Coffee with a Colosseum View

I won’t bore you with how hot it was.

I won’t bother trying to describe how oppressive the humidity feels when not a single wisp of a breeze can be found.

I won’t even begin to recount the discomfort, the lack of mobility, or the will do anything but lie perfectly still with the shutters closed and hope that it will all be over soon.

terrace view colosseum

It has been unpleasant.

We stayed in Rome for the long Ferragosto weekend.  We have been traveling here and there the last few weeks, and in spite of the heat, I wanted to stay put for a few days and go for a walk on familiar streets.

colosseum view

I left the house at 9 am, water bottle in hand.

Nothing is quite more Roman than the Colosseum, so that was my first stop.

rooftops of rome

The pure, white heat hit me.

I moved slowly, but continued on.  The intensity of the temperature was more surprising than painful.

rome rooftop view

Until I realized I was about to pass out.

So at 10:05, I stopped for an iced coffee at the first cafe I could find.

cafe vittoriano terrace

It involves some stairs, but the terrace of the the Vittoriano monument offers great views of Via Fori Imperiali, stretching all the way down to the colosseum.

Cafe shekerato

The terrace is free to visit, and given the location, the cafe is reasonably priced if you really really really need that coffee right now.

I did. I needed it. I needed to sit down and regroup, and sip something cool while my body temperature returned to normal.

If you order an iced coffee in Rome, you will be given a chilled shot of espresso into which sugar has already been mixed.

This time of year, I usually opt for a Caffe Freddo Shekerato – a coffee shaken, like a martini, and served over ice.

italian iced coffee

For €2.50, I regained some sanity and enjoyed the view.

If you are passing by after 10 am, then by all means opt for a Spritz. Cocktails will set you back €7-9 euro, and a glass of wine is €6.

spritz in rome

You pay for the vantage point rather than the exceptional drinks, but sometimes that is exactly the right priority to have in Rome.

terrace of vittoriano

If you don’t need a drink, the climb is still worth it for a free panorama.

roman forum view

hot summer in rome piazza venezia view


Caffetteria Italia – Complesso del Vittoriano
Piazza Venezia
Open: Everyday except public holidays, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm.



8 thoughts on “Coffee with a Colosseum View

    • Natalie says:

      I never get tired of the views from Rome’s rooftops! I drag myself up those stairs almost every time I go by because it really is an incredible vantage point!

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