Coffee, Culture, Italy, Lifestyle
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Italia: Coffee & The Unspoken Book of Rules


It was a scorching hot August day and all my sister and I wanted was a refreshing iced cappuccino after wandering the busy streets & historical sites of Rome…

Ghast! We should have known better. It turns out that there’s an unspoken book of rules for literally everything about the beautiful Italian lifestyle (Grrrr!!!  With a smile on my face), especially pertaining to food and drinks. Rules like: 

1. Sweets are meant to be eaten for breakfast, not eggs or anything with protein.

2. Cappuccinos are for mornings or early afternoons only,  not meant for after 3pm.

3. Pasta (with a side of bread) is not unhealthy, in fact it’s  eaten at least once a day. 

4. Salad is to be eaten after the meal, not before.

7. Using more than 3  flavors in a meal is pretty risky and daring. 

8. Mixing red & black pepper together is “dangerous” for your health. 

9. Mixing foods and veggies is a no-no. Keep them separate (definitely no stir-frys).

And so the list goes on… 

Unfortunately we were not yet away of all of these “rules“, including #10. The no ice rule (aka ice-phobia). Drinks are served without ice. No ice in soda, blended in smoothies smoothies, or served with juice, and certainly not in coffee!

Being the masters of coffee that they are, Italians have a hard time venturing away from their standard hot coffee drinks.  I hadn’t realized the seriousness of this matter until my sister and I were craving an iced cappuccino and upon asking for one, were met with looks of confusion (or blank stares that were actually looks of disgust that we mistook for confusion). 

We did our best to ask for espresso + milk + ice in one glass, (in the most polite way possible: I mean, it’s not rocket science), but it proved too big of a task  for the poor man.

And so, upon his return, VOILA! we  were served 3 glasses: one with espresso, one with milk, and one empty glass for us to make our own iced cappuccino. See, I told you. No mixing. No ice drinks, no experimenting with food. There are rules! My sister and I smiled at the assembly line of liquids in front of us, and I glanced my now-husband as he gave us “the look” and drank his hot cappuccino in silence.

(Check out my related posts “25 Things I’ve Learned from Marrying An Italian,” and “Springtime in Milan“)

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Springtime in Milan: La Vita è Bella | Everything In-Between

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