ITALY, TRAVEL

Lungo il Tevere – Summer Festival in Rome

lungo-il-tevere-rome

Lungo Il Tevere – the best summer festival in Rome

Rome is such a super city to explore as it is, and if it couldn’t get any ‘cooler,’ here’s one festival you should not miss. Since 2003, Rome has been hosting the annual summer festival, Lungo il Tevere. It’s where the banks of the famous Fiume Tevere, or Tiber River, in the heart of Rome, come to life with numerous cultural events.

Rome Lungo il Tevere
Welcome to Lungo il Tevere

You get to experience theatre, dance, and music in venues along the river; most of which are free. Numerous artisans display their one-of-a kind pieces you can take home to impress your friends, and there are plenty of places to try craft beers, international and local cuisine, and it’s a great place to meet friends for the evening. The Tiber becomes a river of culture where the heart of the city comes to life. I’ve been here a couple of times and I continue to be impressed with all that is there to see and do.

Evening light at Lungo il Tevere, Rome

What are the dates of the Lungo il Tevere?

So when is il Lungo il Tevere? The annual Lungo il Tevere is from early June to September and you cannot miss it. It flanks the banks of the Tevere River from the bridges that are near the Trastevere area of Rome. In 2018, Il Lungo il Tevere started on June 8 and goes until early September.

One thing to keep in mind is that Romans go on vacation in August. This can be a curse and a blessing. You may find several places closed and others remain open. However, that means you are not competing with the locals to see either the Lungo il Tevere or the many monuments that you must see in Rome. I’ve been in Rome in August, and while it was scorching hot, the city appeared empty. Yes… empty. Maybe consider going in August… ?

Nanni's restaurant is new for 2018
Lots of great restaurants and bars to sit out and enjoy the passers-by

Where is il Lungo il Tevere, exactly?

Check the map below and it’s pretty clear. You start at Piazza Trilussa just on the south side of Ponte (Bridge) Sisto and follow the Tevere River around to the end at Porta Portese. To be honest, the most lively areas are from Ponte Sisto to Ponte Palatino, but explore all of it to see everything. Below is a great map to get your bearings of the Lungo il Tevere.

While you are snooping around the artist’s kiosks and restaurants, if you can get a spot at the Lost River Lounge Bar, stop there!  You are near the small rapids of the Tiber River flowing down. The Tiber was flowing quite swiftly when I was there and was a nice, lively addition to when I was meeting friends. It also created a bit of a breeze in the humid, Roman air.

What time does Il Lungo il Tevere start?

Lungo Il Tevere starts early at 5:00p and most of the cultural events, like the theater, dance… start around 9/9:30p. Romans do things late and this is no exception. I have to admit I found their hours annoying, but only on the weekend. I wanted to go there during the day on a Saturday. Not only was it closed, I was told I couldn’t even enter to take a look around. What??? Understandably, people have day jobs and do these summer festivals in the evening.  It’s nothing grave, but a bit annoying.

Tables waiting for patrons but empty at Lungo il Tevere
Empty tables waiting for patrons at Lungo il Tevere

As a caveat, this festival gets frickin’ busy at night! If you want to have a look around, sample some food and drinks, and actually get a seat, go early! From 7-9p, most Italians are dining and will come to Il Lungo il Tevere after dinner. This is when you’ll also have the attention of the vendors, whether at the restaurants or the artists’s kiosks.

Taqueria Paso Tex Mex restaurant was a hopping place later in the evening at lungo il Tevere
For your fix of Tex-Mex, stop by Taqueria Paso Restaurant

Catch some cinema at il Lungo il Tevere

If you like cinema, head to Isola Tibertina to the l’Isola di Roma, which runs until September 2. This is a multi-genre event with 82 nights of film screenings and one-of-a-kind discussions with important members from the film community.

You will see films by up-and-coming directors, independent films, new documentaries, and major productions in their original language. There is a lot to take in here, and if you have the time and inclination, do it! But plan in advance! Ticket prices will vary depending on the show you are seeing and how many times you wish to have access to films. Check their website for more details. It’s in Italian and English.
L'isola del Cinema Roma
Okay… I’m not sure I get the fascination of this, but the place is full of foos-ball machines. Maybe, it’s a late arrival from America, but there are numerous foos-ball machines interspersed for you to enjoy with friends. Or perhaps enemies, if you think you can out-do a Roman in foos-ball. Any rate, I didn’t get the fascination, but they were busy!
Did you read about that one time I was a film extra in Rome. What a fun fiasco!
Lungo il Tevere foosball tables
The fascination of foosball

How to get to Lungo Il Tevere

If you are staying in the heart of Rome, you simply find Ponte Sisto, or the Sisto Bridge and cross over the Tiber river. If you are near a tram route in another part of town, here are the metro and tram networks.
This is very convenient if you are flying into Rome’s Fiumicino airport. From the airport, you have two lines to choose from: either the Leonardo Express that will drop you off at Roma Termini train station, or you take the cheaper local train, the FL1 from Fiumicino airport to Trastevere Station. Then catch either the Tram lines 8 or 3 to head toward the river. You can also walk from here.

Rome’s Metro Map

Rome metro map
Metro Rome map. Take the FL1 from Fiumicino to the Trastevere stop. It’s only €8.

Rome’s Tram Network


Where to stay near il Lungo il Tevere

You can easily find hotels and apartments in the Trastevere location of Rome with no problem. A fantastic, superb-quality hotel to stay at, to be in the heart of the action, as well as close to il Lungo il Tevere, is Hotel Ponte Sisto. This hotel is just on the other side of the Ponte Sisto (Sisto Bridge). This is on the side by Campo de’ Fiori, so you are killing two birds with one stone with this hotel. This is a fantastic 4*hotel with excellent service and amenities. I’ve stayed here a couple of times and I continue to go back.
Room 505 Hotel Ponte Sisto Rome w Terrace
Superb double room at Hotel Ponte Sisto with a terrace. Ask for room 505!
Stay at Ponte Sisto hotel to be near Lungo il Tevere
Lovely rooftop terrace at Hotel Ponte Sisto
You can easily experience il Lungo il Tevere and the major historic parts of Rome by basing yourself at this hotel. I strongly recommend it. You are literally a one-minute walk to Lungo il Tevere and a 5-minute walk to the famous market of Campo de’ Fiori.
Campo De' Fiori Market Rome
Campo De’ Fiori Market vendors Rome
There you can experience the daily Campo de’ Fiori market and the many, surprisingly reasonably-priced restaurants. I dined at a place called Virgilio, and was extremely surprised as to the price of the bruschetta ($3.50 – big enough for two) and the Spaghetti Carbonara (spaghetti with eggs, bacon and parmesan) for $15. There is a lot of competition in that area for patrons.
If you get there, let me know what you think and what you tried. Have a great time. Enjoy!!
Chocolate stand Lungo il Tevere Rome
Chocolate stand Lungo il Tevere Rome

Rome: Get Your Guide

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Life On The Mediterranean

US expat living the life on the Mediterranean in the South of France. I regularly travel to Spain, Italy, Greece and other intriguing locations around the Mediterranean. Former Hyatt Corp Marketing Manager, student accommodation director and hotel photoshoot art director.

8 Comments

  1. Priya Florence Shah
    August 11, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Nice to know about the Lungo il Tevere, when I plan a trip to Rome. Though, considering the current heatwaves in Europe, I might just have to give summer a miss. Summer in India is bad enough and I would prefer to travel to Europe when it’s more pleasant.

    • Anonymous
      August 11, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      I hear you Priya. I’ve been to India in the summer and I can tell you Europe is usually a bit cooler, but you’ll definitely enjoy Rome in the shoulder seasons. Hope you get to visit.

  2. Followingtherivera
    August 10, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    I live half the year in Italy, but in the north, and so haven’t been to Rome for many years. Now I’ve read about Lungo il Tevere, I’ll be sure to see it the next time. And yes, Italy in general is hot, but August is scorching!!

    • Anonymous
      August 10, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      Wow. Am curious as to where you are in the north of Italy. I’m just over the border in Nice and head to Italy probably once a month. Love living so close to the border. And you are right. August can be scorching. I did a movie shoot there last year and had to do makeup and wardrobe in nearly 40 degree weather…

  3. eli
    August 9, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Seems like a really cool cultural experience! I love Italian food and wine so this sounds like my kind of scene.

    • Anonymous
      August 10, 2018 at 7:58 am

      Hi Eli, it’s truly a lot of fun and it gets busier the later in the day you go. The atmosphere is quite social so even if you know no one, you will leave with plenty of acquaintances. Great unique gift shopping place.

  4. jenny bhatia
    August 9, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    My husband wants to go to Rome, so we have been researching the area. This post is full of great information, very thorough. And great advice. I love your images and would love to know what kind of camera you use. Oh, and I pinned this to “Dream Travel Destinations”

    • Anonymous
      August 10, 2018 at 8:04 am

      Hi Jenny, nice to hear, and thank you. Rome is really a great place, and take a look at the hotel I recommended. Campo de’Fiore area in general is a really good based for easily seeing the sites. I often recommend taking the Hop on, Hop off bus just to get your bearings. Also, I mentioned August, which can be expensive to travel there, but once you are there you’ll find it much quieter than other times, and since much of Rome’s monuments can be appreciated simply from the outside, you’ve have fewer people to deal with. I use a Nikon D3200. 🙂 Thanks again.

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