The Art of Il Caffè

I love coffee in general but, like many other college students, always seem to gain an even greater appreciation for coffee during midterms and finals.

So, I decided to take a bit of study break to venture to the Illy caffé that is attached to the DuPont Renaissance hotel, per recommendation of Koralie on my Via Umbria blog post!

Illy is one of the most popular coffee brands in Italy. During my time there, almost every bar (the same thing we refer to as “cafes” in America!) served Illy or Lavazza coffee.

Naturally, I was very excited to try get my Illy fix!


I love walking in and seeing all-Illy-everything. While many coffee bars in Italy served Illy coffee, I can’t remember visiting an Illy caffé like this one.

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I wanted to get a nice sample of their offerings and ordered a large cappuccino, a double espresso, and a cinnamon roll.

Both of my drinks were given to me in paper cups, which is very nice if you want to bring your drink on-the-go. While I know this isn’t very noteworthy in comparison to other American coffee shops, it kind of caught me off-guard because I was never able to get my coffee to-go in Perugia! This is reflective of the general Italian attitude towards take-out (they hate it) and the cultural belief that you should just eat/drink whatever you ordered at the place that you ordered it- even for coffee! Throughout the day, most Italians line up at the “bar” near the espresso machine and quickly drink their shot of espresso in a few sips before leaving. However, as you can see in one the pictures, this cafe does have traditional ceramic coffee cups (smaller ones for espresso and larger ones for cappuccinos, americanos, etc.) that I’m sure they will make your drink in, if you ask! It’s the best of both worlds!

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Italians definitely share the same passion for coffee that I do. It didn’t matter where you were, it seemed like you were never more than a few minutes from some of the best espresso in the world – even gas station stores (every single one that I stopped at during my time traveling around Italy!) had a full espresso machine. Could you imagine being able to say the same while traveling around America?

However, most Italians do not have an espresso machine in their apartment or home. But, does that mean they must sacrifice drinking high-quality, delicious espresso at home? No way! Italians have found their answer in the moka pot.


This was our moka pot in Perugia! This picture was clearly taken at a time that we really needed to clean our stovetop…

I would venture to say that every Italian house or apartment has at least one moka pot, if not more than that! Moka pots can quickly brew the most delicious and fresh coffee right on your stovetop. I think I used ours every single day!

However, moka pots require a certain type of espresso. I was filled with a burst of nostalgia when I saw Illy’s moka blend.


Check out this video to learn more about how to make coffee using a moka pot: Moka Pot Coffee Making Guide!


9 thoughts on “The Art of Il Caffè

  1. Kristina Azevedo says:

    My Moka thing exploded last week! I was so upset because I love my espresso! I definitely miss the quality coffee in Italy so I will have to try Illy. I kind of miss having my espresso at the cafe. We definitely have a different outlook on morning coffee in the U.S. I personally think the Italian way is better. I think we should collaborate on our blogs some time because of our mutual love of Italy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emilyborrello says:

      Oh no, that’s the worst! I totally agree with you! I thought this place had really great espresso for here in America, though! And, yes, we definitely should collaborate sometime! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thaiaroundtown says:

    Haha, I walk past Illy almost every weekend and have always been curious, because the location seems kind of random. So this post definitely cleared some stuff up for me, like the fact that the brand is more popular in Italy (though I must say I still don’t get why they sell “Wow Bao” Asian buns). You did an amazing job incorporating so many great interactive elements. Your use of the Google map was great to visualize your trip to the shop, the slideshow was colorful, and the music was cute. I especially liked learning about the moka pots. My god, Europeans must think the American approach to coffee is bizarre…seeing as I get my coffee from a plastic K-cup every day, then carry it around with me. My only suggestion is to play around with different sized headers/colors/size for fonts to help visually break up some of your paragraphs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cat says:

    I am Italian myself but the culture wasn’t really passed down to my immediate family, so it’s really interesting to learn about the popular coffee of where I come from. I have passed by so many Illy’s and never even knew it was a coffee shop! You did an awesome job including the photos from your experience there, the captions you put on them, and their location on google map. A very interactive and engaging post about an interesting topic. I will definitely have to try out Illy sometime!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jacksafranko says:

    Absolutely loved this post. As I am sure I mentioned before I also spent a semester abroad in Italy this past fall. This post gave me a dose of nostalgia for Europe that is hard to come by back here in D.C. Goes without saying, but the music is very cool and atmospheric. Finally, the Italian coffee pot brought me back to my mornings in Italy, and my original fumbling to figure it out. I definitely plan on checking out the Illy cafe sometime soon. I hope to see way more posts like this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. racheldoes says:

    Emily–this post was great in terms of your organization of text and visuals; all of your visuals were so clear and clean, and everything (your sound clip, map, words, etc) was organized beautifully! As for the content of your post, I actually just started really drinking coffee this year (#freshmanproblems) and this place looks really cute, I’m excited to try it out, thanks for giving me a map to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. karlasexpression says:

    this was a very interacting and interesting blog to read! My mom’s favorite coffee brand is Il Coffee, so i know exactly why you love this place! I think adding the google map and lots of pictures made the post even more fun to read. I also really enjoyed reading the details about Illy. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Katrina Kagan says:

    Love this, you did a great job with the map and video elements. The instruction video works well with the review too. I walk by this place almost every day and I’ve never been inside. I’ve actually bought their coffee elsewhere for my own machine at home and it’s definitely a popular brand in Europe so I’ll be sure to try it out now!

    Liked by 1 person

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