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University cities such as Pisa, Lucca, Bologna and Turin are particularly buzzy as darkness falls, with young groups and couples thronging in the piazzas before heading to the bars and clubs.
Rome, of course, has the widest range of nightlife options, from laid-back bars and jazz clubs to discotecas and nightclubs that throb into the early hours. Start your evening with the tide of people that stream toward Campo de’ Fiori as sun sets – the majority of this vibrant square is occupied by bars and restaurants.
Catch high-quality theatre and opera in the major cities, including Rome, Florence and Verona. The latter’s famous Roman amphitheatre is still used for performances. The ancient structure has the capacity for 15,000 visitors; it has hosted everything from ‘Aida’ to a concert by Radiohead.
In quieter towns and resorts, or in the seclusion of your own countryside villa, it’s really all about pulling up a chair on a terrace with an unbeatable view, feeling the warmth of the day’s sun radiating out of the tiles, and tucking into some amazing food and wine together with some good company and lively conversation.
A large part of la dolce vita is dished up on a plate. For dining inspiration, head over to our page dedicated to eating out in Italy.