I now know two words of Italian – cappuccino and grazie. If you ask me, these are the two most important words I need to know because nothing is as good as Italian coffee. Of course, anyone in Oz or NZ knows the word cappuccino since both Aussies and Kiwis like to think of themselves as coffee connoisseurs. When you experience the coffee made by Italian baristas though, well, it’s like anything “made in Italy” – it’s good, it’s quality, it’s luxurious. A bit like the Italian fashion. No-one does fashion better than the Italians; no-one does coffee better than the Italians.

Some places take the time to decorate the coffee, others don’t. The cafe down the hill from my apartment likes to serve you a cappuccino with a flower decoration – to wish you a happy day. The coffee costs one Euro (around NZ $1.70 or AU $1.40). Mmmm….seems to me we pay far more for our cappuccinos in Oz and NZ.

I’ve also noticed some cafes use saucers that have a slightly off-centre coffee cup resting spot. I presume this is to give you room to fit whatever yummy Italian cakes or biscuits you have bought to accompany your coffee. I’ve been very good so far. I haven’t bought a single cake. Just a packet of chocolate wafer biscuits from the supermarket. But I’m sure over the next month or so, I’ll weaken.

If you look closely at the first photo, you can see the name of the cafe is  Gusto Massimo. Gusto means taste or flavour in Italian and massimo means maximum. The cafe is located down the hill from my apartment in Circo Massimo – so maximum flavour at Circo Massimo!