When we first walked into Ditta Artigianale, we didn’t know what to do. Do we approach the guy behind the bar? Ask the waitress for a table, or seat ourselves?
But soon a waitress came over to us and offered us a seat at a table within arm's distance of the bar where we could see them making cappuccinos and freshly squeezed juices from bowls of brightly colored carrots, ginger, watermelon, and grapefruits.
Our waitress came over to take our order and since I knew a few Italian phrases I ordered: “Cappuccino per due, per favore!” She took my little bit of Italian and thinking I knew more, began talking at her natural pace. Even though I couldn’t understand every word, the fact that she didn’t switch to English was refreshing.
We didn’t order just coffee. Almost every day we would also order one of their fresh juices in a mason jar. It was one of the rare times that our drinks were served with ice in Florence.
We wouldn’t have ordered the juice every day as well, but one day when we were there drinking our cappuccinos, the bartender reached over to our table and put two shot glasses with juice in them for us to try. We were sold.
In addition to the cappuccino. And the fresh squeezed juice. Ditta Artigianale was also a great breakfast experience. I must have tried almost every item on their menu, from the Croque Monsieur to the Brioche toast with fig jam.
When we had a busy day ahead of us, we ordered cornetto instead, the Italian croissant.
Every vacation we find a spot to have our morning cappuccino. It was Mudhouse in Charlottesville, The Coffee Grinder in Newport. Our cappuccino spot in Florence was Ditta Artigianale. And even though we tried other espresso bars, nothing came close.
And it’s not just about the coffee. When Chris and I are on vacation, we tend to take our mornings slow, enjoy our coffee, sometimes ordering another- for only 2 more euros at Ditta - and indulging in morning conversation that we rarely have time for during our busy weekday mornings.
We mentioned last week that meal time is sacred in Florence and at Ditta Artigianale it was no different. We had trouble getting their attention for the check because they left us to enjoy our morning.
Most mornings we returned to Ditta Artigianale for our morning coffee, breakfast, and conversation to go over the day’s plans but also to catch up on one another’s lives without the distraction of being home with dishes to clean, errands to run, and bills to pay. Drinking our cappuccino - just the two of us - allowed us to enjoy each other’s company and to more deeply connect.
That’s why in the past few years vacation has meant so much to us. While we like to have vacation to see new places it’s also to see each other in a new light. And we’ve tried to take this idea home with us even in years when we’re not able to go on vacation. You don’t have to head to Florence, Newport, or Charlottesville to start your morning with a coffee date.
It could be as simple as a Saturday morning, enjoying time together on the couch, coffee in hand, before you pick up the phones or head out for weekend plans. It may be just a few minutes, but that time together is completely worth it!
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing about our day around Tuscany where we visited 3 different vineyards and even saw a 500 year old wine cellar!