If you are looking for the best cafes in Rome to sit and work on your laptop, I have a wonderful, handy list to share! But first, a foreword for all the digital nomads and travelers visiting the capital of Italy for the first time. Before diving into the current list of my favorite places to get coffee and also work, consider the cultural frame of the city I was born in. The locals have preserved their coffee culture for decades. It’s good to have in mind this set of habits that, although it has just started giving way to change, still represents the mainstream. If a local in Rome goes to have coffee at a café during a weekday, it’s usually for one of these reasons:
-Have a few minutes break from work/classes
-Have a very quick fix of caffeine
-Sit for with a friend, having a chat while enjoying a coffee or “aperitivo” (30 minutes to one hour activity) usually straight after finishing the work day.
-Have a quick, traditional breakfast. Breakfast at a café (which we commonly call “bar” or “caffetteria”) means having cappuccino and cornetto or other breakfast treats, standing at the counter. This is the most shocking part for newcomers to Rome, as you’ve seen in the well-known travel movie with Julia Roberts, in the Rome café scene:
-Use the café’s toilet (Rome is not popular for having public toilets)
And a lot of the hundreds of the small coffee shops of the city make ends meet with the presence of video lotteries…
COFFEE SHOPS IN ROME: HOW TO SIT AND ENJOY YOUR COFFEE IN A CITY THAT INVITES YOU TO GOBBLE AND GO
Most of the coffee places you’ll see around in Rome, kind of expect you follow the mainstream. They are not so used to see customers dropping by with their laptop, sitting on their own with coffee… In some shops, especially if it’s not clear immediately that you are a “tourist”, they might think that something’s wrong with you. They don’t see digital nomads often. They’re gonna realize , but not so quickly. With this in mind, imagine you go sit a café with your laptop, happy to drink coffee and work for a few hours.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE MAJORITY OF THE CAFES IN ROME
I would say that you might find what looks like a quiet place, but it wouldn’t be quiet long enough. Groups of people will come in and will be loud. They’ll have their coffee and chat with their coworkers or the ones at the counter: coffee is a social ritual in Rome. We avoid drinking coffee or eating on our own. You won’t find under table plugs and wifi being the priority. There might be any kind of music when the place is silent: Italians love it loud … They might easily ask you to leave the table if you do not consume or if you’ve done with your coffee. Café bars are usually small, coffee is cheap, the economy is rolling. They need you to leave the table to other customers.
A LIST OF THE BEST CAFES IN ROME FOR DIGITAL NOMADS AND TRAVELERS
So… what to do? Should you renounce to sit and chill at a café in romantic Rome without feeling like a weirdo? No. Here we go with my list of friendly coffee bars. These are surely different from the cafés you’ve known at home, but they will love you to stay there, and that’s something. And they all have wifi. Just one more thing to keep in mind before I reveal my favorite coffee places in Rome. A few of this are also restaurants. They might require you to order something to eat if you sit there at lunch/dinner time. You will find out quickly because they’ll start setting the tables with glasses and everything.
BEST CAFES IN ROME’S UNIVERSITY AREAS
address: Via Ostiense, 95
working hours: Tue-Fri 10-02 Sat-Sun 16-02
Caffé Letterario is at the top of the list for a reason. It hosts a small public library, and therefore it is the favorite spot for digital nomads in the area. There are co-working spaces and a stage to host cultural conferences. It is loved by the university students in the area, since the faculties are only a walk away from it, but it’s never too crowded. They have wifi and and a few long tables, and budget lunch and dinner in buffet style. I never felt pushed to drink or eat by the staff, but they surely love it if you have at least an espresso. the style is industrial, colors are deep. Before being a cafe, it was a garage.
ROMEOW CAT BISTROT
Via Francesco Negri, 15
working hours: Wed-Sun 11-23
Romeow Cat Bistrot is a vegan café and restaurant in Ostiense area, close to Caffé Letterario. I love to go there because they have delicious, unexpected vegan dishes, and the atmosphere is relaxed. There are a few cats chilling around, I feel happy and focused only looking at them! Well, I’m a cat-person. It’s like working at home. But I’ll be writing more about Romeo in the future… This is also a juice-bar. Don’t miss this place!
GIUFA’ LIBRERIA CAFFE’
Via degli Aurunci, 38
working hours: Mon 10-00; Tue-Sat 10-01 Sun 15-23
As the 2 previous café, this one is in a university area, but in a different district, San Lorenzo. The district is next to the two of the main train Stations in Rome, that are Termini and Tiburtina. San Lorenzo district can get very loud with students and drinkers at night, but is calm during the day. Giufa’ Libreria Café is an independent café book shop. It specializes in graphic novels, comics, contemporary literature. Thousands of books in a tiny space with a few coffee tables and brownies. Sit there and let creativity surround you. Giufà hosts book presentations,readings, and small exhibitions. You can even take a book and gently browse it at your table. if you’d like to have lunch there or dinner, there’s always a meal of the day, organic local wines and beer.
STREAT SAN LORENZO
Piazza dei Campani, 6
working hours: Mon-Sun 11-02
This vintage-style café in La Sapienza University area is quite chill during the day and afternoon. It gets more lively after 6pm during the aperitivo hours, when a simple and fresh fixed-price buffet is served with a drink. The place serve salads and panini but grew popular for it’s aperitivo and cocktails. Prices are friendly.
TOMO COFFEE BOOKSHOP
Via degli Etruschi, 4
Mon-Sat 09-22; Sun 15-21
This two-storey bookshop and coffee-shop in the University district has a lot of interesting publications and even gadgets. Particularly alive during the “aperitivo” hours, it holds a conference room that you can even book, or simply use to sit and study. You’ll see several students and customers connected to the wifi, this is the place you are looking for, and it’s quite close to the train station.
BEST CAFES IN ROME AS RECOMMENDED BY LOCALS
VIVI BISTROT – VILLA PAMPHILI
Via Vitellia, 102
Working hours: Tue-Sun 8-18
One and only Cafeteria inside our most beautiful city park “Villa Pamphili”! It lays in the most panoramic point of the park, surrounded by lawns and Italian stone pines. The food is perfect for vegan and vegetarians, and there are a lot of yummy cakes, coffees and teas available. In the warmest days, it will be difficult to find a table during the meals’ hours. Free classes of yoga are offered weekly during summers. Tables in and outside.
Via Veio, 4
working hours: Mon-Fry 9-21 Sat-Sun 10-21
This is the first and only cafè of its kind in Rome. You can sit as long as you pay your time, €4/ hour, €14/day, €100/month. Usually it is very silent inside, everybody is working or studying, there are a few couches and a dozen of tables with chairs. Since you pay by hour, you don’t need to buy anything inside. There’s a buffet of refreshments, coffee, teas, juices, cakes, biscuits, and water of course. It is a very relaxing place where to concentrate and get things done.
LUMIERE PRATI ROMA
Via Cicerone, 25
working hours: Mon-Fry 6:45-02; Sat 7-02; Sun 11:30-02
At a walking distance from two attractions like Castel Sant’Angelo and Saint Peter Cathedral lays Caffé Lumiere. This place transforms into a restaurant at meal time and cocktail bar in the night. During the day I haven’t seen many customers, therefore it might be the right place for you and your laptop.
NECCI DAL 1924
Via Fanfulla da Lodi, 68
working hours: Mon-Thu 8-01; Fry-Sat 8-02; Sun 8-01
Bar Necci is a historic café in the popular district Pigneto. It is famous among Rome’s educated people because one of the favorite cafes of a Roman, rebel contemporary writer, now passed away. I like to visit anytime because the staff is very kind, the coffee good, there is a good choice of sweet and savoury treats to go with your coffee. You can sit outside, in the courtyard, lots of tables with heating columns in a jolly atmosphere.
THE BRITISH CORNER
Via del Pigneto, 112
working hours: Wed through Mon 16-01
This tea room is in the same district as Bar Necci. Have your teas with cakes and any kind of home-made desserts, served in vintage porcelain in a vintage-style environment.
LE STORIE LIBRERIA BISTROT ROMA
Via Giulio Rocco, 37/39
working hours: Mon-Fry 8-19:30
Another book-shop café at the heart of a university area. Here you’ll find a friendly atmosphere and lots of focus in front of bookshelves and a cup of coffee.
Did you visit any of these coffee-bars? How was your experience? Or do you know any other digital nomads-friendly coffee place in Rome? Let me know, please 🙂
I’d love to add to this list! What do you think are the best cafes in Rome? Let me know 😉