Sophisticated Sala da tè

The lack of gelato pageantry does not mean the restaurant is simply designed at all. Ciampini is a professional pit stop in every way. The sign is in an elegant script, clearly listed above both entrances. The simple stone walls look elegant in Piazza, and the black awnings denote a sense of class. Under the main entrance are the words “Sala da tè” meaning tea room. When you walk in, you are greeted formally by well-dressed waiters. However, no greeting takes too much time. To your right, you have sandwiches and drinks to be ordered. The full-service bar is always an option for those who need a bigger pick me up than gelato. As you head to the back, you will find a gelato bar. All flavors are listed overhead, but there is a list nearby with English translations. One person works the gelato and serves cups and cones out of the metal bins. To pay, you head back to the front where there is also a Tabacchi. You know it’s a professional establishment when you can buy cigarettes and gelato at the same time and not feel like your gelato has been contaminated. The back offers a few seats, but most people stand outside or sit in the chairs outside to enjoy their afternoon treats. The sunny weather should not be avoided, and Ciampini would simply be too loud if all Italian professionals congregated inside. All aspects of Ciampini exude style and sophistication. This establishment is for the professional, and as a result I felt out of place. I only saw one true tourist (she was holding a red rose – also known as a red flag) eat at Ciampini. Although I blended in appearance-wise, I felt out of place being alone. I typically enjoy eating alone and quickly and do not enjoy long meals. At Ciampini, I felt like I should be with someone else. I also felt like I should be working at a corporation. Nevertheless, I will have to bring someone with me next time to enjoy Ciampini and to cheek-kiss arrivederci. What other Italian places are just as much as social experience as a physical transaction?

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