It's that time of year again.
Time to pack the hamper with delicious foods, sparkling wine, and get out into the warm Roman sun. Whether sprawled on blanket, dampened by grass, or lazily camped in the shade of monumental umbrella pines, picnics are the ideal springtime solution for families with kids, frugal travelers, and anyone in need of a little romance.
The article I contributed to The Travel Belles, and a comprehensive post on Food Lover's Odyssey, both provide useful listing of locations, purveyors and typical picnic foods for a true Roman holiday.
But if you're feeling lazy and don't want to shop and prepare your own snacks and sandwiches, and much less assemble bulky picnic paraphernalia, there are restaurants, caterers and cafes that can organize everything for you, and take the hassle out of bucolic.
Here is my shortlist of where to find Rome's best picnic baskets.
This trendy restaurant and Rome VIP hangout prepares elegant wicker hampers filled with lovely china plates, long-stemmed wine glasses, classic checkered tablecloth. Baskets come complete with delicious fresh sandwiches, quiches, bruschettas, soups, pasta salads, vegetable dishes, homemade desserts, fruit, a bottle of your favorite wine, and a thermos of piping hot Italian espresso. Favorite panini include ciabatta stuffed with brie, prosciutto and truffle oil; or focaccia with pesto, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and walnuts.
To order your basket contact email@example.com, or Tel. +39 06 6780251 – Via San Sebastianello 7/A (Spanish Steps)
Rome's #1 eco-friendly restaurant, located in a refurbished 1800s barn at the heart of lush Villa Doria Pamphili –– one of the city's largest public parks –– entertains guests for breakfast, lunch, high tea, happy hour and candle lit dinners. Vivi Bistrot however best shines in its stellar picnic planning. Five menus to choose from, catering to kids, vegans, and locavore "Km-0" campers, and whose produce, meat and eggs are 100% certified organic and cultivated in nearby farms, all packaged in fully biodegradable materials. For a romantic date or for a special occasion with your significant other, you can reserve the Deluxe wicker basket: for €50 you get a plush blanket, ceramic plates, wine chalices, flatware and napkins, and the daily newspaper. Fares include a choice of pasta, savory quiche, salads, chocolate brownie, water and white wine, for two.
Reach Vivi Bistrot via the park
entrance on Via Vitellia 102
– Tel. (+39) 06 5827540 – firstname.lastname@example.org
This cute little green kiosk in the heart of the heart-shaped Villa Borghese park was built in 1915, and has since then served refreshments and snacks to park-goers. While you wait for the staff to assemble your hamper with the foods of your choice, you can sit at one of the tables in the shade for a drink, or read the paper on the cushions and throw pillows in the relax area under the magnolia trees. Goodies may include prosciutto and melon, mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil Caprese salad, bruschettas, burgers, pizza and sandwiches; paired with copious amounts of gelato, wine, bubbly and candy.
Piazza delle Canestre, at the corner of Viale Fiorello Laguardia, by the Pincio – Tel. +39 336 44699011 – email@example.com
Beautiful picnic ideas and inspiration at Around My Table ~ The Party Dress ~ La Tartine Gourmande ~ HEMA ~ Home Sense ~ The Vintage Home