The Vergnano family has made high-quality caffè in the Piedmont region since 1882; using the best ingredients combined with keen attention to detail in order to craft truly superlative espresso drinks. Over the past 130 years, the Vergnano family has built a small espresso empire which includes a partnership with Eataly and bars in over eighty countries.
One of the latest additions to the Caffè Vergnano chain is a location in Rome’s Piazzale Flaminio. Situated just steps away from both the Piazza del Popolo and Villa Borghese, as well as both the number two tram and the Metro A, Caffè Vergnano boasts accessibility and convenience. More importantly, the food and beverages are delicious and the prices are reasonable enough for the area.
The interior of the bar is more like a cafè, with plenty of comfortable places to sit and work, a rarity in much of Rome. The combination of light wood and dark marble makes the space feel both natural and modern, and the large windows let plenty of natural light flow in. Behind the bar stands an unmistakably serious espresso machine—gleaming and silver, it demands attention.
The baristi explain that their caffè is made with a much higher attention to detail than is typically seen in bars across the rest of Italy. The espresso beans are roasted thoughtfully at specific temperatures depending on their origin, then are ground fresh all day long. The milk is always fresh whole milk of the highest quality. The baristas go through an extensive training process in order to make sure they know not only how to extract the perfect caffè espresso, but also how to steam and foam milk for Caffè Vergnano’s outstanding cappuccini. They also make some other “fun” espresso drinks, including the marocchino (like a cappuccino with chocolate) and caffè shakerato (caffè shaken with ice and sugar until cold and frothy, then served in a martini glass).
The food is given nearly equal attention. All of the pastries and dessert come from Attilio Servi, a famed Roman pastry chef. They are baked on site, so expect hot cornetti coming out of the oven regularly. Caffè Vergnano offers a fairly extensive menu for a bar, including many veggie options as well as some more hearty fare. There is a kitchen on site, and the food is prepared as you order it.
Although it is not a local, family owned bar, Caffè Vergnano has a cosy feel, and the staff are more than welcoming. My recommendation? Grab a cappuccino and any of the pastries, sit down, and enjoy—it’s not likely you’ll have many better experiences in Rome.
Julia Terranova is a Brooklyn born, Italian-American student with a love of Rome and all things Italy. She spends her time cooking for friends and reading as many cookbooks as she can find.