The first challenge we had in Italy was to find a coffee shop in 2 hours. As we explored the city we realized there were plenty to choose from. A group of us visited Caffé Borbone while another went to Café Paneburro.
We knew there could be a language barrier due to us not speaking Italian aside from a few phrases. However when we spoke to the barista he was amicable and was happy to let us practice ordering in Italian. After asking what the most popular coffee drink was, we placed an order. It was interesting to learn that there was only one size for each drink.
As we talked to the barista we asked him what his favorite coffee was, “Qual è il tuo café preferito?” He replied espresso.
The group that went to Café Paneburro had a somewhat similar experience. “When we attempted to communicate with the bartender at Cafe Paneburro, a huge language barrier became evident. Though we knew this would happen, we were still laughing at ourselves as we attempted to order our coffees. When first interacting with the bartender, we introduced ourselves and said “sto praticando L’ Italiano” – the bartender laughed at us for mispronouncing words and waited patiently as we looked up Italian in a pocket dictionary. One question we asked was what is the most popular drink – the bartender answered with ‘Expresso Machiatto’ … yum!”
We really enjoyed the cappuccinos we received at Caffé Borbonne and we are excited to go back and try other café’s soon! Maybe we’ll try the barista’s favorite, espresso, next time.