Monday, 2 December 2013

Lungo Il Tevere - A Riverside Story

Walking through the streets of Rome at night is fun. We’d decide where to go for the night, and then get completely side tracked. On our way out for dinner one night, we crossed a bridge (which I identified later as Ponte Sisto) and saw a line of brightly lit white tents winding down the side of the Tiber. 

What could this be?
Being eternally curious, and always up for adventure we wandered down to the riverside. It turned out that this was Rome’s annual summer market, held between June and September every year, called Lungo Il Tevere. 

Eye catching, and dangerous steps for me
We filled plastic glasses with red wine Sangria, and slowly wended our way down river. The fair was full of all sorts of fun festival like things – open bars, restaurants, cafes, live music, tents selling things no one actually needs, toys, video games, dancing, and most importantly – street food. 

Great place to hang out
I'm pretty sure the sangria stops are timed. No sooner had I drained my glass than the next bar showed up. At 5 euros a Sangria, we took a pretty big hit walking up and down that night, but hey – who’s complaining! 

While we had originally planned to eat dinner in Tratsavere, the irresistible smell of fried food, fish and calamari drew our attention. After buying bags of candy and sweets from a candy store, we sat ourselves down on a slightly rickety wooden table by the river and tried to decipher the menu.

Couldn't resist

I can’t remember the name of the place we stopped at, but I do remember that there is a big wooden wall with an anchor spray painted on it, and fishnets hanging outside the kitchen and a fantastic view of the bridges. 
Loving the view
I’m a big fan of pointing at people’s food and saying ‘I want that’, which is exactly what we did. The result was a bucket of steamed mussels in white wine and cream, a plate of deep fried prawns in their shell, and grilled calamari in a bready batter. 

The way I eat shellfish is pretty amusing to most of my friends, I’ve spawned hours of jokes with the way I eat crab. Rome was in for a surprise! The mussels were perfectly steamed; though I wish the sauce had been slightly thicker and that I had thought to ask for crunchy bread to go with them. 

Mussells
The prawns were fantastic – I couldn’t tell that they were fried; we crunched through them in minutes, shell and all. I couldn’t bring myself to eat the heads and ended up with a pile of tiny prawn eyes staring up at us. 

Little prawnies
We had a great evening walking up and down the riverside, it's amazing how many fish we saw in the water even though it was more polluted than I expected. Huge black fish with funny orange mouths that could have been the grilled fish on offer ;) Lungo il Tevere opens every night from June to September at 8.30pm and is a draw for locals and tourists alike, and a great place to hang out and feel like you're part of the city and its incredible charm and allure. I loved that we were sitting by a slow moving river on a starry summer night - molto romantico! Highly recommended if you're visiting. 

Streetlight people