“Due Cappuccino si prega. Mille grazie”.
My first morning in Bojano, Italy, I walked the coblestone streets in search of an early-opening cafe. It was roughly 6:30 am when I walked into Cafe Tiffany and, in my limited and fractured Italian, bolstered with gestural reinforcement, ordered two cappuccinos. The woman at the bar looked at me, looked around me, behind me and seeing no one else said, in a quizzical tone “Due?” . Si, yes, 2. For me. Two. One to drink fast, get my caffeine and the second to sip, slowly, savour!
I’ve only been back to Italy a few times but this place has certainly carved out a special place in my memory. Not just Cafe Tiffany but the country itself!
Oh to find myself in a little viaggio, waking up in some small albergo, to the sounds of the mercato and le donne ei bambini down in the street.
After my cappuccino I might write, take a stroll through town or out to the mountains. An afternoon pisolino or riposo, before enjoying an evening meal and superior red wine!
Call me a romantic but doesn’t that just sound like the perfect way to live out your life once you’ve been freed of the shackles of work and the workaday routine? Now that a chronic disease has entered the picture, what better way to fill the void then to spend hours, days, weeks, months or even years than being in such a glorious land?!
I have often found myself drawn to the exotic prospects of such a life but it doesn’t take long before reality snaps me into place. What about health care? Snap. What about your specialists? Snap. What about all your medications? Snap. What about insurance and your pension? Snap. To say nothing about your family, your children, your home, your “bella sposa”! Snap. Snap. Snap.
That’s the sound of cold, cruel reality hitting home. I don’t know if the future holds a possibility of any version of such an alternate life. I’d like to think it does. And I’d like to think it does before Parkinson’s takes too firm a grip on me. If nothing else, let me step back into Cafe Tiffany once more. Feel free to join me. I’ve got this covered – “tre Cappuccino si prega. Mille grazie.”
Like a young pretty girl that never ages – that’s Italy. She never gets older, never loses her allure, and you can’t get enough of it, and it survives.
But all other beauty on earth fades. Except Italy.