In September 2016, Barberini, the popular baker and confectioner on Via Marmorata in Testaccio, received a serious makeover. Now, it’s jewel-like sweet treats sit in the sumptuous setting they deserve. I went for breakfast to check out its new look and remind myself what there is to love about this incredible Testaccio institution.
1. It’s good value
Don’t be fooled by the marble floor and seriously good quality, homemade cakes and sweets: this is still one of the best value breakfast bars in town. A cappuccino will still set you back only €1 and small breakfast pastries start at 60 cents. What’s not to love?
2. It’s stayed true to its heritage
The gorgeous inlaid floor recalls the old bar, but this is a polished homage to the past. Barberini hasn’t forgotten its simple beginnings and the refurbishment recalls that proud day in 1925 when it first opened its doors to the people of Testaccio, initially as a latteria (milk bar).
3. The sweets are to die for
This is serious, Italian pastry-chef work at its best, comparable with the French tradition, created under the watchful eye of master baker Francesco. Here you’ll find macarons and tartlets, as well as Sacher torte, biscuits and eclairs that rival the best examples of cake-making in Europe – still at local prices.
4. It’s still Testaccio-friendly
Testaccio is one of Rome’s urban villages, a community of people that care about each other’s lives (and love to gossip). Expect friendly service from behind the bar and cheerful chat on this side of the counter.
5. They do speciality cakes
If you have a special occasion such as a birthday, anniversary or party, Barberini makes some of the best speciality cakes in town to order. From novelty shapes to bespoke fillings, this is place to go when you’re not feeling very Mary Berry (and the sandwiches aren’t bad either!).
6. The ice-cream is homemade
Expect quality, artisan gelato here, with a limited range of all-natural flavours that respect the seasons.
7. They do take away
Perfect for posh picnics, a tray of pastries is always a hit at dinner parties too if you want to bring something to impress the host. Or, of course, you can simply sit in front of the television and scoff the lot. I’m not judging you.
Pasticceria Barberini, Via Marmorata 41a, Tel 0657250431
Open Monday-Sunday 06.30 – 21.00