Italy Giveth … and Italy Taketh Away: Part … um, I Forget

Just back from a lovely two days in a sunny, splendid Rome (about which more later). On Sunday, we discovered by chance that the Castel Sant’Angelo was open free of charge (among many other monuments and museums in Rome, thanks to an arts-and-culture-appreciation initiative of the Comune di Rome), so we hustled there on the #40. In the midst of hustling, we hadn’t had any breakfast and were peckish by the time we got to via della Conciliazione.

Though there are surprisingly few cafés along the street, we found one about halfway between the Castello and St. Peter’s Square.

Now, I’m not exactly nato ieri, so I know (a) that sitting in a café rather than standing at the bar costs more in Italy (because of the smiling, pleasant wait-service you always receive at table, especially in Rome, where New York waiters come to be trained); (b) that everything in Rome costs more just because; and (c) that being close to the Vatican costs most of all, on the theory, evidently, that the nearer you are to the Pope (and, thus, to everything that is Holy), the more your Mammonistic impulses deserve to be crushed. Thus, relieving you of money is actually good for your soul, if you follow me.

Still, I couldn’t help but have an only-in-Italy moment of shock/outrage/get me the hell outta here, Hazel when the bill came.

Two cappuccini, two croissants smeared with Nutella (don’t let that “chocolate brioche” fool you): €16 (=$22.40).

When in Rome … don’t go to Novacaffè Arte Italiana.

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Posted on 1 October 2008, in Italy, Italian, Italians (in that order) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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