Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

September 2, 2009


Caffe Culture

I miss Italy and everything about it, every single day. There, I said it. I spend my nights dreaming and scheming of a way to get back there. Am I alone in this pursuit? I think not! I can name a variety of bloggers that I’m familiar with that feel exactly as I do.

I try my best to keep a little bit of Italy alive in my daily life until I can get back there. It’s hard to believe but it’s been three years since I started studying the language. I spent three semesters at a local college taking all of their grammar classes, then a month at a language school in Arezzo (in Tuscany) and when I returned I started studying weekly with a tutor who is Sicilian. Every week or so I get together with my two great friends who I met in class and we do our best to speak “only Italian”, but let’s be honest here-whenever the conversation gets really interesting we drop our dictionaries and launch into English!

I go through spurts with studying -sometimes I’m all over it and then there are weeks that I’m only diligent if I’m meeting my tutor, P. Unfortunately for me, P. has been gone for 2 months and only just returned. I love our meetings and really miss them when it doesn’t happen. This past Sunday we got together for the first time since June. We met at my favorite place in San Diego’s Little Italy. It’s called “Pappelecco -a Gelato Lounge” and I discovered it not long after my return from Italy. Not only is the gelato the best in San Diego, but it serves great panini and salads and is a meeting spot for the Italians of San Diego.
Picture 1

This past Sunday morning I was sitting at a table at Pappelecco waiting for P. to arrive. Two women and two children arrived, all speaking Italian an I was thrilled to sit there and listen in on their conversation. Then P. arrived and she knew one of the women and so they sat and joined us at our table. Italian was flying fast and furious and although I could understand almost everything that they were saying, I was absolutely tongue tied whenever I wanted to say anything! That’s what happens when two months go by without speaking with a native Italian.

I did my best to be part of the conversation and to let go of my inhibitions! After that group left another Italian family sat down next to us and I reveled in just listening to them. I was amazed to see how many Italians show up at Pappalecco to sip espresso, talk with friends and just hang out. I think I know where I should be heading every Sunday morning…
1602 State Sreet (corner of State and Cedar)
San Diego, CA


6 thoughts on “Caffe Culture

  1. Ohhh, I must visit. Thanks for posting!

  2. Lucky you….wish I could find a local place such as this. Oh, how I miss Italy.

  3. “I miss Italy and everything about it, every single day.” Me too, Janie…me too!

  4. They say that’s the best way to learn…

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