The Rome Sustainable Food Project

I moved to Rome because of Alice Waters.

I moved to Rome because of Alice Waters, and I had never even heard of the Rome Sustainable Food Project.

Italian table

Long story short: Alice Waters led to Carlos Petrini led to Amartya Sen led to a cat and an Irishman and a life in Rome.

Last night was a reminder that everything comes full circle in the end.

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The Rome Sustainable Food Project was founded in 2007 at the American Academy in Rome.  Alice Waters, Mona Talbott and Chris Boswell created a food haven for the fellows up on the Gianicolo.

Growing tomatoes

With 14 raised beds, and a few trees, the RSFP harvests 6,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables a year.

Chris RSFP

Last night was one of those Roman summer evenings that threatens rain, offers lightening, only to hold off in the end without a downpour.

We drank prosecco, toured the garden and toasted Verdure, the latest collection of recipes from RSFP by Chris Boswell.


It was a lovely night, filled with food and friends.

Food is always better with company and I was thrilled to see Sara, Marta, Kelly and Elizabeth.  Plus the gnocchi… oh the gnocchi!

I cannot wait to make the insalata di zucchini con rughetta e ricotta.



  • Reply Elizabeth Minchilli June 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Great to meet you too! Beautiful photos. The reception and dinner was actually an end of the year event for the Friends of the Academy in Rome. Hope to see you at more of these events in the fall! For those who’d like to join up, and be part of this, here is the link:

    • Reply Natalie June 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thank you! First new member below 🙂

  • Reply Leah June 20, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I just moved to Rome and discovered your blog while doing some research/googling. I love it, and I can’t wait to make the same discoveries as you. Now I’m off to sign up for a Friends of the Academy membership. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Natalie June 20, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Fabulous! Welcome to Rome and hope to see you at the next event for Friends of the Academy!

  • Reply jann June 22, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Natalie, thank you for this lovely post. My husband has had 2 short-term visiting artist grants at the Academy. Leaving was soooooooo hard. I’m begging him to reapply.

    • Reply Natalie June 23, 2014 at 12:23 am

      Hi Jann, what a lovely experience it must have been! I am toying with the idea of interning but can’t quite find a way to break from work right now. If you are ever in Rome and want to pop in for lunch, let me know!

  • Reply The American Academy in Rome – An American in Rome September 12, 2016 at 7:15 am

    […] They are also exceptionally well fed by the Rome Sustainable Food Project. […]

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