CNN Travel recently featured a piece on Rome’s best coffee bars, and the Lezovi family visited two of the top fifteen. Rosati (#1) and Canova (#5) sit on the same square, the Piazza del Popolo, a bustling hive for artists, students and pervasive sellers of trinkets and trash.
We visited Rosati after standing for two hours in St. Peter’s Square while awaiting news of the Vatican’s choice as pope. Black smoke at 11:39 a.m. meant that the cardinals had not yet reached a decision. Next we spent an hour touring St. Peter’s Basilica. When Mike suggested not only lunch but coffee as well at Rosati, Mikayla and I quickly agreed.
Mike ordered the spaghetti with cacio cheese and black pepper. Mikayla had spaghetti carbonara and I asked for spaghetti with mussels, shrimps and clams. Each dish was excellent.
We expected the coffee to be just as delicious and it was. For the first time I could detect the layers of flavor in the espresso and could appreciate why Rosati ranks first on CNN’s list.
The next day we visited the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. After a few hours of cramming ancient history we needed another lift. We chose Canova.
Here, the tables face the street and the square, accommodating the need to see and be seen. While sitting at Canova it’s easy to critique the parade of fashion do’s and don’ts.
Mikayla ordered a strawberry sundae as Mike and I settled for coffee. Americano for him, cappuccino for me. It was not a one-for-one taste test using espresso, but I could tell that the coffee was quite good. The espressino doc, recommended by CNN’s writer, was nowhere to be found on the menu. Perhaps she has local knowledge about ordering espresso mixed with cocoa powder and whipped cream.
Ironically we found the best value in coffee at the Roma Termini train station: one euro for a darned good cup of Americano.