Cappuccino or a day when we were very rich

First time I tried cappuccino in February of 1975. I was 40 years old. We lived in Lido di Ostia and waited for American visas.

Another immigrant who somehow had a lot of money and liked to play chess with me bought cappuccino for both of us.

I was afraid to try it as in the Soviet Union I had terrible allergy each time I drank a cup of coffee. However, my partner insisted that cappuccino is very good and I must try it.

What could I do? I raised a cup, opened my mouth, took a mouthful and …fell in love. Not only this. Somehow cappuccino became for me a symbol of freedom, a symbol of Italy, of this wonderful beautiful country with very warm people.

Years passed and we visited Italy again. We took a two weeks trip from the north to the south. Every day I drank a cup of cappuccino and enjoyed it very much. Some members of our tourist group told me that it did not make sense to pay two euros for a cup of cappuccino. With my very bad hearing it was very easy to ignore it.

One day our group went to Capri. You do know that the island is beautiful and you can have as many splendid views as you want. But usually tourists after taking in a good part of nature’s beauty go shopping.

I warned my wife that we should not do it. We did not need anything. Everything on Capri was very expensive. But this time something happened with her hearing. She took my hand and we found ourselves in the nearest boutique.

It was very nice in the air-conditioned store. Tourists recovered from the heat outside and were very busy leaving their money inside the store.

My wife looked around, then she came to me and said: “I found a wonderful tee-shirt for you! It’s unique and it costs only 35 euros!”

Only 35 euros! Tee-shirt! I could not hear it!

Still I went to see that unique tee-shirt. When love speaks wise man listens.

It really was beautiful. Only the fabric was rather sick and the tee-shirt had sleeves.

“Darling, when will I wear it? It’s not suitable for parties and it’s not good in summer”.

“Don’t worry, we’ll think about it later”.

We bought the tee-shirt and went out of the store.

There was another hour before departure from Capri.

It was impossible to stay in the sun.

At that moment I noticed a café around the corner. People were sitting in the shadow enjoying life.

“My love”, said I. “Would you like to have a cup of cappuccino?”

‘Oh, yes! Yes!”


A beautiful young smiling girl showed us the best table in the café and in two minutes we had colorful richly smelling cappuccino. We drank it very, very slowly and looked at unfortunate people from our group who was standing in the sun.

Life was wonderful, we were immensely rich!

Soon it was time to leave and I asked for a check. The beautiful young smiling girl gave it to my wife. My love looked at it, sighed and said: “Darling, please pay 19 euros. It was worth it! We are very rich today!”


29 thoughts on “Cappuccino or a day when we were very rich

  1. Great story. When we were in Rome 15 years ago, there was a café around the corner from the place we were staying that had Happy Hour cappuccino for what amounted to 50¢ between 4:00 and 6:00 pm every day. I normally drink straight espresso, but I could not pass up cappuccino a 50¢ a cup!

      • I can only imagine, but I remember Gorbachev’s reaction to grocery stores the first time he visited the US. I actually knew a Soviet spy, but I didn’t know he was a spy until he evaded US authorities and made it to the Soviet Union in the early 1980’s.

  2. What great story. So much there about love, irony, and life’s changes. Thank you. I smiled, i chuckled, and I learned to say no both to cappuccino and to a wife’s wishes (sometimes 😉 ).


    • Randy, you made my evening (with many other people)! It’s very difficult
      for me to write in English. I have to check spelling, meaning of words,
      right way of combining them. And I fear that people will not understand what
      I wrote.
      I also had a problem what tell you today. At 80 in different countries, in different
      worlds you meets thousands people, wonderful stories, terrific adventures.
      It looks like this story is ok.

  3. Eh si! Il cappuccino è come l’amore…il primo non si scorda mai! I said to my good friend that the first cappuccino, like the first love, is impossible to forget! 🙂

  4. A wonderful story, JF. May you drink many more cappucinos and stay happy. I agree with what you say about Italy. It beguiles most visitors with its charm. We also went to Capri and it really was beautiful – and hot. Did you ever wear the tee-shirt?

    • No. I suggested to my son to take it but he refused. Usually I dispose of
      things that I don’t use for 3 years but this tee-shirt is a symbol.

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