Compared to the loud and late nights of Rome, Venice is a pretty quiet town in the evenings. Nightclubs are few and far between, and are generally pretty touristy and local-free. For a more authentic Venetian nightlife experience, visit one of the many cafes or venuces that boast live bands in the evenings.
One of the oldest clubs playing live music is Al Vapore, located on the mainland, which is respected as one of the top music venues in the area. Bands are generally established local jazz and blues acts on the weekends. On Fridays there’s no cover but drinks are more pricey, and vice versa on Saturdays. Music starts and ends early (think 10 pm to midnight), at least by the standards of some other European cities! Cheaper and less exciting music events happen during the week, like the “jazz buffets” – DJs spin while free appetizers and cocktails are served. Hours for these are even earlier, so check in advance lest you show up too late and miss out.
A more diverse selection is played at Torino@Notte, a snack bar by day that morphs into a hip music venue by night. Wednesdays and weekend nights bring live music of various sorts. The music is usually played by local bands, and can be anything from jazz to reggae to different world beats. The atmosphere is laidback and fun, with plenty of students who come here to relax on a night off. Cover is generally much cheaper here than at other equivalent places.
Terrazamare is a unique joint that bills itself as a “theatre-bar,”, and it fits that bill and more. It definitely qualifies as a stereotypical beach club, complete with cabanas and plenty of tans. After dark, some nights have a more standard dance club scene, with DJs playing house music and club-goers dancing and having a good time. The space also serves as a performance space, though, with live music of various sorts and different art and performance exhibitions as well.
Another well-known spot to hear some excellent jazz is (not surprisingly) the Venice Jazz Club. Cover is a bit higher here, but it includes your first drink and is well worth it for the quality of the experience. The music is always great, with the in-house quartet focusing on unusual improv takes on the greatest hits of Italian and international masters alike. Grab a few drinks at a nearby bar beforehand if you’re planning on having a couple to save some dough.
[photo courtesy of Alex T.]