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Chill out at Caffetteria Italia, to the east of the massive Victor Emanuel Monument in Rome’s busy Piazza Venezia. Just walk behind Palazzo Nuovo on top of the Campidoglio, southeast of the monument.

It's a pretty standard tavola calda (“hot table,” meaning prepared pastas, salads and panini) in quality and price. Paninis run about 6EUR, glasses of wine start at 5EUR. However, the glass walls offer a million-dollar view – tables are on a massive metal and glass porch, and no matter which one you choose, the view is absolutely breathtaking.

Caffetteria Italia is one of the few high places in Rome where you can comfortably chill and study the skyline, an enticing maze of Renaissance palazzi, Baroque churches, medieval church towers and ancient ruins. The east side boasts the best view of the Forum of Trajan, with the medieval Torre delle Milizie above, while toward the southeast there’s a fabulous view of the Forum and Colosseum.

Stay for aperitivi (free food with drink purchases!) around 7 and linger til it closes so you can see the same view beautifully lit after nightfall. It's a perfect rest stop after a long day of shopping, sightseeing, or whatever it is you like to do in the caput mundi (“head of the world”).

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