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The Sights of Stresa and Italian Coffee Facts

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

This morning we got up at 7 am and went for an hour walk around town to start to get acclimatized. Even though it is a small town of 4,800 people the town has so many little streets and it is so easy to get confused. When I say little streets, our car barely passes through it from mirror to mirror. Not for the faint of heart when driving....

Here is a video of the from the pier looking at the town. It was 14 degrees at 7 am so not bad weather but sun not fully up.

As we walked the boardwalk there are so many statues and hotels but instead of adding them here I will do separate blogs so I can do some research and provide details on each. Here are some photos of the beautiful boardwalk.

After our walk we headed into the little streets and had a cappuccino and brioche (marmalade filled croissant). Something Italian's take very seriously is coffee. It's about stopping and enjoying a coffee at drinkable temperature so you can enjoy the coffee instead of taking it on the go. Why do they do this? Well here are five reasons:

  1. It's a break - Italian's believe in the slow life and as little stress as possible. Therefore stopping at a café for five minutes to detach yourself and give yourself a mental break while enjoying a pick-me-up

  2. It tastes better - slowing down to just enjoy an espresso allows our taste buds to fully absorb the intense taste with delight

  3. Simpler is better - in Italy they have cappuccino's and latte's in the morning but as soon as noon hits it's about making it a simple espresso. Having it pumped right out of the perfect espresso making making and enjoying it hot allows us to have the full experience of coffee at it's finest

  4. It makes us slow down - take a break but not just by ordering a coffee and keep going. Its about stopping and enjoying the coffee but also chatting with others who are doing the same. Today we saw many just standing and having their coffee and chatting about their morning or what they would be doing later with others that were doing the same thing. It makes us slow down when we do this

  5. It's the culture - we sat and watched people and no one had a to go cup. They all stopped enjoyed their quick fix and were on the way. We of course had our cappuccinos and brioche and sat down and watched for half an hour. And a cappuccino comes in one size, not grande and venti.

Unlike North America, a barista's the person that makes our coffee) is a very popular and respected profession in Italy because many choose to make this their career. They take pride in serving the right cup of coffee and make it a fine art. A great barista knows all about the beans, which machines to use and how to make both work in sync to get the perfect cup of coffee. But mostly they have the friendly rapport with their customers that keep them coming back. And to think they don't even do it for the tip as there really isn't tipping in Italy.

As stated above there are not different sizes. You order a coffee and you get the standard size for that coffee. More about the coffee:

  • If you want an espresso then ask for un caffé

  • An expresso with more water is un caffè lungo

  • If you want a double espresso ask for un caffè doppio, but remember coffee in Italy is very strong

  • To order a cappuccino the locals say cappuccio

  • For a bit of milk in your coffee then ask for a caffè macchiato

  • An americano can be ordered by asking for an americano, however they serve it with a side of hot water for you to dilute it how much you like

  • If you want a latte then ask for a caffè latte, otherwise you may be served milk in a glass

  • If you want something stronger then you can ask for a caffè corretto which is an espresso with a shot of liquor in it

  • If you want to kick up your espresso then ask for caffè con panna which add a dollop of fresh whip cream to the espresso

Therefore try it out at home. Take your coffee and sit down to enjoy the coffee and a mental break away from everything. If you are at a coffee shop, stop and drink your coffee there. People watch and see how many just are hustling and bustling and not truly tasting the coffee.

Later Chris came over with Rux and we did another walk on the boardwalk, had dinner and walked to the train station to see them off. All in all another great day in Stresa, even though it drizzled for five minutes.

Tonight's meal was at Caffè Torino right in the core of the city. We sat outside and enjoyed a fabulous meal. Something to make note of: dogs are allowed in restaurants as long as they behave. Ruxin was under the table waiting for us to drop scraps.


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