But memories bring joy, and so I decided to retrieve the pictures that I took during my many visits from 2012-2019. I don’t know how many cups of cappuccino or pieces of brioche vuoto (without filling) the two bar tenders at Café Ricchi, Piazza di Santo Spirito, 8 served me, but I know they were the only two that waited on me all those years. I wonder what they are doing now!
Every morning I would leave my rental apartment by 7 grab a quick cappuccino along the way as I wandered across Piazza della Signoria, through the Uffizi courtyard to the Arno, across the Ponte Vecchio to the Pitti Palace, pass Casa Guidi, the home of Elizabeth and Robert Browning, to Piazza Santo Spirito and Café Ricchi.
I soon became a regular: the cashier would ring up my order as one of the men put a saucer and spoon on the counter and started my cappuccino; I would take it and the brioche to the adjoining room, wallpapered with children’s imaginations of Santo Spirito. There I would write and savor my breakfast. Sometimes It was the best part of my day. By 9:30 I would go out into the sunshine, spend a little time in the church, and then wander the streets until I came across just the right church or museum to visit.