Italians love coffee, this is certain! Also, Italy is well known abroad for his peculiar coffee culture. I have recently read in a foreign blog this recommendation to tourists going to Italy: an Italian bar between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. is worth a visit as well as the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence or the Coliseum in Rome. This statement may be exaggerated, but it’s a matter of fact that the morning ritual of breakfast in the coffee bar, standing at the counter, belongs deeply to the Italian way of life and goes beyond the most common stereotypes about Italy and its inhabitants. Plenty of foreign writers, journalists and bloggers have written plenty of paper or virtual pages about Italian coffee culture, its rituals and rules. I personally find this article, published some years ago in The Telegraph, as one of best and delightfully written on this topic: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/italy/6246202/Italian-coffee-culture-a-guide.html. Therefore, if you plan to visit Italy or you are already here, it may be a very interesting reading to understand the Italian coffee culture or even to learn how to drink a coffee as most Italians do.
As for me, I usually start my day having breakfast at home, since I love cooking and cakes are my forte, but whe I am late and the bus is about to pass, once arrived in Siena I always have my breakfast at Torrefazione Fiorella, just a few steps away from Piazza del Campo, at the beginning of the elegant Via di Città.
Fully furnished in wood and run with devotion by the very kind owner, “Fiorella” is the right place in Siena for the Italian coffee ritual, obviously in the morning, but also after lunch and in the afternoon. Its most outstanding characteristic is the high quality of the coffee blend, that can be bought ground, to be then consumed at home, or drunk at the counter, standing…for sure! It must be said that Fiorella is not only coffee (Italians don’t use the word “espresso”, that is a technical term, and not an everyday one: a simple espresso is simply known as a “caffè”): you can certainly order a nice cappuccino, a classic caffelatte, a gentle latte macchiato (a hot milk with a dash of coffee), a tasty caffè macchiato (an espresso with a dash of milk), a delicious mokaccino (an espresso with a cloud of milk foam and a dash of hot chocolate), a restorative hot chocolate, or a creamy Caffè Marocchino (a shot of espresso, cocoa powder and milk foam, served in a small glass). Additionally, in Summer refreshing coffee granitas and iced coffees are offered to tourists and locals who need a rest from the city’s hot temperatures. It might not be as interesting and fulfilling as the Uffizi and the Coliseum, but if you wish to have a taste of one of the most authentic Italian rituals, you should go to Fiorella’s!