The Roman October Days (L’Ottobrata Romana)

It is said that “all roads lead to Rome.”

The Baths of Caracalla, ~AD 216

The Baths of Caracalla, ~AD 216

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Then it’s no surprise that being enchanted by the magic of Rome is a date with destiny for any visitor who sets foot in the Eternal City.  Beyond the clichés, the fact is that the warmth and charm of these early autumn days are to be savored.  Although it never gets Boston-cold here, winter is just around the corner—and what’s not to love when the average temperature is 77°F (25°C)?

The celebration of these beautiful and hot Roman October days is known as ottobrate romane.  Back in the early 1900s, the ottobrate was traditionally more than appreciating and taking advantage of the weather.

It was a downright bawdy, music-filled spectacle on every Sunday during the month, topped off by a traveling cart filled with seven women, accompanied, on foot, by revelers from tenements, such as Testaccio and Trastevere.

Image from Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.org

Where were they going? They went to the campagne, the lush green expanses of the surrounding countryside just outside the walls of Rome.  These leisurely walks (passaggiate) in the campagne were considered essential, and offered the ability to enjoy the mild weather with family and friends.

Today, Romans are still celebrating the warmth of October and their passeggiate, only this time the lush green grass is more likely covered pavement!

Still, during Rome’s Ottobrate every intake of breath or blink of an eye is an immersion into a history that allows you to capture the splendor of this magnificent city.

So, walk through the Forums and the majestic Colosseum, take a passeggiata through Monti, eat gelato, or perhaps relax in an outdoor café with a cool drink and ask yourself: what is the taste of Rome in ottobrate romane?

1045

Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Original Article by Samir Hassan

(Translated & Edited by  Diedré Blake)

 

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Learn Italian:

La campagna – Countryside

La passeggiata – Leisurely walk or stroll

Ma che bella ottobrata romana!   (What a lovely Roman October!)