Looking for the best aperitivo by the sea near Rome? There are thousands of aperitivo options in the city center, but lately, we’ve been heading towards the sea for our pre-dinner drinks. Living in Rome I sometimes forget how close the Mediterranean coast is and that with just a short drive, I can experience the luxury of sipping a spritz in the sand.
Aperitivo is the Italian pre-dinner drink and snack ritual that is meant to awaken your appetite. ‘Aperire’ means to open in Latin and aperitivo opens your stomach for the meal to come. An aperitivo typically includes a low alcoholic drink like an Aperol spritz and a snack as simple as a bowl of plain potato chips or as complex as a meal. An apericena is an aperitivo so big it can be a dinner. ‘Cena‘ means dinner in Italian. I like my spritz with Campari, it’s slightly more bitter and alcoholic than the standard Aperol.
The seaside is best in the summer months and many of the places will even close in the winter. But it’s still only September which means that summer persists in central Italy. I’m writing this in shorts and a tank top while contemplating ways to extend the season as long as possible.
I’ve never tried to reach any of these places by public transportation and would recommend taking a car.
Best aperitivo by the sea near Rome
The coastal town of Fregene is a coastal town well-placed for watching sunsets. You can gaze at the horizon from the beach as the sun slips beneath the water. It’s a spectacle that no one takes better advantage of than Singita Miracle Beach. Part bar, part performance art, it can feel like a beach wedding without the fancy dress. The beach is decorated with white lounge chairs and pillows and blankets which are often reserved. The setting of the sun is marked with music and the ringing of a gigantic gong. Although I don’t go for the food and the beverage but for the experience. It’s a casual place and I’ve always been able to walk in without a reservation and find a table, and if you can’t, you can order a drink and sit on the sand.
If I’m going for the food and the wine, I prefer to head to La Baia. La Baia is a rustic seafood restaurant on the beach that is praised by many Roman foodies and chefs. The spaghetti alle vongole or spaghetti with clams is delicious, as is the spaghetti alle telline when it is on the menu as a special. Telline are a particular type of super tiny and sweet clam particular to the Roman coast.
La Baia also has a small bar with tables and chairs on the sand where you can enjoy an aperitivo while watching the sunset. The bar food tends to be hit or miss. This summer it’s been tiny pizzas which were decent most of the time but occasionally sub-par. But you can always get a bag of chips. That’s the bar on the left in the photo above and the restaurant is in the back. I’ve always been able to get a front-row seat at the bar for the sunset without calling ahead. The bar is very low key and I doubt would even take a reservation. But definitely make a reservation in advance for the restaurant. It is full most nights even after they recently almost doubled the size of the seating area. It’s a popular spot.