Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coffee in the traffic circle

Rome's traffic can get to the best of us, and Piazza delle Rovere is no exception.  It's a broad crossing of busy, even by Rome standards, streets, including a multi-lane one leading into and out of a formidable car tunnel - where the drivers act like they're on a private raceway.  For a pedestrian negotiating the so-called piazza (it hardly looks like one), it feels like taking one's life into one's hands.  And, the piazza, since it's is on the way from Trastevere to the Vatican, is often crossed. 
And so we found ourselves one day at the piazza and in need of a "pausa" - a rest.  We plopped ourselves down at the outdoor kiosk/cafe' there, and soon found ourselves not just watching the cars zooming by, but watching the world go by.  The service was friendly and generous and lovely.  We watched a waiter attempt conversation - with much grace and effort on his part - with an Asian tourist.  The Asian tourist watching the military men smartly walk by.  The ubiquitous businessman on cellphone.  Teenagers taking a break from their - well, whatever they take breaks from, perhaps life - as they had a gabfest at a small table near us. 

Somehow, this "rest" spot in the midst of what until now had seemed like one of Rome's ugliest piazzas brought us succor.   We now go by this piazza with fondness and stop there on a whim.  But, nestled against a Michelangelo Vatican wall with views up to the Gianicolo hill, how ugly can it be? And, somehow the shot above doesn't do the traffic danger justice  - maybe that's why the cafe' is such a relief.

At the end of this post is a map to give you some idea of this un-pedestrian space (the blue marker is the cafe').

The lesson we took from this?  Take that break any time, any where, any place... don't wear yourself out (Bill would say to Dianne) looking for the perfect cafe'.  The best one might be under your nose, or in the midst of a traffic circle.

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