I remember the first time I saw La Casetta. I was on a walking tour of the Monti neighborhood with my school professor in 2013, walking down a road when we stopped to walk around the building that was inconveniently placed in the middle of the street. In a city where the buildings are uniform and audacious, La Cassette stands out. This tiny “little house” is covered in ivy and is one of the most picturesque spots in Rome, all the while serving up delicious coffee, food, and desserts.
Apart from a great location, delicious treats and infinite instagram abilities, the best part of this cafe is the owner, Domenico. A typical Southern Italian, Domenico makes every single person who enters his cafe feel welcome. He will speak in a multitude of languages to put tourists at ease and once you become a (somewhat) regular, he is always up for a lively conversation about life. He is a seriously charming Italian signor and it brightens my day when I stop in to chat with him while taking a walk through beautiful Monti. It’s a joy to feel immediately welcomed in a place as special as this.
La Casetta offers a full bar experience with espresso, cappuccino's (regular, soy, and almond milk), a wide variety of tea, and fresh juices. For lunch and dinner, Domenico’s wife prepares homemade pasta and meat dishes to serve. In my opinion, the real standouts in terms of food are the fresh baked goods. His son-in-law (keeping it in the family) runs a bakery and sends over freshly baked cakes, pies, muffins, breads, strudel, quiche, and cookies every morning. Usually they are recipes found in the South of Italy, making this the perfect place to relive my love of Pugliese pastries.
If you’re lucky, you might make it to one of the events in front of the cafe that Domenico painstakingly plans. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a special dinner out where we were waited on by young Italians studying hospitality and a cultural festival celebrating traditional Georgian dances. It’s always quite an eclectic mix with all of the “amici della Casetta” (friends of the Casetta) in attendance.
The location makes this spot perfect for a breakfast, lunch or afternoon snack while you meander along the small side streets in Rome, and is centrally located near the Colosseum, Forum, and Piazza Venezia. With a decent wifi connection, I also come by for a few hours to get some work done. If you really want to live it up, you can do a mini tasting in Monti (tried and recommended by me) and hit up one of the pizza by the slice joints for some white pizza and a suppli, grab a tea and slice of cake from La Casetta, and end with a cone from Fatamorgana.
Next time you're in Rome and need a break after walking in the center, stop by La Casetta and meet the nicest Italian I've had the pleasure of knowing.
La Casetta is on Yelp, Instagram, and Facebook if you would like to check it out or connect.
Described it in 3 words: charming, warm, friendly
Prices: cappuccino €1.5, cup of tea €2.50, slices of cake/pie/quiche €5, pasta dishes €8-10.
Hours: W-M 9am-9pm, closed Tuesdays and for all of August