Going to an Italian bar is not just about having or offering a coffee. It’s like attending a theatre play, a show whose drama encompasses culture, identity, and uniqueness. The many scenes that follow are: espresso (ristretto, single, double, iced, macchiato, macchiatone, macchiato only with foam, corretto, very hot, served in a glass, served in a large cup), cappuccino (light, dark, with foam, without foam, spiced, very hot, cold, lukewarm, lightly macchiato, macchiato with chocolate, drowned, with soy, coconut, hazelnut, rice or oat milk). It can be drunk quickly, whilst standing up and chatting to the barman who knows everyone, speaks to everyone and remembers how everyone takes their coffee. Meeting with friends and enemies and chatting about the football score, politics, women and cars but also personal, family or work matters. A real Italian show! PS: Coffee has always been a drink loved by artists and musicians alike. Johann Sebastian Bach, a real aficionado, wrote a piece called “The coffee cantata”. Voltaire is said to have drunk 40 cups a day, to which he added chocolate. He wrote: “If coffee is poison, it’s a very slow poison.” Ludwig Van Beethoven was also crazy about coffee, and prepared it with exactly 60 beans per cup.
Our favourites in Florence are: Caffè Gigli (a historical bar in Italy, open since 1733), Ditta Artigianale Sant’Ambrogio (true coffee connoisseurs), Dolci & Dolcezze (made to complement their patisserie), Iginio Massari (Italy's most famous pastry chef), Pasticceria Stefania (a sweet love story), Pasticceria Gualtieri (vegan and gluten free, open since 1933), Pasticceria Giorgio (an institution in town), Todo Modo (for coffee and a book), Rivoire (accompanied by beautiful history, open since 1872). Giacosa 1815 (The story dates back to the early 18th century, when Via Tornabuoni was a popular stopping point during the 'Grand Tour'). These are merely a few - one only needs to get lost in the streets of Florence and walk into any bar to discover a stage where everyone is both an actor and a viewer at the same time.