I am forever torn between my love for Italia and my roots in gli stati uniti. Ideally, I would fly back and forth, traversing the length of il paese and getting my fill of California sunshine in the winter months. When I am home, I dream of Roman patinas, evening passeggiata, the sounds of clattering espresso cups and ancient double doors closing, bundles of fiori and bags of carciofi disappearing behind the patina.
Meandering the cobblestoned streets in Il Tridente at dusk on a Saturday is one of my favorite Roman pastimes. The streets are full with friends and families, the streetlamps light the pastel colored buildings aglow, and soon enough the sun is setting over rooftops adorned with terra-cotta pots and draping vines. I adore the early morning just as much, when hardly anyone is awake except perhaps for a gentleman returning from the bodega with his newspaper, and a cameriere sweeping the cobblestones outside his cafe.
One of the most difficult reservations to get in Roma is just a few minutes walk farther south at Roscioli. We dined here on a Saturday evening and witnessed as many Americans in the narrow restaurant as Italians, due in large part to its widespread word-of-mouth reputation in New York.
Another evidently popular spot in the Tridente neighborhood is the new, modern breakfast, lunch, dinner, and juice bar: Ginger Rome. It feels like a little piece of New York, and the Romans are loving it. With a fun atmosphere, friendly service, and an abundance of sidewalk seating, Ginger has found great success in a city that was in dire need of a more contemporary, ‘healthy’ cafe.
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