I could write novels, odes and love letters to this eternal city, and believe me, I have. I’ve written about the way the summer light looks at six in the morning. The way the dust of the city smells of ancient emperors and popes. The way the stones hum under my hands with lives that have been led. And the way that some pasta dishes transport me home.
I’ve always loved Rome, loved it in that way that makes me feel like I’ve been searching for something my whole life and I finally found it in Rome.
The last trip I took was with a group of friends and family, we took a day trip to Rome and I was the tour guide. I promised my group that if they just kept their spirits up and wore shoes that would be comfortable for twelve hours, I would show them the best of Rome. I would entertain them, I would feed them, I would let them shop and of course, I would caffeinate them. It was an amazing trip.
And yes, I did caffeinate them.
I had one location in mind that I had read about, which was a little café called Tazza d’oro, cup of gold.
So, just in case you were wondering about how to order coffee in Italy, here is a quick study guide. Café 101: you don’t order from the bar, you actually go pay first. So find the cash register, ask for your drink, “Vorrei un cappuccino, per favore.” I would like a cappuccino, then you will be given a receipt which you take to the bar. Sometimes the barista will take the ticket, other times they want you to place it on the counter. Either way, within a short time, that steaming cup of goodness is on its way, delightfully clinking in its saucer.
The cappuccino was wonderful, and perhaps it was that after several sips, I was able to point out to my tour group the view from the window in the back of the shop. Just barely noticeable, a glimpse of the Pantheon. I might be convinced that Roman ruins make coffee taste better.
Still, perfect foam, wonderful espresso roasted on site, and ‘the seeder’ an Ethiopian goddess of sorts, always looking over the business of caffe.
It was rather cold when we went, but another one of the most popular drinks is the Granita di Caffe con Panna at Tazza d’Oro: espresso, sugar, shaved ice topped off with whipped cream. I’ve heard very good things about this drink.
Tazza d’oro is wonderful, the coffee is amazing because these folks have been doing it for years. It’s truly Italian, there are no seats, just elbow room. They have bagged coffee, a great gift to bring home. And just around the corner the Pantheon; well, that’s the heart shaped foam on top of the espresso now it’s it.