In the land where pasta is al dente and the coffee tastes like a milkshake

Italy’s often considered a country of artisans. What they do well they do better than most – just watching Massimiliano Poggio make a Caffè Shakerato offers an example.

Tomorrow Italy begins to open up. I wonder how tourism will unfold. Here in Piemonte they don’t rely on services and tourism, instead they spend most their time creating fine products, often the finest, including wine, cheese, truffles, hazelnuts, rice, etc.

But there’s always a bar. And Massi and Chiara have created an ideal place to go – it’s like the essence of a charming destination – in a town here in province of Asti. A bar and restaurant operating at its center, acting like the heart of Bubbio. It’s called Bar Machi and I interviewed this couple for my book. 12 interviews of 12 Piemontese.

Even during the worst phase of the pandemic, whenever I saw Massi and asked how it was going, his answer was always the same, “bennnnnnissimo”. He wears a nice, easy smile, he’s probably the happiest guy I’ve ever met.

Massi’s engaging and his unique esprit sets the tone for the ‘front part’ of their operation, while Chiara, his wife, operates the ‘back office’ and cooks and probably runs the books. They seem like the ideal couple, with two kids and two sets of parents who help with the kids.

Alotta work behind their great chemistry but I’ve never seen either of them break a sweat. When I first arrived here in Piemonte, over 7 years ago, I didn’t know a soul. But for the past 7 years Massi and Chiara have always treated me like I’ve been living here forever…

The interview’s great and these two are a gift.

They restore the faith…

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