Rome is an ancient city full of history and tradition. It is also a city with an economy built on tourism, so it often adjusts to modern life in a rapid way. Much to my chagrin, this includes new coffee spaces with WiFi and organic juices. I’m partial to the old establishments. But Barnum Cafe is a perfect union of Italian tradition and youthful modernity.
I took a sunny stroll down one of my favorite streets near Campo de Fiori. My favorite area of the city, this square fills up each morning with a maze of tents, selling the sweetest fruits, vegetables, exotic spices, cheeses, pastas, and flowers. Adjoining the square, Via del Pellegrino is a chic and quaint winding street of restaurants, bars and shopfronts for local designers. It’s truly a special street to peruse.
Barnum Café, located on Via del Pellegrino, is a different kind of bar for Rome. Daniele, the owner — a photographer himself — has created a uniquely designed space for art, music, drinking, eating (healthy and often vegetarian, none-the-less). Café by day, bar by night. A kid named Maurick creates beautiful latte art. His portfolio includes cats, dogs, people, pigs, flowers — and all thanks to a YouTube education.
Barnum was named after the circus – Barnum and Bailey – and also as a play on words (Bar…Num…), and the aesthetic follows suit, with (cardboard) girls doing acrobatics from the ceiling. As much an art space as a café, local artists can showcase their works upon the exposed brick walls.