This Monday I’m back in Rome, and in desperate need of a coffee…
Clinking cups, the thwamp of the espresso tamp, and the deep, comforting smell of freshly ground coffee greet you as you step into Sciascia, one of Rome’s most classic caffès. The warm, varnished wood and bronze details are inviting, while the black and white photos hanging on the walls display a Rome of decades past. Old fashioned caramels and candies sit in jars in the windows, and antique lamps bathe the bar in a golden glow. Nestled on a side street in Prati and hidden from the chaos of the nearby Vatican, Sciascia Caffè – Il Miglior Caffè a Roma dal 1919, is worth seeking out.
The family run establishment set up shop in 1919, and has been buzzing ever since. The first time I stopped by, around 2pm on a Thursday, guests were filing in like clockwork for a post-pranzo fix. By 2:15, the bar had cleared. I had to laugh at this predictable trend. Italians are a traditional bunch, especially when it comes to food and mealtimes. Cappucino in the morning, lunch around 1:00, followed by espresso, early(ish) aperitivo, and dinner late, (often with dessert, more coffee, and a digestivo).
Tradition aside, this lunch bunch had plenty of options, (caffès literally on every corner – this is Italy!), but chose Sciascia for a reason. One of the only places in Rome that still roasts its own, the caffè is meticulous in the selection of its beans, and never disappoints with the signature arabica/robusta blend. Even the baristas look more professional than their counterparts in the rest of the city, dressed in slick button ups and black pants, and gliding behind the bar with professionalism and efficient grace.
They’re known for having one of the best cappucinos in town, but the true specialty is un caffè con cioccolato, a perfect espresso with a healthy dose of dark cocoa in the bottom. Stir in a bit of brown sugar, stand at the bar like a local, inhale, and enjoy.
Sciascia Caffè, via Fabio Massimo, 80/A, Roma, Italy