Rome in June is a favorite time of mine — the city isn’t too crowded just yet, and the weather is glorious. I was in town when the mercury had started to rise and things were heating up. After wandering through the cobblestone streets, my friend and I were in desperate need of a sit down and some food, and we found ourselves in Piazza Navona.

When you’re in a touristy spot like Piazza Navona, it’s often hard to find a place that delivers atmosphere and quality food; it sometimes feels like these places just phone it in, so to speak. Right in the heart of Rome’s evocative Piazza Navona, Tre Scalini is a Roman institution that delivers charm and delicious local delicacies.

Although there’s an interior room, for me the main draw of this restaurant is the outdoor seating. You’re right in the throw of things, and every table has views out over the square. Plenty of people watching. And one of the most wonderful things was the mist system that they had arranged under the umbrellas — every few minutes a burst of cool water would pulse out, instantly dropping the temperatures. A lovely little luxury in the city sweater of the Roman summer.

What about the food? Oh, I’m glad you asked. Because it’s pretty amazing.

My friend went with the ravioli, which were served with a simple pasta sauce. And by simple, I mean it was simply perfection — this dish was the favorite that we tried, and was bold and flavorful, perfectly executed with a burst of fresh basil.

I opted for a traditional Roman dish, the gnocchi in a parmesan sauce with toasted walnuts. Rich and creamy, this was a decidedly filling dish that would be perfect paired with a glass of wine, this would be a dreamy dish to enjoy before tucking into bed for the night in the cooler months.

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