I’m not one of those complainers when it comes to living in Rome (you know who you are). That said, there is one thing that I wish the city would improve. Rome has got to be one of the greenest cities I know, with tons of beautiful parks and the Tiber running right through its heart. But unlike Paris, which sets up great ways to enjoy the riverside and the jardins with bars and restaurants, Rome’s amenities usually leave a lot to be desired.
While there could - and should - be outdoor eateries in the parks all year long, at least in the summer things change for the better. Last night we went to the Festa dell’Unita. Up until now I had just thought it was an annoying obstacle to my morning run in the park near the baths of Caracalla. But last night I realized it’s one of the funnest places to eat this month in Rome.
While you can get the schedule of events here, they are mostly political (i.e boring and endless). For those of you who don’t know, the Festa dell’Unita used to be run by the communist party, now run by its offshoot the Partito Democratico. But you can ignore all that. Just go for the food.
There must be about fifteen restaurants set up, some big, some small. Prices are low, and the variety huge: middle Eastern, Paella, Calabrian, fish, grilled meats, Roman Jewish plus a handful of pastry and ice cream places. We stopped by the Cuban booth for a surprisingly good pina colada.
I was really happy to see a big sign for Agricultura Nuova, the organic cooperative that supplies me with a weekly box of fruit and vegetables. They had a huge and very elaborate grill going, so we sat down at the tables under the umbrella pines and ordered sausages, salad and potatoes. Delicious.
We’re definitely going back before it closes on July 31. But we’ll also be going to the other summer outdoor event that I love, along the banks of the Tiber Island. Again, lots of restaurants and - what I love - bars where you can sip a real cocktail with your feet almost dangling in the Tiber.
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Until July 31