Thanksgiving Day

Ilaria D'Onofrio Program Assistant, Rome Center


November 22, 2018

Today is the fourth Wednesday of the month, then you know exactly what that means: it is Thanksgiving time!
Here in Italy we do not have this particular holiday and we are not very familiar with why you celebrate it and how, but we are always thrilled to learn new things and get in contact with new cultures. That is why with this blog post we want to investigate a bit on this American holiday, and who knows? Maybe you will learn something new too.


This festivity was firstly celebrated in 1621, when the colonies of Pilgrims decided to celebrate the success of their first harvest in the new territory, despite the horribly cold winter of that year, and invited to the feast even the Native American population. The menu of that first feast have now become the traditional meal for the day (with obviously some variations): turkey, pumpkin, cereal pies and nuts.
But the first who decided to make this day a national holiday, celebrated on the fourth Wednesday of November, was Abraham Lincoln in 1863. In his thanksgiving proclamation he said:

“I invite my fellow citizens who live in every parts of United States, even who are overseas or in foreign territories, to designate this day as the day of thanking and praising our beneficent Lord.”

But not everybody knows that there was a woman influence behind this decision, Sarah Josepha Hale, who thought that settling a national day for this celebration would make the population of the country feel more united and connected, in a period where the United States was torn apart by the Civil war. 

Thanksgiving day in rome

We foreigners love to see in movies or TV series scenes how a big traditional American family usually reunites around a banquet table, pray the Lord and then the head of the family starts to cut the turkey and serves it to the rest of the family. It is a special moment of joy and unity that reconnect the whole family after a year spent apart for working or studying matters, and I personally think that this values of unity and family celebration are worth to be spread around the world, especially in the current times. Therefore, I am gladly to announce you that you can celebrate this american festivity even here in Rome, in some locals that will serve american traditional dishes for this special occasion:

- Hard Rock Cafè in Via Veneto

Scholars Lounge Irish Pub in Via del Plebiscito 101

Abbey Theatre in Via del Governo Vecchio 51/53

The Highlander Pub in vicolo di San Biagio 9

Bakery House (in its three location: Corso Trieste 157, Via Riano 11, Viale America 91) where the money obtained will go to the population of Genova hit by the tragic fall of Morandi Bridge.