I’ve got coffee on the brain, folks. Probably literally. I’ve needed a lot of it to get myself through the last few weeks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some has leaked into my cranium and is sloshing around up there.
I’ve also got coffee on the brain after reading an article in the Washington Post about a week ago. In it, the author suggests that Italian coffee isn’t good, and that Italian coffee culture needs an update, to which I respectfully say, pshaw.
Standing at a bar and knocking down a thimble of hot, bittersweet espresso with a tiny kiss of milk on top is just one of the many things I love about Italy. It costs about a euro to stand still, take a deep breath, and enjoy this tiny pleasure, and I hope that never changes.
Coffee aside, typical bar are lively places, full of gleaming mugs, the tinkling of tiny spoons on porcelain, the sugary smell of baked goods, and the chatter of baristas, customers, and friends.
On top of my pshaw, I would also like to add that Italian coffee culture has changed and is changing. The author of the WP article, and the barista he interviews, suggest that Italians need to update their bars and cafés and the beverages they offer. I’m not sure how they’ve missed it, but coffee houses with squishy chairs, wifi, brownies, bagels, and even avocado toast now dot city centers up and down the boot. Starbucks is even here now, a shining example of Americans packaging up something based loosely on Italian culture and selling it back to Italians.
I’m here today to write about three of these coffee houses. Please don’t take this as me jumping on the WP’s bandwagon. I never want Italy to stop offering delicious coffee at prices that are accessible to everyone. I never want neighbors to stop going to their corner bar for a morning cornetto, cappuccino and a chat. I certainly don’t want Starbucks to put anyone out of business. I think that both versions of coffee culture can happily coexist, without one ever eclipsing the other, and I fervently hope that I’m right.
Sometimes, I like to pop in, grab a quick coffee while standing up, and pop out. And sometimes, it’s nice to sit in a squashy chair with a large coffee and a brownie and, I don’t know, say, write a blog post. Or work. I’ve worked from home quite a bit over the last few years, and it sounds awesome, but it actually super isn’t awesome.
If I was one of those (obnoxious) people that bounds out of bed, goes for a run, has a green smoothie for breakfast, and starts in on their workload in their home office, it would be great. I am decidedly not one of those people.
I have a few cups of tea and a big breakfast. I take a shower, then decide now is a good time to scrub the mold off the caulking with an old toothbrush and pull the hair Wookie out of the drain. I fold laundry then do more. Then I start fantasizing about dinner. No dinner unless you go to the supermarket, though! How about some lunch? How about one quick episode of something while you eat?
Then it’s 3:30 in the afternoon and I’ve done 20 minutes of work.
This is only half of the scenario, really, because the other half is that being home alone all day means that you wait for your partner at the door like a new puppy and prepare speeches regarding everything you’ve done and read and thought about all day.
He opens the door.
GUESS WHAT I READ ON FACEBOOK I PLUCKED MY EYEBROWS CAN’T YOU TELL MY FRIEND IS HAVING ANOTHER BABY ANOTHER ONE OF TRUMP’S CRONIES WENT DOWN I REALLY WANNA GO TO PORTUGAL THIS SUMMER WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR DINNER I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT SINCE I WOKE UP
I need coffee shops, because there are no Wookies at coffee shops. No mold to scrub, no laundry to fold, and my food fantasies are fulfilled by sparkling cases of sweets and sandwiches. Coffee shops, or self discipline? I choose the former.
I will always frequent my neighborhood bar. I will have at least one coffee in a bar every day. But I will also take my sweet buns to a coffee house with wifi when I need to get work done.
I often brought my sweet buns to different coffee shops in Padua, and noticed that they all became increasingly popular over the course of the time I lived there. Sometimes, you can’t even get a seat.
I decided to write today about my top three, in case you’re in Padua and need to escape from a drain Wookie, have some work to do, or just want to sit and enjoy a coffee and a pastry.
Luggage and Life’s list of the best cafés with wifi in Padua
Coffee Box – Via Altinate 37 – open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm
Coffee Box is my favorite café with wifi in Padua. It’s the OG. The owners are all incredibly lovely, and welcome people with a smile. It’s been almost a year since we left Padua, and I still miss it. Whenever we go visit, we make sure to stop at CB.
A long bar runs along the main wall, with stools and plugs for workers. A smaller area towards the back contains a long sofa with a small table, perfect for chats on a chilly afternoon. Behind that is another small room with two big easy chairs, a small table, and tons of books, all of which can be read over your cup of Joe.
There used to be another couch upstairs, but they replaced it with more tables and chairs. This was a wise move as it’s often difficult to find a seat.
There are tables outside year round, and they even put blankets out for chilly days.
Coffee Box offers traditional Italian coffees, which are delicious, and a variety of coffee house favorites like cold brew, flavored coffee, filtered coffee, iced coffee, chai lattes, teas, and fruit and veggie juices.
If you order any kind of large drink, you get to choose your own mug!
They’ve always got a case full of sweet treats. My favorite is the triple chocolate muffin. If you’re there around lunch time, you can order from a simple menu of bagel sandwiches, focaccia, or hummus and veggies.
Like I said, CB is my favorite. Great food and beverages, good wifi, and super nice people. Go there. Have a triple chocolate muffin. You won’t regret it.
Caffeine – Via Roma 96 – Open every day from 7:30am until midnight
Caffeine is more of a typical Italian bar in their food and beverage offerings, but they have squishy chairs and wifi. The decor in Caffeine is super cool. Antique chairs surround low marble tables in some corners, and you’ll also find sofas and café tables.
Caffeine also has outdoor seating, which is nice in the warm weather, as are the delicious iced coffees they offer in the summer time.
I’ve never eaten at Caffeine, but the pastry cabinet looks delightful. They also offer alcohol, so if you like to do the “coffee until wine” thing like me, this might be your spot.
Brew Café Gallery – Galleria Tito Livio – Open Monday – Saturday from 7am to 8pm
Brew is the newest on my list, but I’m glad I stumbled upon it one day. They have good coffee and sandwiches, friendly staff, strong wifi, and lots of seating.
Brew also has alcohol, so it’s another good spot for a cheeky prosecco.
So there you have it – Padua’s best cafés with wifi. Did I miss any? Share in the comments!
More Padua guides and posts
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