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We started each day in Rome with a coffee and pastry at the counter of a bustling bar - our favourite was Caffe Castroni in the middle of a beautiful food store not far from the Vatican. Rub shoulders with the locals while knocking back a joltingly strong espresso served by a barista in a bow tie while gazing at the beautiful packing of Italian produce (2 excellent cappuccinos, 1 bombolone and 1 cornetto for 3.60 euros - you hear that, London?). Love this place.
My wife and her family have been going here for decades. It's the place for buying coffee (ground or whole bean) to take home. Great stuff. On 9th March 2009, my wife paid 5.50 EUR (5.10 GBP, 7.03 USD) for 500 g whole bean coffee.
The place is packed with dozens of specialty items, from spreads to condiments and their Italian chocolates and other Italian candies are good and plentiful. Their huge range of international offerings may not be what the holiday maker is after, but if you are a foreigner living in Rome, you just might find that special ingredient or product you have been missing.
Castroni is the best delicatessen in Rome, that's for sure! But the only problem is the price, it' like going to a high fashion shop :-)
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