Roman life takes place out in the open, in the big piazzas. Ciampini is the ideal place to sit down over a cappuccino or a glass of wine and watch the spectacle of tourists and locals intermingling.
39/06-687-6606. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue. Read about Pepi Marchetti Franchi’s favorite neighborhood in Rome.
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A Cappuccino with a View
I recently savored a week in Rome. During a lunch break on a partly cloudy day in March, I decided to walk down Via Sistina to the Spanish Steps, and then continue along Piazza Trinita dei Monti to see what lay beyond this local hub of tourist activity.
To my great delight, I came across the quiet and lovely Ciampini Ristorante, and yes, it was open for lunch. At 12:45 p.m. I was arriving ahead of the locals so I had the entire restaurant to myself.
At first I thought I would sit in the outdoor seating area so I could enjoy the fresh air. After several minutes of refreshing yet brisk March wind I decided to embrace the warmth of the glass-enclosed dining area. This turned out to be an excellent decision as the enclosed dining room was at a higher elevation. I was seated at a comfortable table next to broad glass windows that afforded a view of Roman rooftops all the way out to St. Peter’s Basilica!
The service was gracious and the warm al dente risotto was delicious. The extensive view of cross-adorned domes and bell towers mingling among terra cotta rooftops encouraged a desire to linger.
To make the experience last a little longer, I ordered a cappuccino. It was perfect. I sipped and enjoyed it until I had barely enough time to return to the hotel for my next business meeting.
Arrivederci, Ciampini Ristorante!
People ask me what my favorite caffè bar in Rome is and I will always answer Ciampini. It fits every requirement: great cappuccini, delicious pastries, and lovely savoury delicacies. Yes, table service can be pricey but well worth the people watching.