As I was leaving Piazza Navona, I glanced over my shoulder for one last look at the Roman square in the evening light.
I spotted a chestnut seller doing the same.
In the colder months (and, bizarrely, also in the warmer months now) you will find street sellers on Rome’s corners selling freshly roasted chestnuts to snack on.
Chestnuts are castagne, but roasted chestnuts are called caldarroste – which basically is a combination of the words for hot and roasted.
They roll a paper cone, and hand you the toasty snack to eat on the go.
This year, there is no Christmas fair in the famous piazza.
The carousel has been set up, but the stalls have not reappeared.
But the chestnut sellers always make it feel festive – like it really might finally be Christmastime in Rome.
3 thoughts on “Roasted Chestnuts in Rome: A winter time snack”
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I haven’t been to Rome in a few years now but usually go in the Autumn. What a great treat to munch on while walking Rome on a brisk afternoon. Rome is so overpowering with art and architecture and history that when you experience the simple pleasures like roasted chestnuts life slows down and si sente come un Romano …. I can’t recall seeing roasted chestnut vendors any where but in Rome. I really miss Rome … need to get back soon.
I spent 8 years of my childhood there. Feels like a small carnaval there would just be too much. What I do recall is the chestnut aroma in the air, the thick hot cocoa (thickest I’ve seen to date, having visited 5 continents), and the stands with holiday knickknacks. Seems like every holiday season my school would take us there to sing Chriatmas Carol’s. If I remember correctly, other schools did the same thing all over town.