Skip to main content


Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

Making the most of Roman summers: Another list!

Another August and I am remembering my post (and list) from last year about striving not to miss out on Roman summers by living in a haze. So this year, I am waking up earlier and have added some new ideas to last year's list.

Plus now, there is a Estate Romana 2014 App sharing all the summer events, so I have no excuse to miss out on anything! 

So here is the 2014 Make-the-Most-of-Roman-Summer List:
  1. Lungo il Tevere Festival: The traditional bancarelle along the Tevere: 
  2. Gasometro Festival: Kind of like the alternative cousin of the Lungo il tevere festival: 
  3. Villa Pamphili or Villa Ada - Some of Rome's biggest and loveliest parks set up stages and host concerts:
  4. Terme di Caracalla Opera - When the Roman Opera house moves outdoors
  5. Aperitivo at La Singita on Fregene Beach - The tradition of aperitivo also goes to the beach: 
  6. Granita di Caffe from Tazza d'Oro - Caffeinated Ice. How marvelous! The famous Caffe Eustachio also has a great one. Both are near the Pantheon.
  7. Gelato -  Not just for summer of course, but summer is a great excuse. Take your pick of places. Everyone has their own theory about the best gelato. I say to each his own on that one. However, for the flavor cioccolato fondente, mine is still Gelateria della Palma, crowds and all.  Tony's gelateria in Monteverde came pretty close this year though.     

  8. Limoncello - a great, refreshing after-dinner drink (with a kick!)
  9. Hotel Minerva Rooftop for drinks. Lovely view of the Pantheon.
  10. Notte delle Stelle Cadenti (Night of the falling stars) at the beach on the festa di San Lorenzo (August 10)
  11. Beaches - The bread and butter of Italian summers. You might have to fight for your spot or learn to live without personal space, but mainly still worth the trip. Sperlonga is a jewel if you can handle the aforementioned.
  12. Paddle boats at Bracciano lake - Lakes are good beach-alternative and a well-kept secret in the summer. Trevignano is a great city on Lake Bracciano.
  13. Watermelon Stands - What is summer without watermelon?
  14. Campari and/or Aperol Spritz - Prosecco mixed with campari or aperol. Summer in a glass. You can get a 14 Euro one at Harry's Bar on Via Veneto, but I would suggest just sitting outside on a regular outdoor terrace and paying the normal price of 5 - 8 Euro. It tastes the same. 
  15. Grattachecca - Stand selling icy dessert (the granita's cousin) 
  16. Castel Sant'Angelo Festival: You can apparently go in the Passetto, a site that has thus evaded me:
  17. Piscina delle Rose - Olympic sized, 50-meter outdoor pool with lanes for real swimmers and aqua gym for fitness buffs:

Other Roman summer suggestions? Send them over if you have them!