I'm back! Did you miss me? Don't answer that.
Marmo and I had a fantastic time in Italy eating and drinking pretty much everything. The beverage I drank the most of (aside from wine) was cappuccino. I couldn't get enough. Those Romans know what they're doing with coffee.
After my fifth cup of this magical beverage one lovely day, I thought - HEY! I should bring some of this stuff home for the Italian Mystery Prize! Even in the midst of the caffeine-induced manic episode I was having, I realized I couldn't bring you all back a cappuccino. That's ridiculous. BUT! I did bring you back some coffee from one of Rome's finest coffee roasting establishments, Sant' Eustachio - located near the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona.
Sant' Eustachio was founded in 1938, and I imagine looks and behaves much like it did during the 30's. It's a well-oiled machine of Italians and tourists alike flowing in and out of the shop like a caffeinated assembly line, stopping just long enough to down a coffee at the walk-up bar, and then stumble happily back into the world again, eyes WIIIIIIIDE open.
The process goes like this: you walk in and veer towards the right, where a very serious-looking cashier has you pay for your order (before you order it). You try and do this as quickly as possible, conscious of the long line of impatient/sleepy/or otherwise coffee-needy individuals behind you in the very long line. The cashier hands you a receipt, and you amble towards the coffee baristas and coffee bar on the left side of the store.
At this point, you jockey for a position at the bar, because you won't be served until you are right up against it. Otherwise, where would you put your coffee? Balance it on your neighbor's back? There are no to-go cups. This isn't Starbucks, people. Marmo and I were waiting in line behind the teeny-tiniest of little old Italian ladies. I mean, like miniature. And ancient. The female versions of these guys. I almost took one of them home for your prize, but they were so cute together, it would have been a shame to separate them. The tiny Italian ladies downed their espressos like champs, gave us the thumbs-up (hilarious), and made way for us at the bar.
That is when I received this glorious cup of cappuccino:
It was fantastico! And before I stumbled back into the world, I picked up a bag of ground coffee for you! As you may recall, the rules of the contest were simple: leave a comment on the blog from when I announced the give-away, until now and you are magically entered into the pool of possible winners. I am giving you one more day. You have until midnight tonight to post a comment and be entered to win. So GO!
As a side note, you should know that there will be more Italian prizes and giveaways. I brought home extra stuff. But this is the only coffee prize.