Globalization, the Internet, and worldwide traveling have shrunk the cultural gap between countries and created avenues for similarities in some cultural arenas, especially among youngsters enjoying free time. Italy, like any Western modern economy, exports as well as imports cultural elements.
In Italy, cities organize their entertainment according to the seasons. Most nightclubs indeed have two versions for winter and summer months, and many outdoor sites appear from May to September, only to close down in the fall and winter. Concerts in the open and special events are usually organized and featured throughout the summer. Italians enjoy street walks and standing happy hours outdoors, so many piazzas are filled with people in the warmer periods, and can be almost empty in the colder months. Beach towns usually have an active life during the summer months when tourists fill the clubs. The best places are Rimini and Riccione on the east coast and the Adriatic Sea, and across the country in Tuscany, towns such as Forte de'Marmi also have a reputation for entertainment and fun. In fact, virtually every city and town that has access to the sea becomes alive and full of energy in the summer.
Dancing at club Meccano in Florence Italy.
For the all-nighters and wild party goers, Italy offers great clubs and some of the best deejays, often setting the musical trends for the rest of the world. Remember that clubs are different from bars; bars are more geared to gathering for a drink or two, and maybe a fast refreshment, and to converse and talk with friends. However, some of the fancier ones might, in the evening, offer what Italians call the "Aperitivo," a sort of happy hour after work. This was very typical in Milan in the 1980s and is now a relatively common ritual nationwide.
Italy can be a fun country to go out at night for many reasons besides nightclubs. One of them is the panoramas one may enjoy, especially in places like Rome, Florence, or Venice where walking around is already an event. Moreover, every city has often great jazz and music clubs, which usually host prime international musicians and, in recent years Brazilian music such as Bossa Nova has became very popular. If you look for traditional Italian music you'll be disappointed as it's not very common, unless a bus-load of tourists has just arrived.
Of course, the number one reason to go out in Italy is to eat. There are plenty of restaurants and Italians enjoy international cuisines, in particular Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. A few American steakhouses and Mexican places are also popular. Culturally each major city features important theatres and opera houses, while during the summer often classical music concerts are organized in some villa or city park; Rome is very famous for its Estate Romana, (Roman Summer). Once a year, a White Night takes places and most stores and museums stay open all night long; this is becoming a traditional event.
Club in Florence Italy.
Italy is usually a safe place by night; however always use your discretion and intelligence. Drinking in the streets is allowed, but screaming and throwing bottles around are not. Another little tip: always carry some cash as often bars and clubs don't take credit cards. Overall, Italy has a great nightlife winter or summer. Check it out in both seasons for the entire experience!