1 FRENI E FRIZIONI Romans take their aperitivo time deadly seriously, and this bar has all the ingredients for a perfect pre-dinner drink: a great setting alongside the Tiber in the heart of Trastevere, and an ample buffet of bar snacks that are included in the price of your drink, which, by the way, should be an Aperol Spritz—made with the Italian orange-flavored liqueur Aperol, prosecco, and a splash of soda (4-6 Via del Politeama; 39-06-4549-7499).
2 SOCIÉTÉ LUTECE It’s hard to find this place—tucked into a tiny, quiet piazza right behind the nighttime circus atmosphere of Piazza Navona—but it’s worth the search. A hip and beautiful crowd provides the eye candy, and a kind of unstudied boho decor, with hanging lamps and a vintage-like wood bar, makes the space cozy but chic (17 Piazza di Montevecchio; 39-06-6830-1472).
3 SALOTTO 42 Despite the stunning backdrop of the second-century Hadrian’s Temple outside, the real action takes place inside Salotto 42, where art and fashion books line the walls and leather sofas are the prime seats for sampling an extensive cocktail list. Italy has finally caught on to the world’s obsession with old-school drinks like the manhattan and martini (42 Piazza di Pietra; 39-06-678-5804).
4 BAR DELLA PACE This vine-covered institution morphs from a sleepy spot, perfect for a cappuccino and newspaper, in the morning to the well-heeled city dweller’s choice for a glass of prosecco (or a rossini, a blend of prosecco and strawberry juice) after work. In fact, it is pretty damn charming any time of day, although getting an outdoor table takes a canny mix of charm and perseverance (3/7 Via della Pace; 39-06-686-1216).
5 STRAVINSKIJ BAR AT THE HOTEL DE RUSSIE Rome does the hotel bar quite well. But thanks to an outdoor patio area beneath the “Secret Garden,” this has to be the most atmospheric—and the one most likely to be hosting a Hollywood A-lister or two. Plus, famed barman Massimo D’Addezio has concocted quite a cocktail list, including his De Russie Martini, a blend of sherry and vodka (9 Via del Babuino; 39-06-328-881).