More Italian tips for daily well-being: get out and about and change your coffee-drinking habits

From Italy with love

Today is the last in our series on 10 Italian lifestyle habits that add to the quality of daily living, based on suggestions from Patrick Browne in The Local, our Italian English-language newspaper. The first is rather difficult to achieve in these restricted times; and in the UK and the USA at least, the paucity of true Italian café’s makes the second quite difficult too. Starbucks ain’t quite the same!

Habit #9: Go out and about

Patrick says: “When Italians go out, they tend to move around a lot. They don’t just head to the nearest watering hole with their friends – they actively hit many venues over the course of the evening.

While the endless debate about where to go next can get tiresome, an Italian night out is great for socializing because it brings you into contact with many more people.

It also favours the group dynamic as your itinerary will tend to take you to places that different people in your group like: introverts who like quiet bars and extroverts who love crowded clubs all get a fair kick of the ball.”

Habit #10 Italianize your coffee habits

Picture: The Local

Patrick says: “Generally speaking, having a coffee is a quick affair in Italy. You drink it standing up at the bar. Coffee culture elsewhere tends to involve long, lingering sips, where you sit down for as long as you like and get endless refills.”

And then there is the dreaded cappuccino rule: “If Italy has taught us anything at all, it’s that you should NEVER drink a cappuccino after your afternoon or evening meal. Nobody is sure why, but it’s a no-no. It just is.”

I think the reason why is that Italians feel that milk is more difficult is more difficult to digest and therefore should only be taken in the morning. Italians are becoming more relaxed, though, and accept that we mad Brits or Yanks have peculiar coffee-drinking habits and they’ll serve us cappuccino in the afternoon. I cheat by having a caffe macchiato, a black coffee with a splash of cold milk.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 10 quirky tips from Italy to add to your enjoyment of life. We are off to our local café for a morning cappuccino and a nice chat!

The Orcagna, one of our favourite Florentine cafés. Spot the dog! He’s friendly too.

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