cheese, mushroom and truffle cream sandwich or one of their yummy meat and cheese platters to share.


Bufalero


Bufalero is not a place for vegetarians as they specialize in amazing burgers and steak but if you love a bit of meat (ahem!) then you will adore this place.


Bono Bottega Nostrana – San Pietro


Bono Bottega Nostrana specializes in rustic panini sandwiches and charcuterie boards, in a classy little location that looks gorgeous.

Along with the sandwiches or charcuterie boards, they also serve lovely fresh juices, pizza, cups of fruit, decadent desserts and fabulous cocktails, so this is a great spot for dinner and a nightcap. It's also ideal if you've been exploring the Vatican as it's so close, make sure you save room for the tiramisu!


Vuliò


Here they concentrate on Apulian street food, also known as the cuisine from Puglia, and their dishes are amazing!

Along with delicious panini and platters that many eateries in Rome serve, here they also offer delights such as soup, salads and homemade desserts (both the tiramisu and strawberry cheesecake are great!). They also do homemade fries and excellent coffee.


Pasta e Vino – Largo Arenula


It's the most incredible handmade pasta using recipes from the grandmothers of this family restaurant.

The only issue you may have is choosing between creamy carbonara, amatriciana, or classic parmigiana. They also strive to use organic ingredients all sourced locally, plus we haven't even mentioned the wine and desserts yet… one word – sublime!


Best Things To Do in Rome

The city center is one massive outdoor museum full of impressive and well-maintained historical monuments that date back centuries. You won't be bored in Rome!

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill


The Colosseum is perhaps the most famous monument in Rome. It was the largest amphitheater in the Roman world, constructed in 72AD, completed in 80AD, and often used for gladiator contests and other spectacles.

Very close by is the Roman Forum, a series of ruined governmental buildings surrounding a plaza. This forum was once the heart of everyday life in Rome and is still impressive in its ruined state. In between the Forum and Colosseum is Palatine Hill, where the ruins of imperial palaces can be explored.


Trevi Fountain


The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi in Italian) is easily one of the most famous fountains in the world, as well as the oldest Baroque fountain in Rome. It's always super busy with tourists coming here to throw a coin in the waters, legend has it that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder then you will return to Rome someday. Around 3,000 euros are thrown in every day and the money has been used for projects to help Rome's needy, so you can feel good about partaking in this tradition.


St Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City)


The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican is the full name of the main church within Vatican City, which is usually just called St Peter's Basilica. St Peter's is the largest church in the world (by interior measurements) and one of the most famous examples of Renaissance architecture.


The Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel


The Vatican Museums house a vast collection of treasures belonging to the Catholic Church, and it's quite something to walk the marbled floors while seeing hundreds of old paintings, sculptures and other treasures.The Sistine Chapel is most famous as the location where a new pope is chosen, plus it features an incredible ceiling fresco by Michaelangelo depicting The Last Judgement.


Vittorio Emanuele II Monument (Altar of the Fatherland)

This impressive construct was built to resemble a neo-classical Roman forum and stands in the center of what was ancient Rome. There is also an altar to the Goddess of Rome and a shrine to the Italian Unknown Soldier within the monument.


The Pantheon


The final famous building in Rome (last but definitely not least) is the Pantheon, an ancient Roman temple which is now a Catholic Church.The world's largest unreinforced concrete dome!


Piazza Navona


This plaza was originally a stadium where ancient Romans came to watch games, but it fell into ruin and was then turned into a public space during the 15th century.


Planning Your Own Gay Trip To Rome

We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Rome.

How to get there: You can simply travel by car.There are also train connections from multiple points within Europe.If you are flying to Rome there are two international airports, the main one is Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport while the G.B. Pastine/Ciampino International Airport mostly serves budget airlines within Europe.Only the main one is connected to the city by public transport.


Visa requirements: Travelers from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand don't need a visa for stays in Italy for up to 90 days.Members of the Schengen Zone can also travel freely in Italy.


Getting around:Rome has an extensive public transport network consisting of a metro, trams, buses and an urban railway line.


Power Plugs:Italy uses power plug type F and L which also work with C and E.


Travel insurance:We always recommend you get travel insurance because you never know when something might go wrong on your journeys even in the amazing city of Rome.


Vaccinations:The CDC recommends that all travelers to Italy should be up to date with routine vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and Covid-19.


Currency: Italy (and Rome) uses the Euro like most countries in Europe.


Tipping culture: Technically, tipping isn't required when traveling in Italy. You won't need to tip very much.


Internet access: It's possible to access free Wi-Fi throughout Rome but we recommend buying an Italian SIM card when you arrive.


Online privacy: Since Italy is slightly backwards when it comes to gay rights, you might be better off bringing a virtual private network [VPN service].


Accommodation: There are plenty of great places to stay in Rome. If you need help for this, you can contact us for more information.


Sightseeing and adventure: For more fun things to do in Rome. If you need help for this, you can contact us for more information.


When to visit: Rome is very hot in the middle of summer, so the seasons of spring and fall are the most pleasant for visiting.

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