Acquafrescaio – from 1836
The small piazza in front of Caffè Gambrinua is called Piazza Trieste e Trento and rather surprisingly, here you’ll also find tracks from the Naples’ long gastronomic traditions. Look out for the small juice stall next to the newspaper kiosk. It carries the name Acquafrescaio and dates back to 1836. The present owner, Antonio Guerra, who has run the small stall since 1972, says: “In the first half of the 19th century, you could find the so-called acquafrescai in crowded market places. Here they came to sell freshly made orange and lemon juice. They carried the fruit in a large basket on their heads. Usually they didn’t have a fixed place, so they went from one market place to another. Only years later some of them managed to get a place of their own, just like the one I have today”. Antonio tells me, that all the citrus fruit comes from the Sorrento Coast, near Naples, and that the best season goes from April to June, when the fruit reaches perfect maturation. “Just taste this glass”, he says, and places a garish yellow vitamin bomb with freshly pressed oranges and lemons in front of me. And of course I have to admit, that this really is a taste of heaven, especially if such a glass is enjoyed during a hot Naples summer. “This is something completely different compared to the drinks from ‘the other world’ … Coca-cola, Whiskey and whatever they are called”, Antonio says laughing. And of course I have to agree with him: It’s quite a different taste. Almost a taste of history.
Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, 80139 Napoli