Saturday, January 15, 2011

No sei il Caravaggio di Cappuccino (No you are not the Caravaggio of Cappuccino)

Daily Routine in Italy

Pick new cappuccino place. (Today, I choose Cova in Milan)

Walk out the door.

Trip over cobblestone.

Locate designated caffe for the day.

Mispronounce “Prendo un Cappuccino” in Italian.

Pay for morning cappuccino.

Stand at a bar.


Wait for baristo.

Ask for cappuccino.

Watch cappuccino be made.


Mispronounce “Perfetto” as cappuccino is placed in front of me.

.Not Welcome Today.

“Lei,” (Miss), the baristo sounds as if he is scolding me. I look up. He is. He says, “Lei,” again, and then points to my left. There is a sign with a photo of a camera crossed off. No photos or video, the sign reads.

“Mi scusi,” I apologetically, yet surprisingly, say.

I try to explain that I take pictures of all the cappuccino that I drink, but my Italian fails, and the baristo looks at me as if I have ten heads. I apologize again, and I turn my attention to my cappuccino.

I begin to ponder why no photos are allowed in this establishment. I understand that flash destroyes a Caravaggio and the art of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel…but while I believe that cappuccino making is an art in itself, I find it hard to believe that taking a photo of my cappuccino will destroy it’s flavor—will dissolve it’s foam—or will annihilate it. If this is the case, though, then I guess I have destroyed every cappuccino that I have ever tasted. Damn.

However, I don’t believe that this is the case. Either way, I put my thoughts behind me and analyze the coffee. Now my expectations are high. Now I believe that this cappuccino will be the best—that this cappuccino will be the David Statue of all cappuccino.

I bring the foam to my mouth, and I sip. I have a conversation with the cappuccino in my head (because I worry that I speak out loud, I will be told that this is forbidden as well).

I say, “No…mi dispiace” (No I am sorry), “no sei il cappuccino meglio,” (you are not the best cappuccino). “No sei il Statuo di David (you are not the Statue of David). No sei La Cappella Sistina (you are not the Sistine Chapel). E no sei un Caravaggio (And you are not a Caravaggio)…you are just a regular old-nothing special-cappuccino.

Which is probably why I didn’t feel bad sneaking a photo of you.

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