I have so many fond memories of Thanksgiving growing up in southern California. In November, living near the beach meant the weather was likely overcast and chilly, maybe even a little rainy, which for us was justification enough to stay inside and keep warm. Late November ushers in the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving affording us an extra long weekend from school and usually some family visiting from out of town. But at the center of all the excitement was the traditional Thanksgiving meal and something I’ve fortunately not had to sacrifice since moving to Rome.
It’s no surprise that turkey isn’t a staple ingredient in traditional Italian cuisine, neither are cranberries nor marshmallows. But if you’re committed to bringing a little bit of America to your Roman vacation, these are all things you can find as long as you know where to look. Whole turkeys can often be ordered ahead of time at any major grocery store, but to avoid the risk of not ordering in time (or simply not having the turkey you ordered – which happened to me last year!) I suggest heading over to Eataly (eataly.it), right behind the Piramide train station, where you can order your turkey the same week. The cost is approximately 8€/kg. Consider that a 5-6kg bird is good for about 6 people.
And those other hard to find items that didn’t fit in your luggage, you can find many imported American items at Castroni’s, located in the Prati area (castronicoladirienzo.com). It’s a well known coffee shop but they also carry all kinds of imported products, like the ones you’ll need for your family recipes.
On the other hand, maybe you’re looking to do something a little different this year? I’ll admit the Thanksgivings I’ve celebrated in Rome have been quite different than those of my childhood – but equally as memorable. Here are a few ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in Rome while embracing some Roman influence:
1. Get creative with the stuffing
If you’re like me and stuffing is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, you’ll want to be careful not to go too crazy with this. But with so many fantastic and fresh ingriedients to choose from, how can it go wrong? The last few years, we’ve added some pork sausage, walnuts, and of course, some Italian wine to the stuffing and it’s been superb.
2. Pair with good Italian wine
This almost goes without saying, but just to be clear: Thanksgiving dinner is even better when paired with a fine Italian wine. And the best part is wine is a lot cheaper here. Go ahead, get a few bottles. And whatever you don’t finish you can just take back home with you!
3. Think outside the pie
With so many scrumptious desserts in Italy, why not try something different? There are plenty of pasticceria (bakery shops) on every street if you’d like to purchase something. If you’re near any of the Tornatora bars (bartornatora.it or caffetornatora.it) you’ll find delectable desserts that everyone will enjoy. Or head over to Pompi (barpompi.it) and pick up some of their famous tiramisù!
4. Do as the Romans do
After living in Rome for a while, I’ve found that large leisurely dinners aren’t as uncommon as they are the states. Basically every week families get together for a large dinner or lunch without needing to celebrate anything in particular. So perhaps this year you forgo the turkey and skip the mashed potatoes but instead indulge in a delicious meal of pasta or pizza. If you’re surrounded by your family and sharing a table, it’s as good an excuse as any to be reminded of what you’re thankful for.
Happy Turkey day from all of us at Rome Accommodation!
Need a place to cook your Thanksgiving meal? How about an apartment in the center of Rome! Most of our apartments are equipped with an oven and everything else you’ll need to prepare the feast. Check out our website rome-accommodation.net or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!