Whether you walk around the beautiful Villa Borghese, live in the upscale Roman Parioli district or visit the impressive Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna – it is a good idea to have lunch in Caffé delle Arti. Located in the grand 1911 Beaux Arts building (home to one of Italy’s leading collections of the 19th-20th century art), the Caffé is a full-scale restaurant with a wide selection of Italian favorites.
Right across Villa Borghese North-East entrance (next to Bioparco di Roma) you will notice the sublime creation of Cesare Bazzani built for the 1911 World Exposition in Rome. From 1915 it has been housing Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. In its left wing you will find the atmospheric restaurant that easily merges cozy and chic vibes. The old city flawlessly blends history and modernity, entertainment and reflection, Italian and foreign, simplicity and posh. Caffé delle Arti seems to be the projection of Rome: it offers delicious simple food on simple crockery and simple furniture in neo-baroque building to art-lovers, school kids, politicians, tourists, filmmakers… And everyone feels welcome.
On weekdays you can join locals for buffet lunch, it’s always a good sign when Romans fancy a place and we suggest ordering like a Roman – simple food – as the specialties are not the Caffé’s strong side. Sit back and observe the crowd, it can be thought provoking, since a lot of artists, entrepreneurs and businessmen live nearby. If you are not hungry and in need of rebooting in-between museums, you will still get complimentary bruschetta or éclair with the order of spritz or coffee – you cannot stop eating when in Italy!
Caffé delle Arti is divided into a café inside and a restaurant terrace. Don’t hesitate to sit outside even if its winter – powerful patio heaters are everywhere and Roman winter is not that fierce. In spring and summer you can enjoy large sunscreens and observe beautiful greenery, century-old pines and tangerine trees. When we visited the Caffé, it was hard to resist plucking a tangerine, since our order was taking long. That is the downside of the place – the kitchen is located on the lower level, so if you are in a hurry, take the buffet option or order fresh Panini that can be heated at the bar. Another downside – there is no Wi-Fi that is especially needed if you are waiting. But if you have the luxury of time and not so dependent on technology, stay a bit longer and catch the sounds of nearby churches – beautiful bells can be heard in the neighborhood.
You can walk into the restaurant from Via Antonio Gramsci, but we encourage you to take a stroll around the museum with works by Italian modernists and pieces by Degas, Monet, Courbet, Mondrian, Cézanne as well as splendid Dadaists. They will add to the pleasure and give food for thought. The Caffé works even on Monday, when the museum is closed, but only until 5 pm. Every morning the doors open at 8 am and in the evening Caffé delle Arti offers aperitifs. Next time we will surely come in for breakfast after a run around Villa Borghese. Extensive running is probably the only way to stay in shape when in stunning and heavenly delicious Rome. Yes, breakfast for sure! We will TASTE breakfast and all the desserts in Caffédelle Arti! We will deserve it after our run!