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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

For the espresso, you can’t go wrong with Illy

I have friends who live in Italy. Really. It's a good thing that they are really nice, because if they weren't I would hate them. Really. But, lucky for me, one is a college friend of my wife's, and the other (her husband) has known my wife for going on four decades. When I stumbled into their lives about 20 years ago, they accepted me without question.

Not everyone I have met over the years has been so accommodating. Even people I have been related to by marriage. Just saying.

What's really cool about my friends is that they love living in Italy. They made some pretty smart financial and career decisions that allowed them the leeway to buy a villa just outside Cortona, a small rental apartment inside Cortona, and a designer apartment residence in Como. Even so, life in a foreign country is far more romantic than it sounds. Language, customs, permits, visas, taxes and so on make things a lot harder than you can imagine. But our friends cope.

So now to my point. One of the things that I share with Karen, my wife's college pal, is a love of coffee. Wherever we go — and that includes day and weekend trip all over Italy's north — Karen and I look for decent places to drink our espresso (a cappuccino for me in the mornings, macchiatto for her all the time and me in the afternoon).

And our favorite coffee? Trieste's best, Illy. Turns out you can buy Illy coffee in several spots around the Inland Northwest. But I found the two cans featured in the photo above at the Williams-Sonoma store in River Park Square. You should try it sometime.

I wouldn't steer you wrong. Neither would la mia buona amica Karen.