Italian Pastries and Friendly Local Shop Owners
I just walked to a little shop that’s only about three minutes away. Locals sit at the few tables inside, chatting about … well, I don’t know what they’re talking about – it’s in Italian – but I imagine “the neighborhood happenings.” They’re engaged and full of gestures, like you can only be when you know each other very well. They’ve probably been coming here for years.
Everyone who comes in exclaims “Ciao!” to which everyone responds with “Ciao!” And, when someone leaves? The same. It’s the full-on local experience. I love it.
This tiny shop sells some divine pastries, a few essentials, and it’s complete with a beautiful espresso machine.
Truth be told, all the cafes and bars, even rest stops along the highway (called an Autogrill), have top-of-the-line, shiny, gorgeous espresso machines. These Autogrills are pretty amazing while roadtripping, offering great food (lots of local items) and coffee, etc.
They’re superior to any American truck stop I’ve ever seen.
I can’t help but just stare at these espresso machines, admiring them from across the bar. They’re dreamy. I’m sure the locals think I’m a bit spacey when I do this. But, I’m in awe. I’m fascinated that I’m actually living here, and I get to participate in this amazing culture.
So, really, it’s a combination of gratitude and excitement that hits me, when I enter a bar or shop and see these machines which are so important in this culture. It strikes me that this dream I had is true now.
It’s every time, too. Every bar or cafe I enter, I get the same fluttering in my tummy.