Italy is known for its coffee, but as far as I am aware it is not known for its cafes. Call me crazy but I am not too keen on the Italian convention of standing at the bar while downing an espresso. Many cafes in Italy that have seating double as restaurants in the afternoon and evening and sitting down for anything longer than five or ten minutes just to drink coffee is a bit of an Italian faux pas. There are exceptions of course, but it is certainly not tradition in Italy to lounge in a cosy café for up to several hours, especially alone. And to take out a laptop? Well that is practically unheard of.
Slowly Italy is starting to embrace the coffee culture of countries like the United States and Britain. Chains more conducive to long term loungers and Mac computers are beginning to spring up and Italy is even set to allow their first Starbucks to open in Milan in 2018. A chronic café lounger myself, I was very excited to find Ditta Artigianale. It absolutely embraces the kind of rustic, homelike interior that so many artsy, slightly pretentious, coffee houses are adopting. With large windows opening onto the street, the atmosphere is perfect. It is a bit small so the best time to go is in the morning as by afternoon it can get quite crowded. But the mornings are perfect for a casual catch-up or caffeine fuelled, feverish typing.
To seal the deal, Ditta Artigianale makes superb coffee and, thankfully, it is not thimble sized. They also have an extensive list of the latest trending drinks from matcha lattes to dirty chai lattes to Greek cappuccinos. I am still not even sure what the last one is but it sounds amazing. And the food! I am a big brunch fan and I pride myself on quite high standards when it comes to pancakes, eggs florentine, french toast, chorizo hash and whatever else you can think up for breakfast. Ditta Artigianale has by far the best brunch I have had since leaving London. I had lactose-free almond pancakes with berry coulis (no I am not lactose intolerant, just exceedingly curious when it come to trying random foods) and I also tried the french toast cooked in coffee and cardamom. Both were excellent though I liked the pancakes ever so slightly more. As much as I am a coffee fan, let's be honest, food trumps all. Ditta Artigianale was an absolute treat in every department.
Top Ditta Artigianale Interior
Photography by Savannah and Deanna Hayes