There’s no such thing as a diet when in Rome. It’s actually pretty damn impossible, I say. Pizza, spaghetti alla carbonara, gelato, tiramisu… you’d be crazy to pass on all this good stuff! Then there are the Italian pasticcerias filled with delicacies that somehow taste better than their counterparts anywhere else in the world. Is it the sugar? The local dairy? The Italian hands kneading the dough? Or is it simply that the Roman air adds a certain je ne sais quoi?
No matter the reason, the bakeries in Rome are legit. There are SO many in the city and it’s a guarantee that you’ll be tempted by many. I’m afraid to break it to you, but not all bakeries were created equal. If you’re going to consume some hefty dessert calories, they better be worth it! So if you’re going to be tempted by a bakery in Rome, let it be Pasticceria Barberini.
Lili and I are no strangers to dessert: we purposefully seek out bakeries in every destination we visit. The proof is all over our blog! From Edinburgh to Paris to Ghent and Brussels, we’ve been exploring bakeries!
Given that we have a pretty good track record, I had high hopes for Pasticceria Barberini. You should know that this pasticceria isn’t in the tourist center of Rome. It’s slightly further out, so unless your accommodation is in the area, you would need to make a specific effort to find it. But I assure you, the navigation is all part of the fun! What’s more, you can hit two birds with one stone by visiting this bakery and Testaccio Market on the same day.
Pasticceria Barberini is a classic Italian café with a few indoor seats as well as a stand up bar. Upon entering, you’ll instantly be mesmerized by the colourful display of pastries and desserts. Your eyes will be glued to the glass pane as you size up which treats you want to devour. But let me warn you, it won’t be an easy choice. There is such a range of desserts that your brain will be firing on all cylinders to strategize the best combination.
Pasticceria Barberini makes lemon and strawberry cheesecake squares, chocolate hazelnut mousse, fruit tarts, éclairs (coffee, custard, chocolate, pistachio), chocolate coffee tarts, Sachertorte, and even raspberry Sachertorte. Of course, they also make Italian classics like tiramisu, baba al rhum, jam-filled crostata, cannoli, and sfogliatelle (more about sfogliatelle here). As if this weren’t enough, they also have a selection of traditional Italian biscuits, which are perfect for taking away to enjoy later.
Past the variety of desserts, one major perk of visiting Pasticceria Barberini is the portion sizes. You can choose bite-size, medium, or full-size cakes. The full cakes look impressive, ideal for bringing to a special occasion. But let’s be real, being in Rome is special occasion enough! I wouldn’t judge you for wanting a whole cake! While everything looks incredible, my suggestion is to try several small bite-size treats so that you can sample a range of their flavours.
It’s no surprise that I wanted to try EVERYTHING at Pasticceria Barberini. If only my stomach had bottomless space! I had just eaten a hefty amount at the nearby Testaccio Market, so I only ordered a coffee and three bite-size desserts. I opted for a mini Sachertorte, a pistachio éclair, and a trancio aloha.
The Sachertorte boasted a soft chocolate sponge, with a sweet apricot jam filling, and was – in my opinion – a perfect mini version of the famous Austrian cake. The pistachio éclair was filled with a smooth pistachio cream that wasn’t overly sweet nor too heavy. I was a fan. And finally, the trancio aloha (meaning aloha slice) was a small tart filled with a smooth coconut cream and topped with shredded coconut and a raspberry. The crunchy tart and refreshing coconut flavour livened up my taste buds. All three treats were a hit in my books! Oh and the coffee was pretty damn good too. I mean, it’s Italy. They know coffee.
When I visit a bakery, I look for it to meet five main criteria: taste, aesthetic, cost effectiveness, selection, and service. Pasticceria Barberini passed each category with flying colours! Overall, I really enjoyed this bakery/café and I only wish I could have eaten so much more while there! Nonetheless, it has left a lasting impression and I highly recommend that you venture out of Rome’s tourist center in pursuit of these pinchable-inducing desserts!
- Take the metro to stop Piramide. Pasticceria Barberini is a short walk away.
- While you’re in the area, visit Testaccio Market.