Caffè Doria has a lot going for it. Not least of which is a massive marble roman tub set behind a velvet rope with a bronze dolphin slowly dribbling water in front of a bright green decoratively painted niche. I mean, really. How many cafes in Rome can boast that kind of backdrop?
Yet still, most people, like me, tend to forget about Caffè Doria. Even though it’s located right in the center of town, a block away from busy Piazza Venezia, it’s just so low key that you kind of never think about it. Even though I must walk by its humble entrance at least once a week, I just walk on by. For no reason at all.
Luckily my friend Jane has a better memory than I do, so when we were looking for a cozy place to have a late afternoon coffee while doing some last minute Christmas shopping, she said “I know just the place.”
The Caffè is located on the ground floor of some of the choicest real estate in Rome: Palazzo Doria Pamphillj. Situated in the quietest corner of this massive palace, the cafe oozes old world charm. Wooden panels, framed portraits of cardinals, crystal chandeliers and – don’t forget – that whacko mishmash of a fountain, make this a perfect place to stop in the afternoon.
A slice of pear and ricotta tart, a couple of beautiful and delicious marocchini made us very happy.
Via della Gatta 1, Rome
06 679 3805
The entire palace is owned by the Doria Pamphilj family. Don’t miss a visit to their private art museum, Galleria Doria Pamphilj.