Coffee is one of the most famous symbols of the Italian lifestyle: the “espresso” is popular and imitated all over the world, and it represents a common connection between the North and the South of Italy.
Even though the first “coffee machine” was invented in Turin, the artisans of Naples found a new way to put water under pressure, in order to boil the coffee powder in few minutes. Part of the credit goes to Queen of the Hapsburg Empire Maria Carolina, wife of the King of Naples Ferdinando Borbone, who imported coffee from Austria; moreover, coffee goes hand in hand with the traditional Italian breakfast a croissant, invented by Austrian bakers as a gift for the King of Poland.
Naples is the birth place of the moka, and the domestic espresso machine. The evidence of the importance of coffee in the local lifestyle is the “suspended coffee”. Even though Naples has always been a poor city, in the famous quarter called Sanità, the customers, after a lucky day or a fortunate event, used to pay for two coffees at the snack bar, (while consuming only one) one for himself and one for another customer. So, every now and then, the poor people of the area, passing the bar, used to ask the barman for a suspended coffee and the barman would served it. This was a great show of solidarity for the less fortunate people. Nowadays, it is still common to find some bars where it is possible to ask for a suspended coffee.
Another famous place for coffee is Trieste, at the border between Italy and Slovenia. Trieste is one of the most famous ports of the country, indicated by the Wall Street Stock Exchange as a reference point for the international commodity price of coffee, due to its geographic position. In this town, the espresso is called “black coffee”, but the cappuccino resembles the “caffè macchiato” of the rest of the country, and it is served in a glass and not in a cup. In addition, the customers have to order their drink using the local idiom.
Every year, in December, the authorities organize a series meetings, theatrical plays, concerts in the bars. One of these circles, the Cafè Tommaseo, situated in the downtown area, was also one of the first places in Italy to serve ice cream, another important part of the national cuisine.