You know when you've woken up in Italy when an alarm clock has no purpose! Instead the bells chime and ring at 7:00 am. They wake me up to open the shutters of my piccola terrazza, the suns rays peeking over the mountains. Pure bliss. I look down and see the priest of the Saint Maria Magdalena reading his book next to his faithful furry companion Martino, who rests his head in his lap.
I look down and life is beginning in the parking lot of Atrani. I can see Alfonso, and elderly man, waddling the promenade. He has the morning Repubblica tucked under his arm. I decide that it's time for breakfast so I slip into a cool cotton dress and some sandals and make my way to Andrea Pansa in Amalfi.
Through the alleyways, I can smell the sweet aroma of prank being prepared and it's only 9:00am! I am greeted with friendly Buongiornos from people that I hardly know, people that I don't believe that I've exchanged a conversation with, but that really brightens my day. It's amazing how a simple greeting can have such a wonderful impact on your attitude.
Now at Andrea Pansa, I squeeze through and find a space at the stand up bar, ready to order my quick breakfast. There are the regulars who indulge in a cafe and a cornetto (croissant) before heading off to start their day. I stand amongst the local men who bounce topics off each other like they're at netball practice . Emerging topics could include anything. Whether this be that the price of laundry detergent has creeped up 1 euro more than what it used to be or whether they are revising in chronological order their daily duties.
"Devo ricordare compare Mozzarella per Maria: I must remember to buy Mozzarella for Maria"
" Non devi compare Bocconcini, è più meglio": No! Buy Bocconcini, it is much better" and so another topic arises, a debate on Mozzarella vs Bocconcini, a conversation about cheese!!!
I stand, enjoying listening to their debate while spooning the froth off the top of my cappuccino. I leave half a bag of sugar behind. Did you know that if you leave half a bag of sugar, they will reuse it instead of wasting the sugar?
I finish, I pay and so my day has begun. With a quick "Buona Giornata", I too am ready for what the day has in store for me.