Magnificent ‘floating market’, River Tiber

Lungotevere 2One of the things that makes up for the stuffy summer heat in Rome is the magical white canopied market  lining the river Tiber, hidden below the tall imposing riverside walls by Trastevere. Down by the rushing water you feel as if in a hidden world, appearing only from late June until August, enticing passers-by with a line of lights along the water’s edge giving the impression of a floating market. Here is an array of fun and shopping in the form of outdoor bars & dance floors, market stalls and restaurants. Every area has been set up with considered and sleek design. The market is filled with  popular African and Indian influenced clothes and accessories. Prices are relatively high here for a market reflecting the tourist pull (€35 for small sun dress). The food tends to be more eclectic with Mexican, kebab and American food, catering to the influx of both tourists and locals every evening. However don’t expect culinary brilliance or great deals here.  I stopped with a friend at a Mexican food spot. The décor was irresistible; decked chairs, white trellis with billowing white muslin curtains created a frame for each table with brilliant fuchsia flowers to watch the river pass by. The quesadilla was small and reheated for €10 and we had to pay extra for salsa for the wrap. The area gets going around 8pm when the sun falls and the lights begin to twinkly. The market also engulfs the pretty Tiberina Island by Trastevere, following the curve of the water. There are cultural vibes to be found here in a cinema ‘lab’ where we saw a live avant-garde performance. The larger outdoor cinema on the island shows films every night, from indie to US money makers (many in Italian) www.isoladelcinema.com  We picked a spot with low lounging sofas under the awning of a heavy marble bridge, watching the silky water race by slicked with the market lights. Cocktails were €8 but we did find a bar further down with cocktails for €5 so look around for better deals.

I don’t want to like this place for its hiked up prices and low food quality, but the undeniable romantic atmosphere, along with a couple of cheaper finds, nonetheless transforms it into a quintessential Roman moment.

www.lungoiltevereroma.it

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