In a bit I’ll head out to visit the Convent of San Marco, but first I’ll stop at a bar for a cappucchino. As I walk in, someone will be finishing up theirs, but before I gulp mine down, others will walk in off the street and join me. If the bar has tables, a few groups of people will be lingering over their coffee and brioches, having paid more for the privilege of sitting down. In Firenze a cappuccino is about 1.30 euro at the bar, 2.20 at the table.
This coming and going of coffee drinkers will go on all day. Someone told me that Italians consume about five cups a day, and as you know, this is high test stuff; one or two is all I dare take in, and that has to be before 11AM.
Being a barista must be part of the psyche of all Italians. With equal skill, both men and women know what to do to get that coffee in front of you in less than a minute. Usually you pay first at the casse and take the ticket to the bar.
“Un cappucchino, per favore, “ and with that a plate and spoon appear in front of you, your coffee is pressed, milk heated with hot air and added to your coffee, and there is the cup, on your plate, ready for a little sugar and a few gulps.
This ritual works for solitary travelers such as myself, for those who come with companions, and everyone in between.