Six Bars In Italy Worth A Visit

Best Bars in Italy

Food and wine are an integral part of Italian culture and a big draw (among many others) that makes the Bel Paese such a popular tourist destination. 

One industry estimate suggests there are more than 123,000 pubs, bars, and nightclubs in Italy where you can sip wine, beer, or cocktails.

But some bars in Italy are truly worth a visit.

The World’s 50 Best Bars: What is it?

Best Bars in Naples: (credit: L'Antiquario in Naples)
(credit: L’Antiquario in Naples)

Since 2009, drink professionals and cocktail aficionados from across the globe have been asked to help identify the World’s 50 Best Bars each year. 

In the latest ranking, some 650 anonymous drinks experts (including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists) were asked to weigh in and cast their votes based on their best bar experiences during the previous 18 months.

The list is announced at The World’s 50 Best Bars’ live awards ceremony, which always comes with great anticipation and fanfare, especially for the bar industry. This year was no exception. 

Here is the complete 2022 list of the World’s 50 Best Bars winners. Winners of the 2023 awards will be announced in  Singapore. on October 17, 2023.

The Best Bars in Italy

Best Bars in Naples (credit: L'Antiquario in Naples)
(credit: L’Antiquario in Naples)

If you are traveling to Italy, depending on where you go, you may have a chance to belly up to one of the world-class bars mentioned on the list. 

Here’s where to find these six bars and their rankings:

#16  Drink Kong, Rome

The vibe: More than an extensive menu of creative cocktails, Drink Kong offers an experience.

With neon lighting, the bar is innovative and stylish with a Japanese flair. The excellent and varied bar menu ranges from dumplings to tacos.


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#35  1930, Secret location in Milan

The vibe: Exclusive and elusive speakeasy

If you see no URL above or map below, it’s because this bar isn’t on the map. You have to be invited to enter the door, and the secret for access is said to be getting to know the owners of MagCafe (located in the canal district), who also own 1930 (which is said to be in the center of Milan). Vintage furnishings and exposed brickwork give it an old-world vibe.


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#46  L’Antiquario, Naples

The vibe: Intimate, old-fashioned Neopolitan 

Bartenders in white uniforms at the bar offer drinks that include a Napoli Capital City drink list with cocktails that evoke the city’s history and heritage.

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Then there are three more bars in Italy that made the list of the best 100. These include:

#73 Camparino in Galleria, Milan

The vibe: Truly a classic Milanese bar in an iconic location 

According to Campari, this is where the Italian ritual of the aperitivo was born. Newly renovated, the bar has a jaw-dropping interior and extraordinary views of the Duomo Cathedral. People also rave about the quality of the food as well. Be sure to try the Negronis and other variations of Campari cocktails.


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The location:


#77  The Court, Rome

The vibe: Upscale, chic and sophisticated

This bar’s terrace might be one of the best places in Rome to view the Colosseum illuminated at night. The free snacks and aperitivo platter are excellent complements to the delicious cocktails.


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#86  Freni e Frizioni, Rome

The vibe: Contemporary cocktails in a rustic setting

This vibrant bar is located in the Trastevere section of Rome. The menu changes every year but 50 Best pointed to the Travel With Us menu that offers cocktails inspired by the most famous neighborhoods across the globe, including New Orlean’s French Quarter and London’s Shoreditch.


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Differences between bars in Italy and bars in the U.S.

An excellent article on Food 52 points out that bars in Italy range from ordinary holes in the walls to swanky places with chandeliers and velvet banquettes. Moreover, there are two distinct types of bars in Italy.

The first type is the neighborhood haunts, where people gather and stop in for a quick breakfast of espresso or cappuccino with pastry.

Best bars in Italy: Cafe Terzi in Bologna, one of our favorite places for coffee
Cafe Terzi in Bologna, one of our favorite places for coffee (credit: Jerome Levine)
Cafe Pasticceria Gamberini in Bologna, an elegant pastry shop and bar
Cafe Pasticceria Gamberini in Bologna, an elegant pastry shop and bar (credit: Jerome Levine)

Then there are trendy, beautifully decorated “American bars” that specialize in wine and cocktails. These may also be open all day but they are gathering places after work and later in the evening.

Camparino in the Galleria Mall in Milan
Camparino in the Galleria Mall in Milan (credit: Camparino)

One last caveat

An article in Bon Appetit suggests that the 50 Best voting process may be tainted. Because the process is cloaked, both the public and the media don’t know who makes the rankings or why.

Moreover, the article suggests that the outcomes may be affected by the happenstance of which voters are invited (paid) to visit an area or are able to travel there.

Although often criticized, the list is still held in high esteem, especially in the industry.

Be mindful that such publicity may make it hard for visitors to belly up at the bar without a reservation, especially on busy evenings. Also, prices may be affected by fame and popularity.

Like visiting a Michelin-starred restaurant, it’s exciting to visit the best of the best, but it’s always prudent to check out reviews on Google and TripAdvisor before you go. And while on the topic of food, some bars are better known for their food than others.

While large cities predominate the World’s Best list, every Italian has their local favorite bar, sometimes around the corner, where friends gather from morning to night. It’s a place where everyone knows their name. And if you frequent the same bar several mornings, even during a visit, you’ll feel as comfortable there as the locals.

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