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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Get to these Rome clubs while they last - for New Year's Eve.

Rome may be eternal, but its music clubs are not.  As New Year's Eve approaches, we thought we'd check on a couple clubs we visited in 2016.

Le Rane di Testaccio
One of our new finds was Le Rane di Testaccio, a cute basement music venue on via Galvani in Testaccio.  The jazz was very good, and sometimes even too contemporary for our "cool jazz" taste.  But we'd definitely recommend trying it.  The club is a "socio," so you need to buy a yearly "tessera."  As we recall, it was only 5 Euros.  The entrance fee of no more than 5-10 Euros included a drink.  The rather nice buffet was somewhat overpriced at 12 Euros.  Apparently organized by a doctor who wanted more jazz, the club has a modern, classy feel, and an attentive crowd.  We were afraid it wouldn't survive in Rome's elusive jazz scene, but it appears still to be a going concern, including with a New Year's Eve event.  Check it out.  And, by the way, the inside joke is that the street is named for Luigi Galvani, a biologist who experimented with frogs (le rane).  Via Galvani 29/29A (knock on the door).  06.5740240.

Even the parking lot for the L'ex dogana looked cool, with the
elevated highways framing it.
We also stopped in at the L'ex dogana (ex-custom's house) between San Lorenzo and Porta Maggiore.  The space is overwhelming and magnificent - true industrial chic.  It hosted a good art show (including, for example, a Kounellis) and was getting ready for late night music, when we stopped by.

 We had read about some of the problems of the people running the venue and, indeed, it looks like they won't be running it much longer.  The final show is New Year's Eve, and that looks like a blockbuster.  Look for information for "Scala Est Closing" on the Web site.

The scale of L'ex dogana produces unusual placement of artworks.

Captivating video projection art at L'ex dogana.

This looks like a video projection, but it
was solid

Getting ready for the partying, outside as well as in.
We were going to say a few words about a small venue in an expensive via Veneto (lower, not upper via Veneto) hotel, "Elegance Cafe'" - but it didn't last the year.  Its August Facebook page and Web site say it's transferring to a new location.  We shall see.
The now defunct Elegance Cafe'
Other New Year's Eve venues for jazz lovers include that old standby, Alexanderplatz.  We had some fear for its existence too, after we heard the main proprietor died.  But it's still plugging along.

And with that, Buon Anno!


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