As we were leaving the Santa Caterina on Plaza Bellini, eyes still bruised by the church’s baroque extravagance, another of our senses came under attack. Like Micky Mouse following the scent of cake, we became captive to a strong whiff of coffee. Powerless to resist, we were carried to the doors of Torrefazione Ideal.
In the few weeks we’ve lived in Palermo, we’ve made approximately sixteen thousand cups of espresso. A two-cup coffee-maker was among our very first purchases, and that thing has gotten used so hard that I almost feel bad for it. For some reason, a strong cup of espresso always sounds like a good idea, and we indulge ourselves over and over, without regard to basic common-sense or the frantic racing of our hearts.
Torrefazione Ideal is where we usually go to stock up. I wasn’t exaggerating about how we discovered it; you can smell the coffee from thirty meters away and, the first time, we actually followed our noses to the entrance. Once inside, the smell is intoxicating, and the interior of the shop is beautiful as well, with huge roasting barrels in the back and a great variety of beans for sale up front. The prices aren’t bad either.
If you walk by Plaza Bellini, you won’t be able to avoid the scents of Torrefazione Ideal. Espresso is just another specialty the Italians have mastered. Between that, the pasta and the ice cream, my taste buds are going to be inconsolable when we leave Palermo.
Discesa dei Giudici 42, Palermo
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