The Italian coffee ritual nominated for UNESCO

The Italian coffee ritual nominated for UNESCO

After the Art of Neapolitan pizza makers, another emblem of the Italian lifestyle presents its candidacy for UNESCO list of World Intangible Heritage.

After overcoming some regionalisms and parochialisms typical of our country, the Ministry of Agriculture has prepared a unitary project with an evocative title: 'Italian espresso coffee between culture, ritual, sociability and literature in emblematic communities from Venice to Naples'.

An evocative candidacy that immediately leads to the Cafè Florian in Venice, an unmissable stop for every foreign tourist, and to the stories of Neapolitan writer Eduardo de Filippo who wrote about the coffee ritual that pervades people's daily lives.

And how can we forget the scene from 'These Ghosts' (Questi Fantasmi) in which Eduardo explains precisely the meaning of a cup of coffee for a Neapolitan. A cup that is prepared with an art and a skill that only a great writer could tell in his profound poetry.

And not to mention the Genoese Fabrizio de Andrè who dedicates a song to Neapolitan coffee in his ballad Don Raffaè (oh how nice it's coffee, only in Naples they know how to do it ...).

cup of coffee

For an Italian, coffee is much more than a drink, it is something that gives meaning to an encounter. It's the excuse to meet someone. It is the choice of a bar, a bartender and a certain roasting that makes this meeting special. It is the shape of the cup. It is the water before the coffee and is the possible accompaniment.

And there is not just one coffee: there is the short, long, macchiato, in a cup or in a glass cup, with sugar or cream. And then bitter or sweet, the type of sugar and the way to turn the spoon so to not cool the precious coffee.

Each of us has his own secret for his special and unforgettable coffee. A secret that sometimes, exceptionally, he shares with a friend.

The coffee ritual is so intertwined with our life that 'suspended coffee' was born, the one available to those in need. It works like this: you go to the bar and pay for another coffee for someone else who is not there. The barista (bar tender) will keep the order and decide who to donate this coffee to.

And suspended coffee was even used as a territorial marketing tool thanks to the brilliant mayor Mino Pignata of Oliveto Citra, the town of tales. This village is located in the hinterland of Salerno just before Irpinia in an area that was once called the ‘land of the bone’.

Certainly, Oliveto Citra is not the first tourist destination in an area that seems kissed by God in terms of natural and artistic beauty, so what to do?

If a tourist goes to Salerno in some bars (including Punto & Virgola) he can receive a coffee offered by the mayor of Oliveto Citra together with the augmented reality promotional material of the village and its stories.

Written by:
Claudia Bettiol

Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in...

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