June 10, 2013

When in Rome, Drink Like an Irish

Italy is known for its wine, not its beer. But in the past few Italy has become one of the best brewers in the world. Yes, alright. But still, you don’t trust Italian beer brewers. Don’t freak out. Here is is another piece of good news. When in Rome, you can drink like an Irish. So make sure you include a stop to one of these places to wet your throat after your visit of Rome (and hey, why not inviting your tour guide as well, if you were on a guided tour of Rome!?) Anyhow, depending on how long you stay here, you might find yourself pining for a break from Peroni, Poretti, Moretti, Nastro Azzuro and much more, or try a local artisanal beer. On such an occasion, it’s only natural to want to throw back a few rounds of Kilkenny beneath a giant mural of James Joyce. Here then are three Irish pubs within a Blarney Stone’s throw from the Colosseum.

Shamrock in Via Capo d’Africa 26d

Walk down Via Fori Imperiali, away from the Colosseum, then bang a right onto Via Cavour.  Then take the next right you come to, and you can’t miss Shamrock.  It’s situated in a way that makes it seem like it’s hiding just around the corner from everything else in the city.  This makes for a pretty low-key affair on most nights.  The food rates on the GOOD side of the bar-food scale.  It’s a pretty tight squeeze, so you wouldn’t want to spend a whole lot of time here, but it’s a good place to drop in for a pint of Murphy’s and a game of darts. I’d also like to mention that this is the only bar in Rome where you regularly hear Joy Division on the speakers. Yeah!

Finnegan’s in Via Leonina 66, near Cavour metro stop

This place is a little on the pricey side, but you’re paying for an atmosphere.  All the usual suspects are on tap.  The TV’s show every football game out of Ireland, Scotland, and England.  There are three lounge rooms equipped with private tables and cushy chairs, so you and your friends can discuss the meaning of life and the state of the world.  There’s a really chill shaded patio section out front during the warmer months.  And in the words of Garth Algar, they got a pool table too!

Druids Irish Pub in Via di S. Martino Ai Monti, 28

The pub is situated in central Rome which is a very prime location for locals and foreigners to visit. Visitors have given many different reviews regarding the place, in which most of the people have mentioned that they enjoy watching different matches at the place along with tasty food and drinks. They also appreciate the welcoming environment of the pub and the homely treatment received.

Scholars Lounge
Via Del Plebiscito 101b, between Piazza Venezia and Largo Argentina

When the final battle between Good and Evil goes down, it’ll happen in Scholars.  In some ways it’s the worst bar in the city.  In others it’s a godsend.  This is the default bar of American college kids, mostly because it’s the only place in the area that stays open after 2.  Please be warned that the music might get on your nerves if you’re over 19.  Also, on Saturday nights after 1:30, the main floor turns into the world’s stupidest mosh pit.  Still, the place has its moments.  Their prices aren’t bad, and neither is their food.  They’ve recently doubled their size by opening a second section.  They have a pub quiz every Sunday night, in case you feel like testing your knowledge against a room full of students, English teachers, and tour guides.  Finally, any major sports game happening anywhere on the planet can be seen here on a huge flatscreen.  This is where I saw the Phillies win the ’08 World Series.

The Abbey Theatre in Via del Governo Vecchio, 51

This pub is located in one of the busiest areas of Rome. The name of the pub is after the world renowned Irish National Theatre and the Stage props and costumes from that theatre have been used to create the unique atmosphere of the pub. There are six rooms in the pub that are fully air conditioned and the place serves a wide range of whiskeys, cocktails, Irish beers along with the very famous Guinness to the people. The Abbey Theatre also offers different cuisines including Irish, Italian and International cuisines all day long. Yes, you can also watch sport.

The Fiddler’s Elbow Pub in Via dell’Olmata, 43

The Fiddler’s Elbow Pub is the oldest and the first ever pub opened in Rome. It was established in the fall of the year 1976 and has been running successfully since then. In the beginning the pub was small but was full of satisfied customers that led to the opening of its larger branch in 1979. The pub has gained a lot of popularity ever since and is one of the most famous pubs in Rome due to its old heritage and atmosphere. This pub is famous because it gives great opportunity to musicians who want to perform. There is an open mic from 9pm onwards and artists can just sign up and sing their stuff. Check their website for more info, but it is a lot of fun!

Trinity College Pub in Via del Collegio Romano, 6

This pub was established in 1996 and is known as one of the most cosmopolitan pubs in Rome. People from different nationalities visit this pub to enjoy fresh beer and food. The pub is placed in a unique Liberty style building, furnished with mahogany wood, reconstructing some details of the magnificent Trinity College in Dublin, and is located in the heart of the Roman historical centre. Only a couple of minutes from Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and piazza Venezia.

So, if you need your dose of beer after a full day tour of Rome and having been immersed all along in Italian history and language, the said venues are as real as an Irish pub could possibly get to make you feel at home—or if you are not Irish, to make you feel you are being tele-transported in a paralleled anglophone world. When in Rome… Drink like an Irish!