Living Rome: Caffè Rosati, Gran Caffè Strega and the other literary cafés in Rome
Several clubs called "Literary Cafe" have appeared around Rome, in the last years. What does it mean and why are places not to be missed? If you had lived in the eighteenth century and had spent a holiday in Paris, you would have probably visited one of the mythical cafés typical of the cultural and social life of the French capital. These places were a meeting point for intellectuals and artists who wanted to spend their free time talking about this and that. Currently, these places of great charm have been rediscovered, slowly overwhelming all the cities of the world. Even in Rome, it is possible to find literary cafes of ancient and new tradition, able to combine food, wine and culture. The rebirth of these places is attributed to the French philosopher Marc Sautet, who decided to meet his students at the Café des Phares, a few years ago. Within a few days, people interested in his disquisitions increased so much that those who wanted to take part to the meetings had to get there in advance and even to bring some chairs with them. Let's now take a look at the most famous literary cafes in the capital.
Although it is not one of the oldest cafés in Rome, the Caffè Rosati in Piazza del Popolo shortly acquired the status of "historical", both for the valued cultural it gained and for its age: the inauguration of Caffè Rosati actually dates back to 1922. Its privileged position made it one of the most famous meeting points in the city and, despite of the prices slightly above the average, it is one of those places where sipping a simple coffee can become a memorable experience. Certainly, the times when Ugo Pirro sat at his tables seem so far, when it was possible to meet Moravia, Elsa Morante or Pasolini. The interior of the room is elegantly furnished, with fine furniture and rich windows.
Although its name is anything but original, this space undoubtedly is one of the most well-known and broadest literary cafés in Rome. Located in the heart of Ostiense, it offers over a thousand square metres of furnished space where cultural activities are not missing. This charming restaurant is located a few steps from the Roma Tre University, and it is well-known for its fine design and its wide range of books to browse or buy. Spending time here, sipping a tea, a cocktail or a beer, is a pleasure for many, considering the large space allows to find a sit every day. It is also a restaurant and store where you can buy design objects and books indeed. The most common events are literary readings, video projections, concerts and exhibitions. It is located in Via Ostiense 95.
Gran Caffè Strega
The Gran Caffè Strega is in Via Vittorio Veneto, a place belonging to the Roman tradition, symbol of the "Dolce vita" of the city. Do you want to experience the atmosphere of Fellini's movies? If you are in Rome, you cannot miss a walk in Via Veneto and a stop at Caffè Strega dehors. Symbol of internationality and elegance, Via Veneto was built between 1886 and 1889. Federico Fellini, the poet Vincenzo Cardarelli and many other protagonists of the twentieth century Italian culture used to go to Caffè Strega. And precisely among its tables, thanks to the intellectuals of the time, the idea of the famous Strega Prize was born.
The Libreria Giufà was founded at the beginning of 2000, in San Lorenzo district. In addition to many tables where you can read and sip something good, the restaurant also offers fair trade products, from the most important organic markets of the capital. The bookshop is focused on two different genres: the graphic novel (books and comics for children and adults) and contemporary narrative. This colourful environment is often animated by interesting initiatives that invite meditation, reading and philosophical thoughts. Illustrators, photographers, poets and writers flow there to talk with the interested audience and endear the presents. The restaurant is located in Via degli Aurunci 38.
This cosy club makes you take a break from the noises of Trastevere and it is the ideal choice for those who want to escape, at least for a few minutes, from the lively city. There you can browse some good books and watch jam sessions and jazz, blues or ethnic music concerts. Perfect for after-dinner and aperitifs, with dishes available for vegetarians and vegans, the Lettere Caffè offers different proposals on each day of the week. Do not miss the Poetry Slam on Monday evenings, the digital lounge on Wednesdays and the Thursday Jam Sessions. A welcoming place full of proposals, able to satisfy any taste! It is in Via San Francesco a Ripa 100.
At Altroquando, you can sip a good craft beer by browsing your favourite book. It is a place that stimulates the share of opinions and ideas, attracting everyone at the first sight. In addition to be specialized in books about cinema, this place also offers an immense choice of volumes of fiction, gastronomy, comics and much more. Bookshop upstairs and pub downstairs, it offers a good menu and many good beers, made by microbreweries in Rome and province. Many events take place, such as literary readings, projections, concerts and conferences. You can go to Via del Governo Vecchio 82 to enjoy its atmosphere. In short, a good number of alternatives dedicated to those who love reading and art. If you choose the Hotel Cosmopolita for your stay, do not forget to visit these wonderful meeting places!
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