“Thus Spake Bellavista”

What a charming book. Published in 1977, Thus Spake Bellavista: Naples, Love, and Liberty by Lucia De Crescenzo (translated by Avril Bardoni) is a delightful stroll through a probably fading southern Italian philosophy/way of life.

“The Milanese and the Americans,” said the Professor disapprovingly, “are two of a kind, namely the kind who believe that coffee is a beverage to be drunk. My God, do you realize how serious a matter it is, this business of automatic machines for dispensing coffee? It is an offense to the sensibility of the individual, it should be referred to the Civil Rights Commission.”

“That’s going a bit too far.”

“Not at all. It is your duty, my esteemed
Ingegnere, to explain to your superiors that when a civilized man requires a cup of coffee, it’s not because he needs to drink coffee but because he has felt the urge to renew his connection with humanity; he is therefore obliged to interrupt whatever work he happens to be doing, invite one or two colleagues to join him, stroll in the sunshine to his favorite bar, win a minor altercation about who is going to pay, say something complimentary to the girl at the cash register, and exchange a few comment on the sporting scene with the bartender, all without giving the slightest hint about how he likes his coffee, because a proper bartender knows his customers’ tastes already. This is a ritual, a religion, and no one is going to persuade me that it can be replaced by a machine that swallows a coin and spits out some anonymous liquid with no taste and no smell.”

I’m no Italian male, but this is a pretty close reflection of my feelings about coffee. In fact, I can say with some certainty that the my marriage owes its very existence to coffee, something I know my husband (Italian-American, by the way) wouldn’t deny. And that’s all I’m sayin’ about that.

“Thus Spake Bellavista”

2 Responses to “Thus Spake Bellavista”

  1. consulente sicurezza says:

    Blog interessante , grazie per l’ articolo! Continua a tenerci informati.Giulio

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