The closest bar to our apartment is Caffe Pretoriano which is owned and operated by our friends, Gianluca and his wife, Roberta. Gianluca is a native Ascolano while Roberta hails from Napoli and recently gave birth to their first child, Leonardo, which means that Gianluca now runs the bar mostly by himself.
Gianluca is always patient with my Italian language skills and we usually discuss the things that are different between Italy and in America. It is interesting, and sometimes scary, the views that Italians have of America, which are based mostly on what they see in movies or on television. Gianluca is also a good source of information for us as to what is going on in town and what events might be upcoming.
About a month ago Gianluca announced that he was going to have wireless internet for his bar and we looked forward to the possibility of a high-speed connection nearby. Here in Ascoli Piceno there are several internet points where you pay by the hour to use their computers but there is no free wireless service. In Albuquerque I frequently used the wireless available at various coffee shops and restaurants to check email while traveling around town during the workday, but here that is not as prevalent.
We kept asking when the wireless would be ready and Gianluca each time explained where he was in the paperwork and tax stamp process to get the necessary comune approval. In Italy when you go to an internet point you must provide documentation such as your passport and they record when you where there and for how long. This is the same process Caffe Pretoriano is going to have to use. This is part of Italy’s anti-terrorism efforts.
The other day Gianluca announced he finally had all the necessary approvals and that his wireless is now available for public use. Friday I took my laptop and went down for my post-pranzo caffe at Caffe Pretoriano and tried out their wireless connection which is much faster than the cell connections we have to use at our apartment. I was also the first to use Gianluca’s wireless and my name is #1 in his record book for customers.
So if you are in Ascoli Piceno and looking for a place to connect your laptop to the internet and enjoy a caffe or apertivo be sure to stop in at Caffe Pretoriano on Via Pretoriana just south of Piazza Roma. While you are there be sure to ask Gianluca about his son Leonardo.
Hi..I love your blog. We are planning to travel to both Italy and France this year for the first time and I am hooked on reading about the different cultures of both countries. I am also interested in possibly moving to Italy at some point and your blog has given me a lot of great information! You mentioned that it's interesting the ideas that the Italians have of America...I would love to see those perceptions included in a future blog entry. I know how curious I am about other cultures so I have really been curious as to what the other cultures think of us, too.
Unfortunately the view many other cultures have of America is based on what comes out of Hollywood in TV shows, movies and music. Not usually the best we have to offer.
What is the best we (Americans) have to offer, exactly? Compared to Europe, we seem so uninteresting.
I lived in Spain for a semester, and traveled in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and France. My wife and I badly want to move to Italy some day. European culture is just so rich--so much great food, art, architecture, music, history. A focus on enjoying your free time instead of seeing how many hours you can slave away in the office.
I have trouble thinking of too many cultural things we have that are worth exporting. McDonald's? Starbucks? Corporate America? Big box stores?
I think we have a fair amount of good music, some good writing, and some movies worth sharing with the world, but that's about it.
The European perceptions of us, I think, are often justified.
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