With its unsubstantiated claim as Rome's oldest restaurant, Ristorante la Campana has naturally made it into many guidebooks. As such, it could easily have turned into a tourist trap. Fortunately, their traditional Italian and Roman dishes have remained delicious and authentic and are served in a classic-looking Roman restaurant with multiple dining rooms. If you do come here for an early dinner, you will likely see only tourists, but as the evening progresses, the locals will arrive at their normal dining hour of 9pm or later. The restaurant has a fixed menu, plus many daily specials including some traditional Roman dishes, such as carciofi alla giudia.
Favorite Dish: Note: la Campana is closed on Mondays
“Suddenly the air was full of that deep clangor of bells which periodically covers Rome with a roof of silver.”
from the short story “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
Located between Piazza Navona and the River Tiber, Ristorante La Campana is Rome’s oldest restaurant. It was once an inn as well, but no longer.
In this classic Roman restaurant, with white tablecloths, there is an essential earthiness about the place overlaid with an old-world formality; waiters in dark suits have worked here so long they perform their duty in an efficient, if rather, rote fashion.
A hand-written menu changes regularly, to reflect seasonal ingredients; there is a predictable lineup, beyond seasonal dishes, of beloved classics. The soups are all hearty and delicious, including the pasta e fagioli. La Campana, the Bell, displays an abundance of fresh vegetables and fish, and the homemade desserts just inside the front door.
We make it a point to take lunch here each time we visit the Eternal City. We have managed to sit at the same table, where we have a view of the ceramic tile coach logo (see photo #2) on one of the restaurant’s walls. And each time we are completely satisfied. To avoid a crowd, drop in toward the end of lunchtime, around 14:30.
This restaurant is also near Palazzo Altemps. See my Rome Things To Do tip, “Palazzo Altemps: Sculpture Heaven” for more about this wonderful museum filled with a grand collection of Classical sculptural works.
The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
The old-fashioned traditional Sunday family lunch place - outstanding meat, pasta and the best tiramisu' in Rome. VERY Roman waiters, i.e., brusque but their heart's in the right place
Vicolo della Campana - north of Piazza Navona