Tuesday, July 3, 2012
It’s that time of the year again. It’s hot hot hot in Rome. While I may not enjoy the high temps so much, there are other things that the warm weather brings out that I do enjoy.
This is the time of year when temporary restaurants start popping up along the river and in the parks. I can’t wait to get myself over the Festa dell’Unita, near the Baths of Caracalla. But my favorite location by far is always along the banks the Tiber Island.
On the island, the pop ups change each year. Last year we were particularly lucky since Salvatore Denaro came down from Umbria to set up Bacco al Tevere.
While Salvatore is not directly involved this year, Bacco has reopened and has retained Salvatore’s original menu. The fact that he isn’t running the show does mean the food isn’t quite up to his exacting standards. But it’s still pretty good. We went the other night and the caponata and bacala were definitely still speaking Salvatore’s language.
But there is one thing about Bacco that is even better this year. They’ve managed to snag the primo position on the Isola. Right at the tip of the island, directly under the magnificent Ponte Rotto.
This Roman bridge used to span the river about a 1000 years ago. Its broken vestiges still stand mid stream as one of Rome’s most romantic ruins. The thing is, it's almost impossible to see the bridge unless you are standing on the tip of the island. So, to be able to eat outside, sitting beneath the crumbling, vine- (and fig- and caper-) covered structure, as the waters of the Tiber amble past, is one of the most romantic experiences I can imagine.
My advice: get there on the early side, around 8. This way you will not only be able to grab one of the tables right on the edge of the terrace, but also be able to watch the bridge change colors as the light slowly fades from a hot summer day into a cool, magical Roman evening.
Il Bacco al Tevere
Sorry, I didn't get a phone number. Will try to remember next time I go.
The festival runs until the first days of September.
For more information on dining in Rome, download my app, EAT ROME , available on iTunes and for Android.