Ristorante La Campana in Rome

La Campana, down a small street not far from Piazza Navona, is supposedly Rome’s oldest restaurant. The eatery has been welcoming patrons for over 500 years- and I’m sure many of the dishes are unchanged for decades if not centuries.


La Campana was also reportedly one of Caravaggio’s favorite restaurants and the Renaissance master has paintings hanging in two nearby churches: San Luigi dei Francesi and Sant’Agostino, so this was clearly his preferred neighborhood.

The artist is also rumored to have drawn inspiration for still life paintings from the artichokes on the menu. 

roman artichoke

Naturally, thinking of this, I found myself in the mood for fried artichokes when we had a recent Sunday lunch in the historic restaurant. 

La Campana is as traditional a Roman restaurant as they come, down to the white tablecloths and brocade curtains. The menu highlights the classic pastas (the amatriciana is excellent) and quinto quarto (fifth quarter) mains like coda alla vacinnara. However, you’ll also find dishes that have fallen out of fashion at most Roman eateries – like minestra di pasta e broccoli e arzilla (broccoli and skate soup). 

Ending the meal with the institution’s famous apple cake is almost required. 

Even though the restaurant has an old school feel, it wasn’t uncomfortably snooty and the kids were welcome. It’s definitely on our limited list of places to eat in the heart of the Eternal City from now on. Make sure to book ahead, and stop in after exploring the winding alleys and grand sights like the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, both of which are only a few minutes’ walk away.

La Campana

Vicolo della Campana 18
Rome, Italy (Centro Storico, Pantheon)

Phone: 06 687 5273

Open: Tuesday – Sunday for lunch 12:30 – 3 pm and dinner 7:30 – 11 pm.

3 thoughts on “Ristorante La Campana in Rome

  1. Carolyn Bukovich says:

    What are your thoughts about traveling to Rome inthe first week of June 2025? I understand that there will be a Catholic Jubilee that year, and am now hesitant to go. Any thoughts/ ideas would be greatly appreciated! Should we choose another time? TIA!

    • Natalie says:

      ooooh – that is a hard call. Rome in June tends to be busy but the Jubilee year will be even more so. I think you will notice it most in terms of hotel availability and prices so you might want to check that now and then decide

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