“Trick or treat,

smell my feet,

give me something good to eat,

if you don’t, I don’t care,

I can see your underwear!”


Halloween is right around the corner, and like any full blooded American, my daughter and I can’t wait to get started with the celebration!  My 5 year old is still unaware Halloween is not a mainstream event in Rome, since every year we plan a crazy party at our house.  Here are a few tips in case you are planning a Halloween party in Rome, away from home.


Decorations:   since Halloween is just starting to become popular among young people in Rome, you can find the occasional decoration or pumpkin at grocery stores, but as you can imagine they are quite pricey and not necessarily pretty.  My favorite decorations have always been homemade and for this there is nothing better than the countless Cartolerie (paper/card stores) here in Rome.  They are the closest thing to our craft stores and are usually a wealth of ideas. Some cartolerie are better than others and a few that come to mind are:  Cartaria Appia (San Giovanni) and Centro Carta Pizzino (Monteverde).


Costumes:  the same thing goes for costumes.  While you can begin to see stores selling Halloween costumes, they are not the same quality as the ones you would find abroad.  Once you decide on a costume, I suggest stopping by a merceria (haberdashery)  for material, cloth, buttons, yarn, etc., to make your own costumes.


Food:  this is probably the easiest thing to do for the party, since American recipes are the easiest thing.  Here are a few items that I usually have at my Halloween parties:  popcorn  (covered with marshmallows), rice krispi treats, jello, brownies, cookies, etc.   Luckily, you can find all the necessary ingredients at any grocery store.  You may have to go to a specialty store such as Castroni for marshmallows.

Good luck with the preparations!

Rosemary Navarrete-Poretti