Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nut Caffe at Piazza Garibaldi

The Espresso Break:  The once dark and ominous, Piazza Garibaldi has been completely revamped.  The seedy train station has turned into a large shopping mall with clothing stores underground and a two-story bookstore on the top floor.  The surrounding area is also the most multi-cultural location in the city.  One block away, the African community lays out all sorts of wares along the streets.  Close by, the Chinese community has restaurants as well as their own shops, including hair dressers and clothing stores.

African Market

African Wares

Chinese Market

Garibaldi is the man considered responsible for uniting all of Italy together in 1871.  The history, of course, is more complicated, but suffice to say that Neapolitans weren't completely happy with unification. Southern Italy had been its own illustrious Kingdom with magnificent monarchs residing in Naples.  The rich and famous, for centuries, had always stopped in this city.  After unification, Rome became the capital of Italy and the importance of Naples eclipsed.  So too, the Piazza which gives tribute to Garibaldi, has its many sides.  A chaotic central train and bus station, it lies at the heart of the city and provides for wide diversity of people, shopping, crime, and, most importantly, excellent espresso twists.

The café bar Antico Napoletana gives an array of coffee beverages from Kinder Caffe to more exotic orange twists.  Caffe Nocciola was the drink recommended by the barista.  He coated a small glass with zucchero-crema and then drizzled nutty syrup from an automatic glass dispenser.  A half teaspoon of cacao and the glass teacup was ready to be put under the machine for a shot of espresso.  The result – after copious stirring of the sluggish ingredients – was a syrupy consistency drunk in two or three sips.


LindyLouMac said...

A two storey bookstore heaven even if they are all in Italian!

Barbara said...

Thanks, Gil, for pointing out a terrible spelling error on my part! The name is 'Garibaldi', not 'Gharibaldi'.