Autumn in Rome

7 October 2020
Daily life, what to do

We often talk about how strong Italian traditions are for the locals.

One of the most yummy traditions is roasted chestnuts! Yes sir, chestnuts are a big part of Italy’s culinary culture. As for the whole Mediterranean area, from Portugal to Turkey. Italy is covered with chestnut trees, gifting us with their “spiky” fruits, in Autumn and winter. Mind you, only the heart of the fruit is edible, best if cooked.

Chestnuts are actually used for many dishes: the flour is used for cakes, breads and even pasta.  For example, it’s used in Tuscany, Piedmont and other Regions, to make the famous “Castagnaccio“, a spiced cake with pine nuts and raisins. Delicious!

There are also baked, iced chestnuts called Marron Glacé, delicious and very popular Nationwide, even if they have Northern origins.

So, roasted chestnuts are also extremely famous all over Italy. Mostly because they are easy to cook and a quick treat, if you’re in a rush. As it is considered a street food around here, during the cooler seasons. In fact, in most cities in Italy, it’s not hard to find street sellers and stands in almost every street corner, roasting up some chestnuts over round grills, in the winter time.

If you happen to be in Rome in mid-autumn or winter, it won’t be hard to find chestnuts sizzling over the big grills.

The Romans call them “Caldarroste“.

Perfect for those cold, cloudy days. Enjoy them wrapped up in a paper cone called “Cartoccio”, as you stroll around in Via del Corso, Via Condotti or Piazza Navona. Autumn in Rome is just romantic. The smells and the atmosphere are so inviting!

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