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The Magic Of Italian Restaurants: How Pasquino Trapped My Heart

the magic of italian restaurant and a story of pasquino bistro in rome by shegowandering on gustobeats
This is a post contributed by my dear friend Helga, who is the founder of the solo female travel blog ShegoWandering. She is sharing her personal story with one of the Italian restaurants, Pasquino near Piazza Novano in Rome. A typical restaurant or we call it bistro, where she had experienced the most “intimate” Italian restaurant/social culture.

She called it "The Magic Of Italian Restaurants".

enjoy the aperitivo at Pasquino in Rome by ShegoWandering

About ShegoWandering: “I’m a UK based travel blogger, with a passion for chasing colors and adventures. I’m choosing mostly warm destinations to visit, focusing at the moment on Italy and Spain. As a photographer I love to capture colorful sceneries, so I guess, this is explaining my decisions on destination picking. I’ve been to Italy so far 13 times, and this number will hopefully keep growing every month. By now, I managed to check off my list of 16 towns and cities around Italy, and this all started with an unforgettable Roman evening.”


I’ve been the first time in Rome in 2015 with my high school best friend. On our 3rd day, while walking on Via del Governo Vecchio on our way to the Vatican, I spotted this magical little bistro called Bistro and Wine bar Pasquino. It had outdoor tables, red-white table coats, and a great atmosphere. I straight away decided for us to stop by on our way back. We actually wanted to, but the waiter who’s been inviting people inside was very weird (that waiter is no longer working there), so went to the neighboring restaurant instead. While we had our pizza and drinks, from my eye picked bistro a waiter kept staring at my friend. When we finished our dinner, a street vendor came to our table and put two roses down. He said they were sent by this previously mentioned staring waiter.

This was such a Hollywood experience, honestly! We, like every other girl who’s going to Italy, is dreaming about something exquisite to happen there. Well, the roses did work definitely! We moved over to this bistro in the end, met the staff and stayed there for long hours chatting.

That was the night I fall in love with this place and with Rome as well. For me, meeting Italians and making connections in Italy was always a dream when I was younger. I just love their mentality, the vibes, and the way of living. This brought me to learn the language as well for future connections and visits.

Pasquino is a great Italian restaurant to stop by for many reasons.

1. It’s open from 7am to 2am

beautiful morning at Bistro and Wine bar Pasquino in rome
Aperol Spritz at Bistro and Wine bar Pasquino

The best thing and the reason I stop by so many times is that it’s open from a very early hour till very late not like the normal Italian restaurants. In the mornings I’m always going on my photography tour, wandering around in Rome with my camera. I’m always stopping by for some tasty breakfast and my favorite cappuccino when finishing around 8-9 am. Due to Piazza Navona’s location, I’m passing it many times every day. Thanks to this, I can always stop by the Pasquino at any time. The morning coffee, the lunch, the aperitif, and the dinner as well are great there!

Also, I’m not really partying when I’m in Rome. I would rather enjoy sitting at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, outside, watching people passing by and listening to music or bounding with friends until late.

2. Location and prices

Piazza Navona is one of the top places to see in Rome, therefore the prices in the restaurants around are pretty high. What I love in this bistro, is that even if it’s 2 minutes away, their prices are reasonable and the quality is unquestionable!!! 

spaghetti alla carbonara at Bistro and Wine bar Pasquino in rome

3. Amazing food

I have tried most of my favorite Italian dishes here and never complain about anything. Really, never! Everything is just delicious! My big-time favorites are the Gnocchi ai 4 formaggi, the lasagna, the Capricciosa pizza and between many more, the Bruschetta plates.

Late night cappuccino at Bistro and Wine bar Pasquino in rome

4. Great cappuccino

As I mentioned above, I’m stopping by for a cappuccino very often. I really value great coffee, and I really hate the western style huge size coffees! A tasty, traditional cappuccino means much more to me then 50 large toffee lattes or caramel macchiatos. In Pasquino, the coffee is absolutely great!

Welcome table of Bistro and Wine bar Pasquino

5. Atmosphere

The staff is young and super friendly. If you’re lucky, you might catch the funniest guy as well. If you’ll see a waiter singing to people passing by, that’s the one I’m talking about.

Even it is a typical Italian restaurant, they put on some good Spanish and American pop in the evening to create some great international atmosphere beside the tasty drinks.

6. Great for solo travelers!

If you like chatting, and you’re traveling alone, you might likely be engaged in a conversation with one of the staff members or someone from the next table very soon.

I’ve been to Rome so many times, and every time I went alone, it never happened to me to sit at Pasquino and not have company at some point. I’ll continue this in the next point.

travel girls at Bistro and Wine bar Pasquino in rome

7. Connections

Since 2015, every time I was sitting alone, as I mentioned I started a conversation with people around me. Actually, they started the conversations, as I’m not the kind of person who’s opening first.

So far, I have met 2 elder English couples I’ve spent hours chatting, Indian girls, many Italians, Irish friends, more British, Americans, Australians, South Americans, etc. There are actually 3 persons on this list I’m still in touch with. We’ve also met in London since with one of the American ladies. I love making connections with other travelers, and this place is considered a great spot for it.

Final thoughts

The reason why the Italian restaurant is amazing is that each one has a story and each one has a history. Especially these small ones owned by families or friends, they are really unique and brilliant. From them, you can discover more about Italian culinary, traditions and to make great connections. The people are lovely in Italy and they don’t mind teaching you and telling you about Italian things.

For another amazing adventure, I had in Italy, go to this link and read about my Roman Holiday Story – the Audrey Hepburn version!

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13 Responses

    1. Wow, that sounds great! Summer is always the best best time for Italy!!!! In my blog, I’ve also one post about Rome itinerary and one about the food hunting. Meanwhile, I wrote few posts about those hidden gem locations of Italy. If you are still planning the trip and have space to insert a few more small places, check them out! They are really lovely!

    1. that’s the best place to hang out in the early night in Rome!!! I’m pretty sure you will enjoy first that cappuccino, then more wines 😀

    1. haha, I think that cappuccino is a summer-twist version, with some ice inside, and maybe some flavored syrup maybe not.

      1. hahaha, no worries Bernara, it is totally fine. Your typo is readable, while I think sometimes I make those alien typos 😀
        There are plenty of cute bistro in Rome like this, and of course, Pasquino is cuter with this personal story! I wish to have a nice flower some night too, just maybe my boyfriend will give a no-no face. :DDDDD

  1. While I don’t know this particular restaurant I absolutely AGREE with the notion that Italian restaurants are magical! I am a Francophile married to a Frenchman who has dined a lot in France, but I WAY more prefer dining in Italy as it is friendlier, they share their history and the food is generally always good despite the hype, something I can’t always say for French restaurants!

    1. haha Andi, that’s so cute to hear your compliments to the Italian restaurants here (as a French)!!! You know what, I and my boyfriend were just back from Paris last weekend, and he’s “complaining” a lot to the French restaurants, like potion is too small, caffe is too watering, blah blah blah (I just shut him down with the saying that “you are just “racism” haha) … It makes me so appreciative of yours!!!

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