Happy 2012 Thanksgiving! Our tips on how to best celebrate it in Rome.

Happy 2012 Thanksgiving! Our tips on how to best celebrate it in Rome.

We noticed that a lot of you, dear readers, have been looking into Thanksgiving tips and advise in the last few weeks. And it’s good news that even at the end of November there are a lot of Americans around!

We wrote a good story last year and we hope this one will be even better…

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Italy but in Rome there are several ways and places to celebrate since the resident US community is big here.


If you want the typical turkey and pumpkin pie meal, here are some recommendations.

A very American experience is provided at the dinner of the American International Club of Rome [1] at the downtown Hotel Intercontinental, advance payment required.

The other key US association of Rome, AWAR, also organized a meal at a downtown hotel, but it is a luncheon [2] and it features a special media guest.

A very upscale option is provided by one of the restaurants at the hotel Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria. At L’Uliveto [3] a double, actually a triple offer is available. Not only you have the buffet dinner but also the buffet lunch. Thirdly, you can choose the take-away option, booking at least 36 hours in advance your 3-course meal.

The traditional Thanksgiving dinner of northern Rome is at Mama’s [4] where the local Italo-American community gathers to enjoy what they claim to be the best turkey in Rome….

For something cheaper and more central, you can go to The Perfect Bun [5], an American-style restaurant. Turkey with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and a dessert will be made by their chefs for the occasion.

Another downtown venue is the Hard Rock Café [6]. Special thanksgiving menu from 6 pm.

Vivi Bistrot, a nice cafe bar in Villa Pamphili, Rome’s biggest park, has a Thanksgiving buffet dinner from 8:30pm with stuffed turkey, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and carrot cake[ 7]. Booking required.


If you prefer to spend Thanksgiving at your own place, you will want to know how and where you could actually prepare your own meal.

Pre-order your whole turkey (bearing in mind how big is your oven) at the local butcher or supermarket, possibly a few days before Thanksgiving since Italians seldom buy the whole animal.

Sweet potatoes (or yams) and squash can be found at the Latin American stalls of the Piazza Vittorio market.  Some big city markets should have them, too.

If you can’t make your pumpkin puree for the pie, you can buy pumpkin cans at Castroni [8] or Innocenzi [9] food shops, where you will find the cranberry sauce, too (also available at Selli [10]).

If you want to indulge yourself, you can have a unique dinner experience with a personal Roman chef [11] for a memorable Thanksgiving holiday. 

You can celebrate Thanksgiving with a couple of football games (one at 6:30pm, the other at 10:15pm), at the Irish pub Abbey Theatre [12] which has a special offer with typical Thanksgiving food, too.

For early and late partying, head for the Highlander Pub [13], which will celebrate Thanksgiving with a buffet dinner from 6pm until very late in the night as they will be screening the 2:20am football game.

Music, DJs and dances will feature at the FriendsinRome special Thanksgiving dinner-party [14]. At Le Bain, near Piazza Venezia, from 7:30pm.


Finally, the religious celebration. You have a mas in the morning and another one in the evening. A mass with songs played by a local choir will take place at 7pm at the Duquesne University Rome Campus [15].

The church of Santa Susanna [16], the US catholic community’s parish, has scheduled a mass on the 22nd at 10:30am, followed by coffee and Thanksgiving muffins.


[1] http://www.aicrome.org/script/event_detail.php?id=591

[2] http://www.aicrome.org/script/event_detail.php?id=591

[3] http://www.romecavalieri.com/pdf/Menu_Thanksgiving_2012.pdf

[4] http://www.ristorantemamas.it/index.php?p=site&cmd=events

[5] http://www.theperfectbun.it

[6] http://www.hardrock.com/locations/cafes3/events.aspx?LocationID=50&eventID=57868&MIBEnumID=3

 [7] http://www.vivibistrot.com/cena-di-thanksgiving-2/

[8] http://www.castroni.it/

[9] http://plus.google.com/116809718837729224361/about?gl=IT&hl=it-IT#116809718837729224361/about

[10] http://www.nelso.com/it/place/254588/

[11] http://www.italianglamservices.com/

[12] http://abbey-rome.com/food-2/thanksgiving-2011

[13] http://www.highlanderome.com/en/page/12/eventid/63

[14] http://www.friendsinrome.com/thanksgiving.asp

[15] http://www.facebook.com/events/159083990902425/

[16] http://www.santasusanna.org/newResidents/massTimes.html