07 Feb 2020

The most common expressions of Italian tourists in Neapolitan bars

Article written by Michele Sergio and published in Rome on 02 February 2020

From travelers of the ‘700 Grand Tour to modern food influencers, Naples has always been the ideal destination for those looking for new gastronomic experiences. Pizza, spaghetti, ragù, sfogliatella, babà , pastiera and many other typical dishes of the Neapolitan culinary tradition are today appreciated and known all over the world for two historical reasons.

Firstly, because the greedy kings of the Bourbon dynasty called the most refined chefs in Europe to their court. These created for the sovereigns an infinite variety of recipes that over the centuries have managed to maintain peculiarities and uniqueness, preserving their character in respect of tradition, with the result of delighting and amaze, even today, their lucky users with colors, the scents and flavors of an ancient and legendary land.

Secondly, the incredible contribution that the Neapolitan emigrants who brought their recipes to the new continent in the United States should not be forgotten. The Neapolitan gastronomy pleased the Americans so much that the latter, through cinema, songs and television, then promoted them all over the world.

Obviously, coffee too is part of our culinary tradition and those who go to Naples cannot help but try the famous “tazzulella ‘e cafè”. Here are the most recurring phrases spoken by Italian tourists when they go to the Neapolitan bars.

  • How can I drink it without burning my lips? Many tourists, unaccustomed to drinking coffee in the hot cup, as required by tradition, the first few times drink coffee with some difficulty.


  • Are you offended if I ask for a decaffeinated coffee? Being in the city of coffee often happens to see the embarrassment on the faces of many visitors when they ask the bartender a to prepare a “deca” for him.


  • But is it true that the secret of Neapolitan coffee is water? Who says that the key element of a good coffee is water certainly is not wrong, because water is one of the two “ingredients” (with coffee powder of course) of the most popular drink in the world.


  • But do you always drink coffee? When the visitor comes into contact with the customs of the Neapolitans, he immediately realizes the large daily consumption of cups that make the latter (an average of five coffees per capita per day).


  • Why do you always offer a glass of water before coffee? Not everyone knows that the moment of coffee in Naples is a real ritual made up of many small passages (drink a glass of water, always turn the coffee, be careful of the hot cup) which are, among other things, interesting profiles from an anthropological and social point of view (and it is for this reason that the process for the candidacy of the Neapolitan coffee ritual on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage has started.


  • I want to pay a hold. How you do it? The ancient, all Neapolitan custom, rediscovered in recent years, to leave paid coffee at the bar for a stranger who does not have the money to buy it, liked it so much that those who visit Naples can not help but practice it .


  • Most visitors are amazed by the landscape and architectural, as well as cultural and gastronomic, beauties of the city of Naples, also considering that, many of these, conditioned by the common places, arrive there with a low expectation of the Campania capital. Those who come into contact with the Neapolitan people and understand its ancient culture, its profound philosophy of life and the scents and flavors of its cuisine cannot help but fall in love with it and when they drink the last coffee, before the return journey, they greet with this phrase his (new) Neapolitan bartender friend. I will miss the Neapolitan coffee!