La Casetta, a 15th century, ivy-covered building in the middle of Monti, has to be one of the prettiest places in Rome to drink coffee. It's a landmark in the inner-city neighbourhood of Monti, surrounded by cobbled alleyways, Roman graffiti and Vespas parked up by local residents. Order a tiny espresso or a cappuccino, and a ricotta crostata if you're hungry, and watch the city's inhabitants go on their way to work.
PASTA, PASTA, PASTA
After a morning spent wandering the nearby Colosseum and Roman Forum, refuel at La Carbonara, an old-school osteria in the middle of this hip neighbourhood. Hundreds of hand-drawn messages and signatures cover the walls of the century-old restaurant and the menu is filled with traditional Roman dishes like cacio e pepe pasta and local artichokes (when in season). Of course you should order the eponymous Spaghetti alla Carbonara — the Roman take on Mac n Cheese — and pair it with a light, dry prosecco and a salad.
When work finishes for the day in Rome, around 6.30pm or 7pm, Romans head for their nearest public square, grab an aperitivo from one of the surrounding wine bars, and sit around catching up with friends al fresco. At the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, you can sit on the edge of the Renaissance-era fountain encircled by beautiful old buildings and relax with an Aperol Spritz or a Campari, just like the locals.
Cold beer, great pizza, an outdoor dining area — what's not to love about Alle Carrette? Tucked down a winding cobbled street not far from Palazzo delle Esposizioni, this pizza joint is utilitarian on the inside, so head outside for better environs, and get ready to eat very well. Order the fritto misto to start and a pizza bianche (white pizza) dressed with zucchini flowers and anchovies to follow. The pizzas are very thin, crispy and come perfectly charred.