Once upon a time my mother used to go shopping (taking me, still a young girl, with her) at “Gnaffo”: the most renowned haberdasher’s shop down town. “Gnaffo” is a Pesarese dialect word (and very colorful too!) meaning a person with a broken, or simply funny, nose. I still remember this mysterious man roaming behind the counter, hopping from laces to buttons like a grass-hopper: what did his apparently broken and strange nose have to do with fine embroideries and needles? I’ll never know. The shop moved a few years ago to a nearby location (a new modern building built on the old Cinema Teatro Nuovo Fiore) and the man disappeared in a halo of mystery.
The old haberdasher’s shop has now turned into a lovely literary café called Ludicanto, run by our friend Loris, which Walter and I have started attending assiduously since before our daughter was born three years ago. Ludicanto is now part or our family rites.
First of all, the home-made ice-cream is fabulous (my husband talked Loris into creating the sesame flavour) and healthy too (no preservatives and only fresh fruit). Second, the atmoshpere is cosy and relaxing. The upper level with the bookshelves full of novels, essays and travel guides (Ludicanto joined the “book-crossing” initiative), and the piano, is the ideal “stage” where singers and musical groups regularly perform, whereas the ground-level floor is to choose when entering the café with a baby-carriage (!).
Loris and his staff offer to their guests home-made pies and exquisite appetizers prepared with local products (cheese, ham, olives, bread). Not to mention the kindness of the staff: our little daughter, who eats nothing else but pasta with butter and parmisan cheese, and chips (alas!), sat once at the table with us, sipping her “milk foam” (her usual), when she cried out: “patatine!”. So we asked the waiter for chips. After some five minutes, we saw the waiter getting into the café from outside, holding a bag from the nearby supermarket with a package of chips inside. As they ran out of chips he had gone out to get them for our little Costanza. Lovely. Lovely indeed.
Those guys know how to obtain a parent’s neverending gratitude.