Summer in Rome is a ritual dedicated to the sun. If you are visiting the eternal city for the first time in July or August, you might think that Rome is a strangely quite, livable city.
Don’t be fooled, most of the locals are just taking a break at the nearest beach and sun tanning during their well deserved “ferie estive.” For those who cannot indulge in some “dolce vita by the beach”, the Tevere riverside between Ponte Mazzini and Ponte Sublicio is the place to go for a mini summer holiday in the city.
Food, drinks, games, live music, shopping and art collide on both riverbanks, which come to life every summer from mid-June until September. Ethnic restaurants, Italian street food, draft beer, wine, seafood and fruit bars will draw you down to the Tevere for this classic summer tradition.
Here is a selection of the most interesting stands under the sun.
Start your Tevere walk from Ponte Mazzini, heading to Ponte Sisto and meet the first eateries on the riverside, after browsing through some clothing, bags, and accessories stalls.
Pompi is a real institution for tiramisù and ice cream, but if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth visit Wok, a little corner of Asia just a few steps further.
Still missing the seaside? Stop at The Beach for a cocktail, before surrendering to the many treats at their aperitivo buffet (Happy Hour 10 EUR).
The atmosphere takes on a Cuban vibe next door at El Mojito, where along with their iconic drink you can indulge in some class hamburgers, or opt for healthier salads with exotic sounding names, such as Trinidad, Havana or Varadero.
Close by you will find the more familiar Hard Rock Cafè, with their trademark merchandise and unmistakable mix of classic tunes, American food and drinks.
Things get busier once you pass Ponte Sisto: one of the first venues you’ll encounter is Idroscalo Ponte Sisto, where you can try a tasty fish or meat dinner for 20 EUR (starter, main dish plus fries and wine), or dive into the happy hour (buffet and drink 10 EUR.)
If you are more of a beer fan, just visit Birreria Moretti next door and enjoy the feeling of sitting in a beer garden with river view.
The quintessential Roman street food experience awaits you at La Fraschetteria da Tina, with Porchetta di Ariccia as the main focus (don’t forget a good glass of wine, as the poster behind the counter suggests.)
If you feel like a small trip to the Middle East, Ristorante Crociera sul Nilo and Taverna Mediterranea (towards Ponte Sublicio) are the spots to try, with a great selection of kebab dishes, hummus, falafel and all sorts of hookah pipes.
“Books and Drinks” is the motto of Ergo Bar Culture, the indie-hip home of live music, poetry readings and book presentations.
A rustic touch is found at Nannì, where pizza and hamburgers rule the menu (starting from 3 EUR), and the decor is in the style of a typical trattoria: baskets hang from the ceiling, and the tables have red and white checked cloths.
At this point your mouth will start to water, lured by the inviting smell of barbecue from River Grill (easy to spot thanks to the red cow silhouette in front of the stand). Steak dishes such as Fiorentina and Tagliata are served under Ponte Garibaldi. Enjoy the view of Isola Tiberina, the host of I’Isola del Cinema: nightly outdoor movies and interesting initiatives around the world of cinema.
Just a few meters away you are ready to discover I Pescimisti, the real king of “cartoccio” (the paper cone filled with fried squid, fish and chips and other seafood). Try the aperitivo from 5pm to 8pm with a choice of three cartocci and wine or spritz (10.50 EUR).
As you walk past Ponte Garibaldi, the best is yet to come! Designed around the theme of an industrial workshop, Chackr- Art serves burgers starting from 5 EUR and aperitivo between 6pm and 10pm.
To spice up your meal, head to Taqueria El Paso and taste Mexican dishes, sangria and cocktails on the patio. Looking for the perfect dessert after a hot chili meal? Pasticceria L’Etoile has all the sweetness you can dream of, with panna cotta, tiramisù, ice cream croissants, crêpes, Sicilian cannoli and countless cakes.
Head to the stands past Ponte Palatino, starting with Danoi, which features amazing fruit cocktails, Bavarian dishes, and has 50s music on Mondays, swing on Thursdays, as well as theme parties.
If you’re a fan of surfing, stop by Lost River, created by brothers Andrea and Armando to bring California style parties to Rome’s summer nights. Chill on the colorful cushions in front of their surfer’s hut, surrounded by the evocative sculptures by Alba Gonzales.
Two of the best stands are located towards Ponte Sublicio: La Crostaceria brings deluxe seafood to the river banks in an elegant ambience, often accompanied by live music on the little stage next door. Last but not least, let yourself be charmed by the colorful lights of Rec23 and their vintage hamburger truck (delicious homemade burgers 6 EUR).
Are you sure you still miss the seaside?