Many visitors to
In the hottest part of this summer I have been offered ice, without asking, when I have ordered an amaro. This is a strong drink taken in small quantities that is made of herbs and is known as a “bitter”, my favorite being Amaro Lucano from
I have also noticed locals during the afternoon putting ice in their vino bianco. First they fill their glass with ice to cool the glass then pour the vino over the ice. I was surprised the first time I saw some friends do this but when I asked them they said that with the heat they want their vino cold.
A popular type of café in the summer is café freddo, simply coffee that has been made and then kept cold in the refrigerator. You just make a pot of moka and once it cools pour it into a container to keep in the frigo to enjoy on a hot afternoon. You will see bars making café and the pouring it into an old wine bottle to store in the frigo. We were at a bar recently with a local friend who is a die hard old-timer and he ordered a café and surprised me by asking for un ghiaccio to put in his coffee which he stirred in until it was gone. I asked him why he didn’t just order a café freddo and he said he likes his café to be fresh.
So the stories you hear about Italians never using ice are a myth, at least partially.