The hours until 8am passed reasonably quickly. I spent the first three hours or so in this French-style bar, until the security gates opened. Before I went in, I of course went through the routine of taking out all of the ‘liquids’ in my bag and putting them in a clear plastic bag to show at security. As I went through the x-ray scanner, the beep went (don’t we all dread that!), and I was asked to take off my shoes and undergo a body check. The security guy mumbled something while he was doing it, and then, a few seconds later, in a louder voice, asked me to “Just say no.” Then I realised he’d been talking to me earlier and asking me if I had any metal objects on me. Ah, the downside of staying awake too long!
Until relatively recently, I never quite understood the appeal in Italy of the espresso. It seemed a pointless drink. Barely a mouthful, it would be over before you’d even started drinking it. How could it possibly be satisfying? However, having an espresso in the morning (or at any other time of day, mind you) seems to be a national pastime of sorts. There is even (and I’m not joking) a National Espresso Institute in Italy, which defines the exact portions and temperatures for making an ‘espresso’.