Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finding the perfect cappuccino in Florence

Cappuccino for breakfast in Italy can be equated with the British love for tea, as a means of starting the day. A popular drink the world over that arouses the senses through its aroma and flavor, the cappuccino is said to have been invented by a Franciscan monk in the 17th century. The love of espresso-based coffee is now so popular that the majority of apartments in Florence have their own espresso maker.
The basic formula for the cappuccino involves a shot of espresso that has steamed milk and foam added to it. The exact measures of each and the temperature of the milk play an important role in the final flavor, as does the type of coffee used, the origin and the roasting process that is involved.

The Italians have various preferences when ordering their cappuccino and the following translations should aid you when making your decision:
Un cappuccino con schiuma – Espresso with foam, often ordered with chocolate sprinkled on top
Un cappuccino senza schiuma- Espresso without foam
Un cappuccino caldo – Hot
Un cappuccino freddo – Cold
Un cappuccino tiepedo – Not cold, not hot, just right or quite literally tepid

It is likely that foreign visitors to Florence will be impressed by the standard of coffee in the many cafes and trattorias as it differs so greatly in comparison to generic high street franchises. The following suggestions offer some great stops to recharge your batteries with a well-deserved authentic caffeine hit during your day of activities.

Giubbe Rosse Gran Café Ristorante
This café was founded by the Reininghaus brothers, two German brothers who quickly established the café as a meeting point for Florence’s large German community. The café was popular as it supplied newspapers from all over the world to its clientele. Important writers and artists frequented the café and Alberto Viviani defines the Giubbe Rosse as the birthplace of the Futurist movement, which had an important impact on Italian culture. An impressive and good value brunch is on offer and the cappuccino is said to be one of the best in the centre, both of which can be enjoyed on the ample terrace
Piazza della Repubblica 13r-14r, Firenze

Café Gilli
Another popular Florence café for enjoying both a quick coffee or an authentic Florentine slow dining experience. The Gillia is one of Florence’s oldest coffee institutions with a traditional style interior and also boasts an atmospheric terrace space in Piazza della Republica. There are an impressive range of pastries on offer that form the perfect Florentine breakfast or midmorning snack when washed down with a quality cappuccino in a historic and ambient setting.
Piazza Della Repubblica, Firenze (FI)

This is a smaller and slightly more modern café in comparison to the previous two and is particularly popular for its vast range of hot drinks. Their clientele is around 60% tourists and 40 % locals which is a fairly high percentage of locals for a centrally located café, which is a good indicator of the quality. For Northern European and American tourists,the “aperi cena” which is a free buffet of light snacks that can be consumed when the client buys a drink, is a great way of filling up on an early meal if eating late is not your thing.
Via del Corso, Firenze

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