Chiostro del Bramante is a striking Renaissance building just a minute away from Piazza Navona.
The beautiful complex hosts rotating exhibits, primarily by internationally renowned modern and contemporary artists. For example, there is currently an exhibit featuring the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat that runs through July 2nd 2017.
The art exhibits are always well done, but the entry fee is a bit steep considering there are no other permanent collections at the Chiostro.
However, the internal courtyard is beautiful and there is a café and bookstore that can be accessed for free. Also free? The Raphael fresco from 1515.
Ever since Bar della Pace closed, Chiostro del Bramante has become one of my favorite places to grab a coffee and do some work in the warmer weather. (Most of the seating is outside and under the arches of the old cloister, so it really is best when the sun is out).
The café prices are slightly higher than nearby bars, but it’s nothing crazy. Think: €1.50 for a cappuccino or €2.50 for my “Caffé Bramante” – which is essentially a marocchino with espresso, steamed milk, and cocoa powder. The additional 20 cents to a euro is worth it for the setting.
PLUS, there is free wifi which usually works. Usually.
When I was there last week the music was weirdly loud which made it a bit hard to write… but I literally spent €2.50 and sat there for almost two hours without anyone batting an eye, so I really cannot complain.
The café also has light food for a casual lunch, primarily baguette sandwiches, salads and cous cous type plates.
If you come in the evening, the internal courtyard is a picturesque setting for a quick aperitivo or a glass of wine.
Considering how close Chiostro del Bramante is to Piazza Navona, the café is surprisingly low key if you need a break in the historic center.
Unfortunately, the cafeteria keeps the same hours as the cloisters, so the bar is only open from 10 am – 8 pm.
Chiostro del Bramante
Arco della Pace, 5
Rome, Italy (Centro Storico)
Open everyday from 10 am – 8 pm.