No need to forfeit football and food coma; seek out Thanksgiving in the Eternal City with Alexandra Bruzzese’s nifty guide
TURKEY, STUFFING, GREEN BEANS, OH MY!
While you’d be hard pressed to nd roast turkey and pumpkin pie gracing a typical trattoria menu, there are plenty of spots in the Capital that tend to Americans lusting after a proper Thanksgiving feast. The Hard Rock Café (Via Vittorio Veneto, 62a) dishes out turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, and seasonal veggies for lunch and dinner on the 22nd. The dining room also promises a photo booth corner with Thanksgiving-inspired props to chronicle your holiday. States-inspired bistrot Bakery House (Corso Trieste, 157b) brings back its annual turkey-day tradition with a menu that includes classic to vegan dishes, like pumpkin soup, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, oven-baked potatoes, honey-roasted carrots, and apple crumble. A percentage of the proceeds from the dinner go to charity; reservations obligatory.
Restaurant Salone Eva, located inside swanky Hotel Hassler (Piazza Trinità dei Monti, 6) proposes a menu conceptualized by Michelin-star chef Francesco Apreda: expect old-school recipes like turkey with chestnut stuffing alongside homemade ravioli and crisp Brussels sprouts. Looking to capture the avors of Thanksgiving but still want to eat Italian? Colline Emiliane (Via degli Avignonesi, 22) offers an à la carte menu including homemade pumpkin tortelli tumbled with butter.
PAY YOUR RESPECTS TO THE PATRON SAINT OF THANKSGIVING
Author Bruce Feiler has famously theorized that it was Old Testament heavyweight Moses who provided inspiration for the pilgrims to set sail on the May ower. Just as the Israelites ed the clutches of the Egyptians, so the pilgrims left England behind to seek religious freedom across the ocean, essentially fulfilling a biblical story that they would have been quite familiar with. Visit the unofficial godfather of Thanksgiving with a stop at minor basilica San Pietro in Vincoli (Piazza di S. Pietro in Vincoli, 4a) where Michelangelo’s magnificent statue of the great prophet resides.
TAKE IN A GAME
A game of American football post-feast is nearly as traditional as the turkey itself. Despite its Irish roots, pub Abbey Theatre (Via del Governo Vecchio, 51) kindly accommodates US tourists and expats by telecasting NFL games. La Botticella (Via di Tor Millina, 32) is run by half-Italian, half-American siblings who carry a torch for their beloved Pittsburgh Steelers; the bar is decked out in Steelers merchandise and also regularly shows football games. And Scholars Lounge (Via del Plebiscito, 101b) shows over 10 American football games a week on some of their 22 big-screen TVs.
BLACK FRIDAY BLISS
Once Thanksgiving draws to a close, pre-Christ- mas festivities can commence, including, of course, gift shopping. Luckily, the uber-American custom of Black Friday shopping has officially crossed the ocean and made it to Italy’s capital. Plenty of stores and boutiques on Via del Corso and Via Cola di Rienzo slash the prices of their inventory on the 23rd; shopping center Galleria Alberto Sordi (Piazza Colonna) follows suit.
5 THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR IN ROME
1 Eating well while spending little.
2 Dreamy sunsets from the top of the Janiculum Hill.
3 The small, artisanal boutiques in the Monti neighborhood.
4 Admiring Caravaggio paintings for free at churches around the city.
5 Long walks in lush, verdant parks like Villa Pamphilj and Villa Borghese.