“Without my morning coffee I’m just like a dried up piece of roast goat” – Johann Sebastian Bach, The Coffee Cantata
Coffee is a way of life in Italy. Aside from the obvious caffeine hit, coffee bars offer an opportunity to gossip with your neighbours, nibble delicious sweet cakes, take a break from shopping, meet a friend or read the newspapers.
Spello is full of coffee bars. I don’t drink the stuff myself, but I am always happy to while away the hours with a cool glass of water and some pastacini.
The Bar Giordino has a beautiful terrace with views across mountains and valleys. We’ve been there once, sitting in the shade of its spreading trees. But there are 2 coffee bars we frequent much more often.
Entering Spello from the top of the town, the first bar you come across is the Tabaccheria Romani Fiorella.
This bar is a few steps from our apartment, so it has been our favourite destination for an early morning drink with croissants or sweet cakes, or, on occasion, a cool glass of wine on a hot day after a long walk.
The bar is run by 2 delightful ladies, sisters-in-law Fiorella and Daniella who are always smiling and welcoming. Our conversations are still interspersed with mime, but they have both been patient and helpful with our halting Italian.
You can buy everything here: sandwiches, cigarettes, handbags, very nice wines, hand-crafted earrings and a ticket for the lottery to name but a few.
A tiny terrace with a lovely view is perfect for a leisurely stop, but we prefer to be inside where the chattering of locals and tourists is at its best.
Should we turn right out of our apartment, heading for the town centre, then we will often stop at Bar Tullia.
Tullia is well placed for people watching. It faces the main street, is next to a school and opposite the lovely facade of the church of San Lorenzo, so the clientele is a mixture of locals, tourists, mums and the occassional cleric. It’s another family affair, run by a sister and brother team.
The cafe culture in Italy is embedded in its society. It’s not so difficult to sustain with a sunny climate. Those of us from more northern territories just have to seize the day!
“Chocolate, men, coffee – some things are better rich.”