Before the world discovered ‘metrosexuals’, Italy was already enjoying them. Droves of them, best captured in Milan or Rome. Tanned, moisturized, fans of navy blue clothes with impeccable brown shoes. That is what I thought Italian men consisted of and aspired to. Until I visited a friend on her Erasmus programme in Bologna and met another type. Often dread locked, usually stoned, pale with all manner of gauges, bolts and locks in ears (funniest thread on ear gauges on Reddit follows here – wasted about 30 minutes scrolling through the comments).
It is this second category that you can find in Nabucco Tiramisu. Serving up some fantastic focaccia based sandwiches at surprisingly moderate prices. They do a lovely focaccia, crusty on the outside and light inside. €3 for a half (an extremely large sandwich) and €5 for a whole. Served on a wooden board. I have mortadella with Parmesan and dribbles of Modena balsamic vinegar. It is fantastic. It’s more fantastic because I am paying €3 for it (I am a sucker for good value).
I order a slice of cake (€3) from a counter filled with them. A decidedly Italian affair of ground nuts and thick purple jam in the middle with a generous dusting of icing sugar on top. And a cappuccino – with chocolate sprinkled on top.
Red hot chilli peppers takes it in turns to croon and rage over the sound system.
By the entrance, there is a modest hanging garden of plants in lightbulbs. Along one wall is a tall shelf with Italian ingredients, a lot of them organic. The most striking aspect of the place are the portrait posters. Almost caricatures set against vivid background colours and affixed just as they are to the wall. They almost throb they are so bright.
When I go to pay – it comes to €8. “That’s cheap.” I remark.
The guy shrugs his shoulders and smiles “Well, you didn’t have much did you?”
A cake, a sandwich and coffee on the main square in Gracia? I think it’s a steal.