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LIVING IN ITALY

Where can you celebrate Thanksgiving in Italy this year?

For Americans craving a taste of home with minimal effort, here's a look at the restaurants hosting Thanksgiving dinner in 2022.

Here are some of the places where you can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in Italy this November.
Here are some of the places where you can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in Italy this November. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and many Americans abroad are looking forward to a taste of home during the festive season.

If you’re spending your first festive season in Italy, have no fear: with a little effort it’s perfectly possible to create your own authentic Thanksgiving at home.

But perhaps the idea of sourcing for the all right ingredients for a home-cooked dinner makes you feel exhausted; or maybe you plan to celebrate with a large group.

So what are the options if you prefer to dine out? If you’re in a major Italian city with a sizeable American expat population, you may be in luck.

Here are some of the restaurants where you can book a Thanksgiving dinner in Italy this November.

Although a wide range of Italian restaurants have held Thanksgiving celebrations in the past, we’ve restricted our list to those venues and groups that have confirmed they will be hosting an event this year on Thursday, November 24th.

Milan: 

7.30-11.30pm Milano Culture Club, DOT Chianti Restaurant. American-Italian fusion dinner, €35-€45. Book here.

7.30-10pm God Save the Food, Piave, Brera and Tortona locations. €38 includes water, coffee and a bottle of wine per 2 bookings. Booking details here.

No time given, 24th-27th November, Erba Brusca. Drinks not included, €45. Details here.

No time given, 24th-26th November, Route 66 Diner. €29; €1 extra buys a litre of beer. Book here.

8.30pm, California Bakery. Locations across Milan. Booking details here.

8-11pm Scopriamo la tradizione del THANKSGIVING in cucina! (‘Let’s discover the tradition of Thanksgiving in the kitchen!’) event. Specifically targeted at singles, €86.58. Book here.  

Rome:

7-9pm or 9.30-11.30pm Hard Rock Cafe, Live Pearl Jam tribute act. €26.40 for one or €37.90 for two. Book here.

7pm until late American Club of Rome, Emme Restaurant. €50. Book here

6:30-8pm Highlander Pub. All you can eat buffet. €50. Book here

7.30-10.30pm or 8-11pm on Saturday, November 26th, Expats in Rome, Expats Club house on Via Portuense 104 in Trastevere. €40. Booking details here.

8.15pm or 9.45pm, Bakery House, Corso Trieste, EUR and Ostia locations. Drinks not included, €40. Booking details here. Takeaway Thanksgiving dinner also offered for €33; book here.

No time given, Hummustown takeaway (or stand around) Thanksgiving kiosk lunch. €20 for first course, €5 drink, €5 pecan pie. Booking details here.

7pm on November 23rd, Joel Nafuma Refugee Centre bring-and-share Thanksgiving meal. Entry is free and turkey provided; bring your own side or dessert and drinks. Book here.

Florence:

9-11.30pm Hotel Savoy, Rocco Forte Hotel. Drinks not included, €65. Booking details here.

12-10pm Hard Rock Cafe, €26.40 for one or €37.90 for two. Book here.

7.30pm until late Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano wine estate, American-Tuscan food in the hills outside Florence. €40. Booking details here.

No time given, Ristorante Accademia. Booking details here.

Venice

No time given, 24th-27th November, Hard Rock Cafe. Live performance on stage at 9.30pm. €27.90 for one or €39.90 for two. Book here.

Naples

8.30pm, Birdy’s Bakery, Thanksgiving turkey burger, sides and cake. Details here.

Do you know of any other restaurants we should add to this list? Please leave a comment below or let us know by email.

Member comments

  1. Hard Rock Cafe Venice
    THANKSGIVING 2022 AT HARD ROCK CAFE VENICE
    Share on social media

    VenueHard Rock Cafe Venice, Venezia
    Date24 Nov 2022 27 Nov 2022
    Event info
    THANKSGIVING 2022 AT HARD ROCK CAFE VENICE

    Create new traditions. Celebrate Thanksgiving together.

    On November 24th celebrate Thanksgiving at Hard Rock Cafe Venice. Taste the traditional turkey meal in limited edition and enjoy Nick & Dodo live performance on stage at 9.30 PM with the best acoustic rock cover of all times.

    THANKSGIVING MENU

    MAIN MEAL
    Slow-roasted turkey breast, roasted fresh vegetables, home-style classic stuffing, creamy sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce finished with a traditional turkey gravy.

    PUMPKIN PIE
    A slice of classic pumpkin pie topped with caramel sauce and house-made whipped cream.

    Thanksgiving Bundle: € 39.90
    (For 2 People, promotion only available on pre-booking)
    2 Thanksgiving Meals + 1 Free Pumpkin Pie to share

    Thanksgiving Menu: € 27.90
    Thanksgiving Meal + Pumpkin Pie

    Thanksgiving Kids Menu: € 11.95
    Thanksgiving Kids Plate

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LIVING IN ITALY

The Italian holiday calendar for 2023

Italy gets a good number of public holidays, but they sometimes fall on a weekend. Here are the dates to plan for next year.

The Italian holiday calendar for 2023

Italy has long been known for being fairly generous with its public holidays, with Austria being the only EU country with more holidays (13). 

In total, Italian residents enjoy 11 national public holidays plus a local holiday for the patron saint of their cities (for instance St Ambrose in Milan, St Mark in Venice, St John in Florence, etc.).

READ ALSO: Why do Milan residents get a day off on December 7th?

But, as some Italian speakers might say, ‘non è tutto oro quel che luccica’ (all that glitters is not gold). In fact, all national holidays in Italy are taken on the day they fall on that year rather than being moved to the nearest Monday as is the case in other countries, including the UK.

This means that if a certain holiday is on a Saturday or a Sunday, there is no extra day off for residents.

It also means that there are ‘good’ holiday years and ‘bad’ ones, and, while 2022 wasn’t a particularly good one – as many as four public holidays fell on a weekend day – 2023 only has one such holiday: New Year’s Day, which will fall on Sunday, January 1st.

Deck chair on Italian seaside

Italian residents will get five three-day weekends in 2023 thanks to public national holidays. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

2023 holiday calendar

  • January 1, 2023 (New Year’s Day): Sunday
  • January 6, 2023 (Epiphany): Friday
  • April 10, 2023 (Easter Monday): Monday
  • April 25, 2023 (Liberation Day): Tuesday
  • May 1, 2023 (Labour Day): Monday
  • June 2, 2023 (Italian Republic Day): Friday
  • August 15, 2023 (Ferragosto): Tuesday
  • November 1, 2023 (All Saints’ Day): Wednesday
  • December 8, 2023 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception): Friday
  • December 25, 2023 (Christmas Day): Monday
  • December 26, 2023 (St Stephen’s Day): Tuesday

As shown by the above list, Christmas Eve (December 24th) and New Year’s Eve (December 31st) are not official public holidays in Italy, but many local companies do give their staff both days off as a gesture of goodwill. 

That said, in 2023 Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will both fall on a Sunday, so residents will already be home from work. 

Like both ‘Eves’, Easter Sunday is also not considered a public holiday, but, once again, residents are already home from work on the day given that it falls on a Sunday every year.  

2023 ‘bridges’ and long weekends

Whether or not a certain year is a good one for holidays also depends on the number of ‘bridges’ available.

For the uninitiated, ‘fare il ponte (‘to do the bridge’) is the noble art of taking an extra day off when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday – the most audacious might do this with a Wednesday holiday too.

Sadly, 2023 doesn’t provide a lot of opportunities to do this. There are only two possible bridges: one for Liberation Day, falling on Tuesday, April 25th and one for Ferragosto, on Tuesday, August 15th.

But, on a more positive note, six of next year’s public holidays will fall either on a Monday or a Friday, giving residents five three-day weekends and a four-day one – Christmas Day (falling on Monday) is immediately followed by St Stephen’s Day on Tuesday.

Italian non-holiday holidays

There are seven dates in Italy’s calendar that are considered official but not public holidays, meaning you don’t get a day off. 

These are known as ‘solennità civili’ (civil feasts) and include National Unity Day on the first Sunday of November, the day of Italy’s patron saints Francesco and Caterina on October 4th, and the anniversary of the unification of Italy on March 17th.

Display from Italian Air Force for Italy's Unity Day

National Unity Day, which is celebrated every year on the first Sunday of November, is one of Italy’s ‘civil feasts’. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

That’s in addition to nearly 30 national and international days of commemoration or celebration that Italy recognises, including Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27th), Europe Day (May 9th) and Christopher Columbus Day (October 12th). 

Much like the previously mentioned solennità civili, none of the above will get you a day off.

Other holidays

If you’re an employee in Italy, you’re entitled to paid holiday time, and the very minimum allowance is four weeks (or 20 days) a year – that’s 18 days less than in Austria, which leads the EU pack in minimum paid leave.

That said, many Italian contracts, particularly those for state employees, allow for five weeks (or 25 days) of paid leave per year. 

It’s also worth noting that, by law, employees must take at least two weeks of paid leave consecutively (i.e. two in a row) and all paid leave accumulated over the course of a year must be taken within 18 months from the end of that year.

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