Why Cafe if it is not about the coffee?

The photo shows the cafe setting in Piazza San Marco, where I visited in 2007. But no, this is not the reason why I started visiting cafe back in 2006, when I started working as a fresh grad in Tokyo. Actually I did not even really visit any cafe to be remembered when I was in Itally. And I believe that is not what a cafe lover will miss if he/she goes to Itally. However I had a purpose when I visit Venice, Florence and Rome back then. It is to not visiting any specific museums or cafe, but instead to feel & learn the culture deep inside the heart of the cities & people.

I am not sure but probably it was the same reason that kept me going to cafe in Tokyo years ago. When I was living in Nakameguro, I took on my bike and went to cafe in Shibuya, Omotesando, Ginza, etc districts in the metropolitan; searching for new and interesting cafe had became a routine on weekends. And it was not only the exploring that was fun, but all the little trips to here and there were so enriching. Life was much much more exciting when connecting the dots on map while discovering the culture via cafe.

Of course, going to cafe alone is itself a form of culture discovering. But it becomes a place of culture sharing when we have conversation with friends and people in cafe. I think it is the sharing that captured my interest to cafe all this time. And the sharing grows even bigger now, going beyond the boundary of a cafe.

When we talk about cafe (an Italian "bar" to be exact) in Italy, we usually talk about coffee culture there. But whenever I thought about my visits to Italy, to San Marco or Florence, I remember it as a holistic culture sharing through the experience at cafe.

That is why my "cafe" is not about the coffee. And that is why I talk about cafe in terms of culture discovering & sharing.

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