Ciampini has all the required three Ps (that's a thing, right?): People-watching, prime piazza location, and perfect cappuccini to make it the most coveted caffè bar in Rome. From 8 a.m. to after dark, Rome's best-dressed flock to Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina for a caffè and cornetto, a light pasta lunch, or the evening's aperitivo. Counters are crowded, and tables are in demand (with a slightly higher fee for service) but well worth it to have your own oasis in the middle of the hubbub. A few minutes at the gelato bar is also worth your time—ice cream genius Sergio spends every morning making all the ice cream and granita flavors from scratch.
By Erica Firpo, AFAR Local Expert
People-Watching in Piazza di San Lorenzo
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.
By Gail Koza
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!
By Gail Koza
Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 2, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
+39 06 678 5678
Sun - Sat 8am - 11pm