Salsa in Italy? (Rome, Venice & Florence)

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Big10, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Big10

    Big10 Shine Officer

    A good Salsa friend of mine will be traveling around Italy for a couple of weeks in mid-to-late-October.....and, like any true Salsero, he's hoping to check out some local Salsa-dancing spots. :cool:

    Specifically, he'll be visiting Rome, Venice, and Florence. So, does anybody have any specific recommendations (based on relatively recent knowledge perhaps from the last year or two) about places to dance Salsa in those Italian cities?

    By the way, my friend doesn't speak Italian, but he's pretty fluent in Spanish and English, if you're aware of helpful resources/websites in those languages.

    As always, any help is greatly appreciated! You guys are normally a good source of information for Salsa around the world, and I'll be sure to pass along any helpful tips to my friend. :D
  2. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    How timely, I was just there 2 weeks ago and managed to find a few places in Florence and Rome. First off though, English is better than Spanish in Italy unless you are talking to Cuban or South American immigrants.

    Florence is a very small town but there is a salsa club called Jaragua on Via Erta Canina. The street is hard to find, they'll need a map to find it on the south bank of the Arno. I went there on Sunday and there were several good dancers there. When I went back on a rainy Monday, the place was empty, just the bartender and the DJ.

    Rome is totally awesome for salsa, especially Cuban casino salsa and rueda. Some folks in Paris claim that they are better for casino and timba but I doubt it.
    I went to Zanussi on Thursdays, its a large club in the basement of a business building accessible only via the driveway, so easy to miss. I walked past twice as I was looking for a storefront not a driveway leading to a basement. Its on Piazza Tarquinia, a short walk from the Rei di Roma subway stop on Linea A, there is also a nightbus, the N1 that runs on Via Appia Nuevo to the Termini station at night.
    Salseros at Zanussi mentioned another place for Friday, but there is no web listing. Its on Via Appia Nuevo near the Ciampino airport and I think they said it was Balakrikiri or something like that.

    Overall Italy is totally and only Cuban, timba & casino and I saw many excellent dancers from Cuba in the clubs. They say the best city for Italian salsa is Milano as there are more venues but unfortunately there isn't any tourist reason to go there, its purely a business town.

    I also saw this website after I got back from my trip but its mostly out of date.

    Add: I used to think the reason why so many Italians are into Cuban music and dancing was because they were the first to head to Cuba in large numbers when it opened up to tourists back in the early 90's. Now I know better. The Cubans are actually the Italians of the Caribbean, the people are so alike in so many ways its just natural that they would find each other's savoir vivre appealing.
    calichris10 likes this.
  3. Big10

    Big10 Shine Officer

    Wow, thanks so much for your detailed feedback -- and my friend will love hearing this! He's a member of my Salsa/Rueda group so he shouldn't have any problems fitting into the dance scene. :cool: Out of curiosity, did you try to jump into any Ruedas in Italy? If so, how often did you find yourself missing their calls?

    That's an interesting how would you explain a group like Tropical Gem? I figured they were either the product of or the proponents of a sizable community of "linear" (i.e., non-Cuban-style) dancers? Of course, when they came to Houston, I did take a Rumba workshop taught by Fernando Sosa.....
  4. Inmyeyes

    Inmyeyes Changui

    I went to the Perugia (Umbria) salsa congress last year. Most of those present could dance both "linear" and cuban styles. I was actually rather impressed with the level shown by the linear dancers. Having said that it was rather small congress with a high saturation of teachers including Tropical gem.
    A friend who went to the Rome congress a couple of years ago said it was a cuban style bonanza to her disappointment.
  5. mamboforever

    mamboforever Tumbao

    That's not correct , Rome is mainly cuban & timba City but it depends from the city .
    For instance Milan is mainly in line style (as my friend dj Claude could confirm) , generally speaking up to North of Italy there are hundreds of in line dancers and nights. It depends what style the local schools teach.
    In Rome if you like in line style try the Latin Jazz Night at Palacavicchi on Friday nights.
    Sorry i don't know the cities ,your friend will visit, good enough to advise some places in particular but be sure that if he/she likes line dancing it's not a problem to find a place to enjoy a good salsa night.
  6. la_gringa

    la_gringa Tumbao

    I went to Palacavicchi on a Friday a few months ago... it is a long drive outside the city, not reachable by public transport. I heard Friday was their "on 2" or New York style night.

    I would say, unfortunately, it's not worth the trip if you are used to a certain type of music and quality of dancing. I would not go back.
  7. Big10

    Big10 Shine Officer

    If it makes a difference for people with additional recommendations, my friend dances "On 1," and his preferred venues would play mostly Salsa music.

    However, if the venues regularly mix in Merengue, Bachata, etc., then he'll still take whatever Salsa he can get. ;)
  8. sunsoul

    sunsoul Shine Officer

    My friend went to Italy last year and did a lot of salsa in Venice, Florence, and around.

    She said that 1. salsa is mostly Cuban style 2. standard was fairly low in many clubs 3. they play a lot of bachata in many places (up to 50% sometimes)
  9. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    In the two clubs I managed to find, Jaragua in Florence and Zanussi in Rome, they played about 5-8 salsa (all timba) followed by 1-2 bachata and repeat. At Zanussi there was one large rueda circle (15 couples) with intermediate calls and one small circle (4 couples) with advanced calls. There were also several Cuban guys who didn't dance in the rueda but danced with some of the Italian follows. The place was packed so there were plenty of dancers and dance partners. I did not get to dance with the follows who participated in the rueda or the follows who danced with the Cuban guys, I did get to dance with others and had a lot of fun all the same.
    As I mentioned before the big challenge in Italy is finding the clubs that are still around and still have salsa. The websites seem to be out of date for years, several places that are listed had been closed for over a year. I have no idea how Italians figure this out. if anyone knows any Italian salseros they should ask them what their communication path is.
  10. Big10

    Big10 Shine Officer

    Thanks again to everybody for your input! My friend is leaving for Italy in a couple of days, so be sure to chime in with any final bits of information you might have.... :)

    Also, when my friend returns, I'll ask him to give me a detailed recap, in case he discovers any additional useful information on his own. :cool:
  11. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    I saw a listing for Charanga Habanera concerts in November at these venues in Venice and Rome, respectively. They may or may not have ongoing club nights.

    Salzano, Venice, Italy
    Discoteca Hollywood a Salzano VE
    Via Montegrappa 33, Venice, Italy

    Rome, Italy
    Caffe Latino di Roma
    Via di Monte Testaccio, 96
  12. adriark

    adriark Changui



    info ADRIANO 339-7263421
  13. wrazoru

    wrazoru Changui

    Hi Everyone, i'm also just in Rome now & wondering where i can go to meet & dance salsa....

    I'm also wondering what is the transportation situation for after the clubs are closed...There doesn't seem to be many taxi's available after midnight hours....

  14. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    There are night buses, you'll need a bus map to figure out the routes.
  15. salsera_alemana

    salsera_alemana Nuevo Ritmo

    There should also be CBL style salsa, not only Cuban salsa, in Italy. Actually, most dancers I have seen from Italy, danced PR style but I saw them at congress- related events outside of Italy. Where we went in Italy (Lucca, Pisa) the salsa and dancing was mixed, not predominantly Cuban.

    For Rome check out Pedro Gomez' website at pedrogomez dot it and call/email him, if necessary. He is a dance instructor born in Cuba who grew up in Puerto Rico and has been teaching Puerto Rican style salsa for many years, first in Darmstadt, Germany, in the 90s, where we met him, and now in Rome. He should know where to dance CBL style in Rome.
  16. sunsoul

    sunsoul Shine Officer

    I will be in all these cities, starting from Rome on 21st Feb. I leave Italy on 15th March. Anyone with info on clubs or wants to meet up then please leave a message. A few couchsurfers are meeting in Zanussi on Thursday 23rd Feb...... all welcome!
  17. sunsoul

    sunsoul Shine Officer

    Latest on Rome

    Spent the last three nights dancing till early morning. The key is to know where to go and when - every salsa club is quite far from the centre and not the kind of place to walk past... They don't have salsa playing every night. Salsapower Rome is quite up-to-date and will get you going.

    All the places that I went to played mostly Cuban music or had a large porportion of Cuban style dancers. Practically no one danced in a slot. Merengue is dead in Italy!

    Thursday: Zanussi

    Quite large dance floor. They played Cuban music all night with a splash of bachata. No beginners and everyone seemed middle of the road to me. I would have liked more variation in the music - it lurched from Cuban to romantica back and forth. Club is very close to Re di Roma metro four stops down from Termini central station. Most accessible of all the salsa clubs. The metro shuts before midnight so you need a taxi back or stay near San Giovanni.

    Will edit/add more later.
  18. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    There was a night bus from Re di Roma to Termini 2 years ago. All the night buses converge and leave from Termini.
  19. sunsoul

    sunsoul Shine Officer

    Yes, if you are staying near Termini then a good option. The night buses are not so frequent though, about every 30 mins, and I never saw one in the early hours in Rome.. If you are staying in the main tourist spot near Trevi fountain them a taxi will definitely be best. Taxis were only 15 euros from Testaccio in south west to centre for example.
  20. sunsoul

    sunsoul Shine Officer

    Friday: Caruso Oriental Cafe (Testaccio)

    Busy, compact club-bar with two small dance floors and a bar. The night I went they had a thumping Colombian band playing and they were great. Crowd mostly drinking and listening to band. The other connected dance floor had more serious dancers. Music was salsa dura, bachata and reggaeton and better than the other two places I visited.. Quite a few tables and couches scattered around to relax at after dancing. Bar is separate so space to get served and chat!

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