Rome is known for its coffee culture, and Antico Caffè Greco is among the city's most famous and oldest landmark coffee shops. Over the past 250 years, artists, musicians, and writers such as Mendelssohn, Wagner, Ibsen, Keats, Byron, Liszt, Stendhal, Shelley, Casanova, and Goethe have all sat at its illustrious tables.
Often simply called Caffè Greco, this storied coffee bar on the elegant Via dei Condotti just feet from the Spanish Steps is named for its Greek founder, Nicola della Maddalena, who served its first espresso in 1760. While many visitors stop in for coffee drinks, panini, or ice cream, most seek out the landmark because of its interesting history. The bar has a number of dining rooms, many of which double as art galleries showing paintings and drawings created by past patrons or depicting the bar. A stop at Caffè Greco is a must for coffee lovers and a highlight of coffee or gelato tasting tours in the city center.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Caffe Greco is open from 9am to 9pm daily.
- There is a surcharge to sit at a table rather than to stand at the bar, as is the case with most bars in Italy. Consider this a cafe that doubles as a museum.
- This is a great place to linger over a cappuccino and soak in the historic atmosphere.
- The cafe is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Caffè Greco is just off Piazza di Spagna, so take metro line A to the Spagna stop.
When to Get There
Like most of Rome's coffee bars, Caffè Greco is especially crowded at breakfast time and after lunch and dinner, when Italians are getting their espresso shots. Time your visit outside those busy hours so you can find a free table.