The ritual of having breakfast

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Today the only Wifi point in Anzio, which is a bar selling Spritz at 2.50 euros (so my favourite bar in the world), is closed for holidays as it had to be open yesterday when everybody was on holiday. August 15th or Ferragosto is a midsummer national holiday which celebrates Catholic events but, as we are in Italy, it is a bit mixed up with the Republic holiday calendar as well. Fair enough. So what did i do? This morning realised that there is some connection from inside the bar even if closed, so i’m staying on the pavement and writing this post whilst everybody is staring at me thinking i’m some sort of nerd junkie just landed in town. Well, if i can say this is dedication 😉 (about dedication, yesterday we have beaten our viewers record so thank you very much people!)

Today i wanted to speak about Alceste restaurant but, even if good, it wasn’t as good as i thought so nevermind. The topic of the day, since most of the Italians are now on holiday popping up from the sand like sea mushrooms (sea mushrooms…do they exist?:P), is the ritual of having breakfast in Italy. Piazzas are full with people having their breakfast, morning aperitvo or whatever. In Rome if you want to be a good Roman you have to know how to deal with it. Breakfast is huge all year round in Rome so you cannot approach your local bar and easily get away with a “skinny latte” or a “cappuccino with no foam”. Roman barmen will just start serving someone else. Fact! So the following are  rules to have a proper Italian breakfast and be happy.

Choose your pastry before your coffee

From the pastry counter the choice is huge. Cornetto (the Italian croissant, but better then the French version:P), cornetto filled with nutella, cornetto with custard cream, cornetto with jam, Bomba (deep fried doughnut filled with custard cream, nutella or jam), Ciambella fritta (plain deep fried doughnut), danese, treccia, crostatina etc… choose what you want and grab it! Nobody will wait for you, again these are tricks you adquire with the experience. In Italy you have to be quick or the others will get what you want. Cornetto is the classic breakfast pastry when Bomba in Rome is a classic afterdinner complement as well. In many places Bombas are on sale only after 9-10pm 😀

Once you are happy with your pastry choice and you are already eating it (give it a bite or two but be careful the barmen can tell you off !) start thinking about what coffee you might want.

Cappuccino, Macchiato o Espresso?

Forget Latte, tall, small, grande cappucino, frappuccino, chai latte, ginger whatever, machiato with one “c” only, here you’re playing with the tough guys. Go to the bar, be decise, but don’t overdo, approach the barman quietly and ask what you want. It is like when James Bond orders his Martini if that can help 🙂 The choice is usually among cappuccino, espresso, espresso lungo (double espresso), macchiato (espresso with a drop of milk). A lot of people say that espresso in vetro (espresso in a glass cup) is better. I personally agree. If you wanna order it you can say: “Posso avere un espresso al vetro?”. You will be probably gain some extra points at the eyes of the barman as well:D

On summertime granita di caffè (coffee with sugar and crashed ice) and crema di caffe (coffee cream with ice) are something very popular and rather delicious. Additional notes: espresso can be very short compared to the British standards and i didn’t mention the Americano or the White coffee because…in Rome barmen can be quite rude.

Enjoy your coffee

When you get your coffee, sip it, taste it and drink it. You can take it away but if it is morning and you’re having breakfast, stay at the bar or sit at one table, chat and be relaxed. There is no rush, no tube to take, no appointements scheduled, leave your take away cup in London and live the Italian way.

Tonight i’ll be in Nettuno, literally 5 mins from Anzio, to try a recently opened restaurant “La cooperativa dei pescatori”, a trattoria managed by local fishermen and everything is cooked by the wise hands of their wives and sons. Hopefully tomorrow i won’t need to be sat on a pavement to write this. Stay tuned.

If you wanna book our next event, click the obvious link below. Thanks to my friend Matteo who went around with me this morning ordering coffees randomly.

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