• Dagnino, Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, 75 00185 Rome, Italy

It is with great regret that I didn’t find Dagnino until my last day in Rome, for I would have came more often.

Located on the brink of Piazza della Repubblica, the enormous store is broken up into sections: restaurant, pasticceria, a bar and gelateria and tea room.

I take shelter from the rain inside the hallway that runs through the Piazza. With open walls on both sides, I don’t feel trapped.

All the pleasures of people watching, minus the rain and cold.

Outside, the waiter greets me in Italian and points to an open table.

There’s no point in sitting; to figure out what to order, one must go inside.

I begin in the pastry section, where the multi colored display is so big, that it requires multiple cases to hold all of the goods. The first one is refrigerated, for cakes and pies, the second for cookies, the last one for croissants. Overwhelmed, I ask for assistance.

I get adventurous, and order a ‘cornetto‘ (croissant) with ricotta, chocolate bits and powdered sugar. I break the thin, flakey crust with a bite, and the creme oozes from the center. I wish it were hot, but it still hits the spot. With a cappuccino on the side and a book in my hand, I can sit there all day.

As I’m about to leave, the gelato display arrives. It doesn’t look special, but I try just in case. I should have known. The Stracciatella is overly diluted, like a milkshake with too much milk. The best I can say about the Cannoli is that it wasn’t bad.

Even if not to eat, Dagnino is worth a visit. The strength of other praiseworthy traits makes others less important, even one as crucial as the taste of gelato. I will still return to Dagnino, and pay the exorbitant price for a E3.10 for a cappuccino, not because it’s the best, but because it feels like Italy.