Sometimes-Sunday Coffee Club (Milan)
Saturday, 27 June 27, 2015
Ca’puccino, Milan (Viale Piave and Via Marcello Malphighi)
Just across from Porta Venezia, at the intersection of Viale Piave and Via Marcello Malphighi, an elegant little restaurant-cafe watches the bustle of Milan’s streets through place glass windows: Ca’puccino.
I find Ca’puccino quite by accident on my way to a panini place just up the street. When I see the interior decorated with books, I decide to stop and find a seat among the white high-backed chairs neatly arranged around zinc colored tables.
There are books hanging on small shelves high above the cafe floor. I have always found it a tad odd to use books for decoration. Don’t get me wrong, I think they make any wall look great. I just think the books could be put to better use if they were within reach of curious minds. The books in Ca’puccino are decidedly out of reach – stacked on wooden bookshelves hung high on the tall, white walls. Nevertheless, books and coffee is always a good combination so I pulled out my kindle to continue my book: Yup, I’m still reading Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West.
“What was ancient Greece that all theswains adore her? A morning freshness of the body and soul, that will have none of the dust; so it might be said.” Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
I keep looking over to see if the staff have noticed me yet. They haven’t – or at least they are pretending not to. I briefly wonder if this is the kind of place where you order at the bar and then take your seat – my worries are soothed by the appearance of a waiter with an electronic device a few tables over and I return to my book.
“There are certain ugly paradoxes that hold good in almost every society; for example,the people who satisfy humanity’s most urgent need and grow its food are ill-paid and enjoy little honor.” Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
Isn’t that the truth?! Societies have been trying to find a way around this one for centuries but it always comes back to farmers – the font from which all wealth springs – and the bottom of the food chain. It is like that always, everywhere, and for all time.
Eventually the waiting staff gets to my table. My waiter a young man dressed in a uniform that resembles that of a famous delivery service: a brown button-down shirt with his name embroidered in Yellow on the left pocket. The addition of a brown baseball cap doesn’t help the resemblance. I order a cappuccino and a water (with gas). He seems surprised by the order. Maybe because it is nearly 12 and I’m ordering a coffee drink with milk, but Milan sees too many tourists to catch waiting staff off guard when they order morning drinks in the afternoon.
It takes less than 3 minutes for my order to arrive. I take a sip. The milk is thick and creamy, the coffee smooth – if a touch weak. Overall a perfectly respectable cup of coffee.
“The houses and the people made a picture of a way of life different from what we know in the West, and not inferior.” Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
The waiters set all of the tables as I drink my coffee. carefully placing a neatly folded napkin, a set of silverware, and a water goblet at each place. There are no table cloths, but this is Milan and the way you do things, the image you put forth, even if you are a little cafe-restaurant, is very important.
I get the impression that they are getting ready for the lunch crowd, so I finish my coffee and signal to the waiter to pay the bill before going off explore more of this fascinating city.