There are of course heaps of great cafes and gelatarias in the Centro Storico. Here are a few good ones I’ve been to…
City map here.
Il Gelato di San Crispino (Intermediate A), 3 Pizza della Madallena
The best ice cream in Rome according to some. I had a tub (they don’t sell cones) of their signature version which was great (A). They have lots of other unusual flavours like whisky and fig.
I came here in 2011 but in 2018 I tried a couple of more modern places is Sallustiano that were also really good (post here). There are several more places to try out before I decide which is best…
Antico Caffe Greco (Intermediate A), 86 Via dei Condotti, caffegreco.shop
Founded in 1760, Caffe Greco has hosted many famous artists, writers and philosophers including Wagner, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Goethe, Stendhal, Gogol, Andersen and Schopenhauer, so the coffee must be good.
Caffe Sant ‘Eustachio (Intermediate A), Piazza Sant ‘Eustachio
Perhaps Rome’s most famous cafe, so it’ll probably be quite busy. Their water supply comes from a Roman aqueduct built in 19 B.C. Local coffee aficionados say this adds to the flavour. They do make a very good macchiato. As usual in Italy it’s cheaper to drink your coffee standing at the bar than to get table service outside.
La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro (Intermediate A), 84 Via degli Orfani, www.tazzadorocoffeeshop.com
A historic coffee shop, since 1946, known for its own blend; Regina dei Caffe. It’s near the Pantheon so there will be queues.
Tre Scalini (Intermediate D), 28 Piazza Navona, www.trescalini.it
Although famous and founded in 1815, Tre Scalini is the very epitomy of a tourist trap. If you want to sit outside looking at the goings on in Piazza Navona, the tables at the front with an unobstructed view cost more than the tables in the second row, and they’re not cheap. Even the nice young waiter thought it was a rip off so I chose to save money and stand inside. I did try their chocolate Tartufo, hand-rolled ice cream covered in cocoa powder, for which they are famous and quite liked it (B). Unfortunately after that though I had a bit of a row with the manager who flipped out on me when I complained (mildly) about the quality of their limoncello and ice (C-), which led her to start screaming anti-American abuse at me (I’m British). So no, I do not recommend coming here!
Here’s a nice pillar called the Colonna di Marco Aurelio in Piazza Colonna that I didn’t have anywhere else to put.