If I lived in Rimini I would spend a lot of time in the Café Delle Rosa.
I am a morning person. (If you regard mornings as a torture inflicted on you personally by the devil you can probably ignore the rest of this post!). I wake relatively early when I am at home and in hotel rooms it is quite common that I am awake at four or five am. More than a few of these blog posts have been written in the early hours, but more importantly I think morning is the perfect time to be out in the world. The light, wildlife, tranquillity, empty roads all add up to a great time to see a place or a country. Here in Rimini the view from my room to the mountains of the Marche was just so much sharper in the morning it was tempting me out immediately.
The frustration with that is that I am also a breakfast person and waking up in a hotel where I cannot even get a coffee until 7.30 am can really takes the shine off an early wander.
As a chilly morning started in Rimini I was tempted out of my hotel room by the prospect of a walk and a chance to catch the beach while it was deserted.
To my joy I discovered that close to the sea front was this wonderful 24 hour café serving delicious fresh pastries and confirming why the coffee machine is perhaps Italy’s greatest gift to the world. (More than Campagnolo?….now there’s a debate.) I needed some “me-time” and a passed almost an hour sorting out the world in my head.
I cannot imagine that I would ever want to live in a place that has 7 million visitors a year and in peak season sells its beach by the square metre. But if I did I would come down here on one of the shared Rimini bikes that have a parking point perfectly positioned in front of the café. My only dilemma would be whether to walk and cycle along the beach before or after my coffee.
Everywhere I go at the moment it seems to start raining.
Stockholm was no different. A sunny evening turned into a very soggy morning.
However I had an absolutely delightful breakfast coffee to look forward to at a rather special café on the Stockholm scene,
The Bianchi café.
Italian café, Italian staff, fantastic cappuccino and celeste blue bicycles displayed almost as art. Pictures of some of the great Bianchi riders rotating on an electronic screen in the window.
In the back of the café a very good bike shop selling everything you could wish for to go with your passion – from caps to cufflinks.
The breakfast coffee was all the better because I had it in the company of Tony Gimaldi whose family owns the Bianchi brand. He told me the great story of how his family’s Swedish industrial conglomerate got into the bike business in Sweden but some years later after a number of acquisitions got the chance to buy the struggling Bianchi business.
When he went to Italy to start integrating the business into their other bike businesses Tony not only found his Italian family roots it was very, very clear from his passion that he fell hook, line and sinker for the Bianchi legend. He was great company and I suspect we could have talked for hours had time allowed, especially in that setting.
Any bike nuts going to Stockholm – this is your place.
The cool people are gathered for an expresso. From old to young kisses and handshakes are exchanged. Anywhere else in the world this would be just a local, but here it has that extra touch of elegance, even down to the tablecloths.