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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Our Italian Adventure: Spotlight on Breakfast

PART 73: It might be interesting to share how we pulled off living in Italy for part of the year. I will post some steps we took.

We live in Puglia in the spring and then back again in the fall.

Step 1: I think of myself as a spontaneous adventurer, ready to dive into any new situation and discover what it will bring.

But, in reality, I like certain routines, and breakfast (colazione) in Puglia is one of them.

So, through trial and error, we have found the best breakfast place "for us".

Come with us.

Step 2: Criteria.

Starting on the right note can set the tone for the entire day. Before getting out of bed, I take a moment to think of all the things and people I am grateful for.

But once we are up, what next?

We want to take full advantage of being in Puglia, so we were determined to start our day with a uniquely Puglian experience.

Through trial and error, we found the perfect cafe that fits the following criteria: great coffee, warm relationships, a unique location, and the right atmosphere.

Step 3: The coffee.

I like coffee that I can sip and enjoy for a long time, so expresso doesn't work for me. I don't want to look forward to that cup and finish it in 2 seconds.

I used to drink cappuccinos in the mornings in Italy. I still like my occasional cappuccino, but under the influence of my partner, I now find myself ordering an Americano.

The type of Americano that I like is strong, not too diluted, and mixed by the barista (rather than handing me an expresso with hot water on the side). I also like it with hot steamed milk, piping hot and creamy.

We have found a few cafes that make great Americanos, one of which can be found at our favorite cafe.

Step 4: The relationships.

People who work at cafes are not machines but people who have jobs or own businesses. The "people" aspect is essential to us, and I want to frequent and support businesses that have relationships with their customers.

When we started coming to our perfect cafe, we noted that the owners, managers, and workers are young, dynamic, friendly, and have a good vibe with their customers. Once this place became our daily stop, our relationships at the cafe grew and became an important component of our life in Puglia.

As I wrote in another blog, we realized that relationships are central, which rings true at our cafe.

Step 5: Location.

So many things make up this magical land: its history, baroque architecture, olive groves, beautiful beaches, clear blue waters, fishing boats, kind people, and more.

Where we begin our day is important.

We used to have our coffee in a dark cafe near our house, but now our perfect cafe is on a beach with a view of the Ionian sea. Every day, as we sip our Americanos, we ask one another, "Can you believe we are here?"

That is the way we want to start our day.

Step 6: Atmosphere.

Outdoor seating is essential to our perfect cafe since Puglia is about the views, the light, and the life swirling around us. A quiet atmosphere is also important, with low or no background music and enough tables to sit a group. Sometimes, we go for coffee and become a group of eight or nine.

Insights: Through trial and error, we found the perfect place to start our day here in Puglia.

Our perfect place is called Momento, in Santa Caterina, not far from Nardo'.

Do you have a perfect place where you start your day?

More next time.

My book is "Stories from Puglia: Two Californians in Southern Italy." Amazon US:

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