Normally I eat breakfast in our cafe at The Beehive. I try to avoid what my wife and I call “The Cornetto Challenge” - which is essentially the stuffing of one’s face with processed white sugar, and often times margarine, in the form of a pastry known as cornetto. Tastes good, but it’s Instant Regret. Plus, those empty calories leave you hungry again in about 10 minutes.
The other day though, our cafe was closed due to some plumbing problems in our sink, so I decided to stop over for a cappuccino at Bar Fondi on the corner of via Milazzo and via Magenta, owned by a friend, Marco, who also owns the Rome Metropolitan Guesthouse 2 blocks away.
I have to say – if you’re near Termini Station in the morning and have some time to kill before your train, and don’t know where to stop for a coffee and pastry, this is the place. In the 20 minutes I was there, at least 100 other people were in agreement. There were about 4 boxes of pastries with a variety of fillings – chocolate, jam, cream, or with combinations including our personal favorite – crema and visciola (cream and sour cherry). The orderly queue started at Marco who took breakfast vouchers from nearby hotels and barked out the coffee/drink orders to the 2 baristas.
“Un altro cappucino! 2 espressi! Caffe latte con crema di caffé! Aggiungi un altro cappuccino!”
It was crazy – but it was working. I don’t know what memorization system they use to make sure all the coffees were actually made, but they did, and it flowed seamlessly.
As always, I am amazed that in a city that isn’t known for speed and efficiency that the coffee bars epitomize all that is so lacking here in other public sectors. Bar Fondi is no exception.