The first time you drink a well-done peach iced tea a strange thing happens. One sensory pathway leads from your mouth into your head and there tries to compare the taste with all the other iced teas you’ve had in your lifetime. And fails. It goes something like this: “Day-hot-thirsty-drink-cold-tea-no, no way this can be tea.” At the same time another pathway has veered the information away from catagorization and directly into the pleasure centers of your head immediately after tasting. And goes ga-ga. Something like: “Oh my God, this is, like, unbelievably good.”
Over the past few years the tradition of Italian bars to make their own iced teas has slipped, giving way to the usual cans of Nestea or, if you’re lucky, Twinnings. (New EU regulations have seen to that.) But at the almost legendary ‘Caffeteria’, now called ‘Caffe Napolitano’, that tradition is going strong. They make their own peach granita and lightly sweetened tea and mix the two together. The result is outstanding, maybe number 79 on the list of 101 things to do while you’re alive.
OK, maybe only number 14 on the list of 25 things to taste while in Rome, but you get the picture. It’s in what used to be the lovely Piazza della Pietra, halfway between the Trevi fountain and Piazza Navona, but the piazza was restored not long ago in somewhat lamentable fashion. But if you happen to be close by on a hot day, it’s more than worth the stop. The bar/caffe link: http://www.lacaffettieraroma.it/it/