Sunday Walk: The Caffè Viennese

Caffè Vienesse by GSK

Caffè Viennese by GSK

This morning I thought we’d just go and have ourselves a cappuccino and cornetto at my favorite “bar” or as they’re called ever more often caffè.

When I arrived in Italy, many of these public places went under different names:

  1. latteria (milk shop) where you went to buy milk and maybe some snack or other – it was a stand-up affair and sometimes you could get a cup of coffee, but things likes coke or wine was take away.
  2. mesceria where you went to drink wine, they were rather primitive places with tables covered in a sheet of butcher paper.  Sometimes you could get something to eat, or you could bring along your own snack.
  3. pasticceria (pastry shop) where you bought pastries…sometimes you could get a cup of coffee but usually this was not the case.  They were beautiful shops full of some of the most marvelous cakes and small pastries.  The Italians, when they went visiting with friends would bring along a tray of these delicacies…oh and you always bought some for Sunday Dinner!
  4. American Bar which is closer to what we have today.  They were cafès with booths to sit down in, you could buy anything to drink from an espresso to a whiskey and soda (the Italian idea of an all American drink). Sometimes there was a jukebox or a pin-ball machine (in Italian Flipper).
  5. Then tea-rooms could be found here and there…basically a pasticceria where you could have a cup of tea or cappuccino.  The Italian idea of what a British tea-room should have been.
  6. Cafè where you could sit at a table either inside the establishment or outside along the sidewalk or in a small garden.

Some of these places are hard to find now days…like the latteria or the mesceria, other’s have evolved into what we now call bar or caffè…not cafè mind you but caffè which is actually Italian for coffee.  Nowadays here in Trentino, it’s the place to go first thing in the morning before going to work…you get your morning dose of caffeine in whatever form you want it and of course a cornetto or croissant as we would call them.  Later, you can also have a quick-lunch and in the evening most bars have what we call “happy hour” which has nothing to do with what you in America think…it’s the 6:00 to 7:00 aperitivo hour where snacks are put out in abundance for those who’ve ordered their favorite drink, from beer to a glass of Chardonnay!

So welcome to my favorite bar… Il Caffè Viennese!  Oh! and it’s in Arco, right next to the Coop!

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Have a great Sunday!

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