Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Institutions of Italy

In Italy, there is a universal institution, similar in function to what the pub used to be in England.

Only faster.

The bar. What we in N. America would call a cafe.

Everyone starts the day with a cup of coffee and a bun, (they'll give you tea if you really want it) standing up at the bar (you can sit in most of them, if you want to, but no one ever does).

In most bars you can also re-charge the credit on your telefonino, buy a newspaper or lottery tickets, gum or smokes, a pop or a bottle of water for the treno. You pass the time of day with your fellow commuters and talk a little politics or sports.

Or you can take your coffee outside and enjoy the autumn sunshine.
Conviviality is the real heart of the Italian lifestyle.


BillyHW said...

Who's this guy who keeps showing up in all your pictures. I'm getting jealous.

Lilly said...

Was wondering the same thing...!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Conviviality, of course.

GOR said...

"...and talk a little politics or sports."

You nailed the Italian mind perfectly! When I lived there (pre-Internet days) it was said that Italians opened their newspapers to the Sports section first and then to the section on Politics.

I also fondly remember the 'bars' and having a cappuccino between classes - long before Starbucks was on the scene acting like they invented the stuff!

John said...

"...pop or a bottle of water."

What is "pop?"