Sunday, December 7, 2008

Coffee please

When in Rome do as the Romans do.

It goes without saying that the Romans have realized the perfect way to start their day, keeping it simple...A coffee and cornetto at one of the countless coffee bars in Rome.

I haven't always been a coffee enthusiast, in fact it took an unfortunate event for me to make the swift switch. I had been regularly visiting a relative, in the Rome countryside and on this particular visit was invited to make my own cup of tea while "Nonna" needed to take care of another matter. So there I was, alone in her kitchen pouring hot water into a cup and too my horror a ghastly sight of maggots came floating to the surface ! You can imagine Nonna's surprise of my newly found love of coffee on my following visit. I'm guessing those teabags had been reserved for "stranieri" (foreigners) like me !

I love the fact that coffee in Rome is at it's best anytime of the day. On just about every street corner sits a bar "coffee bar" each one enticing patrons inside. Some offer a student special " cappucino & cornetto, 1 euro". In the window of another, a sign reads "Happy Hour,"while for most of the coffee bars it is simply the wonderful aroma of coffee itself.

There is a such a variety to choose from. A very simple establishment to even the grand, boasting chandeliers and seating inside and out, you are bound to pay more for such comforts (and we do). Then you stumble across a coffee bar that welcomes a steady flow of patrons, many of whom are familiar faces to the bartender, and there is standing room only. Here, tucked neatly away behind the dome glass counter an assortment of "pasticcini mignons" little cakes await! So tempting they are. The only thing that hindered me was my lack of the Italian language. I managed only to buy a few "cioccolato" that day. And the coffee here, in my humble opinion ..... Just perfect.
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