I had a lot of espresso in Italy, each one seemingly better than the last. The atmosphere varies widely from cafe to cafe, each with their own eccentricities and vibes.
Of all of the ones I visited, Giolitti was probably my favourite.
Giolitti is somewhat of an establishment in Rome. Just a stone’s throw from the parliament, it’s somewhere you’ll often see politicians, journalists, and average joes all mingling together.
It’s also probably one of the most traditional cafes you’ll experience, serving as a not just a cafe but also a bar and ice cream parlour. It’s kind of like a little, condensed version of heaven, right?
If you haven’t ordered a coffee in Italy before, this video from The Roman Guy explains the whole process hilariously well:
My first stop once I had my ticket was at the ice cream parlour, where I was greeted with dozens of mouth watering choices like tiramisu, fior di panna, and baci.
I ended up settling on a scoop of marron glacé (my personal all time favourite!) and a scoop of champagne.
With our little cups of gelato in tow, we headed over to the bar to collect our espresso.
You’ll be given the option to sit at a table or stand at the bar – make sure you take the second option! I got a double espresso for just €1, but if we’d sat at the table it would have almost certainly been four times that.
There were lots more little espresso parlours and gelaterias I visited while in Rome but didn’t take the time to take photos of, so I’ll pop some of my favourites down below:
Caffè Fondi dal 1936: Super local spot just around the corner from Termini. Their sandwiches were amazing too!
Caffè Doria: Elegant little caffe with a baroque feel similair to Caffè Greco, but without the price tag!
Caffè Canova-Tadolini: This cafe is actually the former workspace of the famed sculptor Canova, and is well worth a visit for the history alone.
L’Arte del Caffè Er Baretto: Er Baretto is tucked away down a charming little side street in Monti with outdoor seating where you can sip your espresso beside the old stone walls covered with cascading ivy.
Sant Eustacio – Il Caffè: This is another one of those cafes that has become somewhat of an institution in Rome partly due to its situation just steps away from the Parthenon and partly due to the reliably high quality of their espresso. Make sure to try their house specialty, the Grancaffè!
Do you have a favourite that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!