Rome – Centro Storico – an early start at Caffè Roscioli

The Bernini statues in Piazza Navona are stunning (my post here)…

…but the square is generally heaving with tourists making it hard to get good photos.

Map of the neigbourhoods in the Centro Storico here. City map here.

My solution was to get up really early and go to see them before, and after, a takeaway breakfast in the historic centre. I went twice to catch the sun in different postions. The hour after sunrise, known as golden hour, is the best time for photography if your sleeping patterns allow you to get up that early.

My first stop for breakfast is the bakery Antico Forno Roscioli at 34 Via dei Chiavari. Video here.

If you want to eat as the locals do, grab a Pizza Bianca (olive oil, salt, rosemary only) or a Pizza Rossa ( with tomato sauce). Alternatively Pizza Bianca stuffed with Mortadella is another local favourite. There are tables outside where you can share your purchase with the local sparrows.

Then follow up with a coffee and optional Maritozzo con Panna, a cream-filled bun, from nearby Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria at 16 Piazza Benedetto Cairoli. Their Cornettos are very good too.

Both businesses open at 7am (8.30am on Sundays), and are just a short walk from Piazza Navona, or the Parthenon and Fontana di Trevi (the latter featuring in another post on fountains).

While you’re in Café Roscioli, pop into Roscioli Salumeria, Vineria con Cucina next door at 21/22 Via dei Giubbonari to book a table for lunch (essential, it’s very popular). Video here.

I know this post reads like an advert for the Roscioli mini-empire (each business is owned by a different sibling) but honestly I’m not getting anything for it, they really are all excellent. If you need further references, the salumeria is listed in 1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die and all three businesses are in Where Chefs Eat.

After an amuse bouche of ricotta with pink beetroot, I had the Mortadella e Parmagiano, homemade mortadella with parmesan curls (B+) followed by the Burrata di Corato e Pomodorini, cream mozzarella with sun-dried tomatoes (A). To drink a bottle of ‘Abelos Bio’ Frascati Superiore by De Sanctis (B) and tastes of four different Amari (A/B). Some compliementary chocolate and biscuits sealed the deal (B).

The total bill came to €141 but half of that was the Roscioli cookery book and two bottles of San Simone, for the flavour (A) as well as the font.

Not the cheapest place to eat but the food is stunning so it’s great for a treat.

For other stuff to see and do in near Roscioli, see this post on Things to See in Regola.

A walk around the Capitoline Hill next!

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