Below are some of my favorite cafes and places for a nice aperitivo or two in the area behind Piazza Navona and around Pantheon.
In a small street behind Piazza Navona you'll find one of Rome's best places, when you just want to spend some hours together with friends over a glass of wine or a cocktail in dim lighting, sitting in soft armchairs in front of a cosy fireplace. This and much more is possible at Etablì. Besides being one of Rome's most cosy places, Etablì is a restaurant, cafe, wine bar and lounge bar under one roof, and on Sundays you can have brunch here. The interior decor is great with pastel-colored wooden chairs and dark leather sofas and chairs, chandeliers, large wooden tables and lots of candles. And of course, the place has wi-fi. The perfect place at any time of the day.
Vicolo delle Vacche 9/9a. T. +39 06 97616694 www.etabli.it
Circus is a good example of how you sometimes need to get a little lost in Rome to discover hidden treasures. Circus is located in the labyrinth of small streets behind Piazza Navona. Right here I somehow lost my way one day, and that was how I discovered Circus. When I suddenly stood before the glass door, I knew that I had to go inside immediately, and I was not disappointed. Circus' subtitle is Arts, Music, Drinks & Food, and that is exactly what you get: a combination of cafe and gallery. At Circus, you can go through the large selection of photography books and magazines, while you eat lunch or enjoy a cup of coffee with a piece of cake. On the walls you find changing art exhibitions, there is free wi-fi, and the place stays open till 2.00 at night, so there is lots of life also in the evening.
Via della Vetrina 15. T. +39 06 97619258 www.circusroma.it
In Via del Governo Vecchio no. 12 you find the charming Caffè Novecento. Here you will find a great selection of delicious cakes, which you can enjoy together with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Prices are quite high, but it is worth it. The place is cozy, and the cakes are heavenly. If you pass by during lunchtime, you can enjoy a delicious buffet with pies, salads, cous cous, and much more. Caffè Novecento is the perfect place when after several hours of walking around the Eternal City, you need a break and a quiet environment without hordes of tourists, but lots of calorie bombs to get your blood sugar back on track.
Via del Governo Vecchio 12. T. +39 06 6865242
Jonathan's Angels is actually just a bar, where Romans and foreigners party during the evening. Well, it's a little more… ‘Cause this place is so special and kitsch, and so is the owner, Jonathan, who is by now an ageing biker with white hair and ditto beard, usually dressed in leather pants and almost always present in the bar. Inside the bar there are several paintings of Jonathan and his children, and then there's the toilet, an absolute must see. Here is a small fountain with running water, sunflowers, Madonnas, paintings by Jonathan, flowers and lots of other junk ... It is completely crazy but fun to visit, especially during summer when you can sit outside, which might be an advantage since the place inside isn’t too big.
Via della Fossa 16. T. +39 06 6893426
Salotto 42 is the perfect place, when you need to rest a bit from shopping and sightseeing. Sink into the soft couches and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with some cake, or, why not, try a healthy energy drink, while you browse through the many coffee table books and magazines, which are available at Salotto 42.
The interior is both really cool and cosy, and it may be difficult to get up from the couch and get on with your day, once you have made yourself comfortable.
The place serves brunch and lunch, and in the evening and night it's a popular place to go out, when dj's take over, and young Romans fill up the room and Piazza di Pietra outside. Remember to also try the popular aperitivo at Salotto 42.
Piazza di Pietra 42. T. +39 06 6785804 www.salotto42.it
Do you want more from Rome? My Sweet Rome - a travel guide to the local Rome is now available in English as a book and ebook. You can have a preview and order your copy right HERE. Both editions are also available in Danish.