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A cup of Rome's finest

creato da Dario Morgante ultima modifica 20/06/2008 15:10

Dying for a coffee? The head for the Pantheon, Rome's temple to coffee...

You're busy sightseeing in Rome when all of a sudden you get a hankering for coffee. What next? Sure, you could stop at one of the hundreds of bars dotted throughout the centre. Or you could make your way towards the Pantheon, via Orfani 84 to be more precise, where you should find yourselves in front of "Casa del caffé Tazza d’Oro", one of the oldest cafés in Rome which still roasts its own coffee. Don't ask for anything but coffee as, believe it or not, that's all the menu offers in the wonderfully kitsch atmosphere of this 1950s- Caribbean look café. We particularly liked the coffee-flavoured granita with cream, which is surprisingly cheap compared to going rates and tastes even better when sipped on the steps of the Pantheon. It's worth noting that the Tazza d’Oro is quite indifferent to the demands of the tourist trade closing on Sundays, at Christmas and for the month of August.

Oops, are you still on the steps of the Pantheon? Feel like another coffee? At just a stone's throw (metaphorically speaking that is, towards Largo Argentina) two doors down from Feltrinelli in vicolo di Torre Argentina you'll find another of those bars populated by real Romans - "Pascucci". (Check opening times and dates to avoid disappointment.) The house specialities are smoothies and shakes (the zabaione smoothie is decidedly moreish) but the coffee's not bad either (toasted on the premises - well, not quite, but by the café itself). The café is small and boasts the original 1960s decor.

Are what if you're a chocoholic? Then it's straight back to the Pantheon (or Piazza della Rotonda for those in the know). Then ask for "Caffé La Palma" for a feast of ice-cream and chocolate (the latter imported from all over the world). You can buy ice-cream to go and if you like your music loud head here after dinner for some live - and loud - music. If ice-cream is your thing then cross the road to "Fiocco di neve", a tiny ice-cream parlour with friendly helpful staff and a fountain where you can quench your thirst. The chocolate ice-cream is particularly good.

If instead you walk as far as Via degli Uffici del Vicario (towards Montecitorio) you'll be able to try out one of Rome's landmarks - Giolitti. The café was opened in 1900 and maintains the same decor to this day. Once an institution with the Roman aristocracy and in-crowd, Giolitti is still worth a visit even if you're unlikely to spot the glitterati as they lick their gelati.

Giolitti - 's".
coffee roasting establishments - .
Gambero Rosso - " - the gourmet's website.
Coffee - Italian style - - A guide to ordering coffee in Italy.

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