This past weekend, the Sunday Herald (Scotland) published an article on Trieste, Italy and some its great cafés: A Shot In The Dark (from Sunday Herald). (Trieste is also home to illycaffè and the namesake for the local legend, Caffé Trieste.) The article touches on Caffè Tommaseo, the historic Caffè San Marco, Caffè Degli Specchi, and even the Caffè Stella Polare.

As someone who commented on the article pointed out, Trieste may be known for the melancholy literary figures in its history, but Trieste is also a center for international scientific research. And it can have a uniquely sobering effect of class and distinction on even the most hardened jeans-and-T-shirt-wearing post-grad student: two former coworkers of mine in a past scientific life returned from an international conference in Trieste wearing collared shirts and ties to work. Which is about as shocking as finding an American barista wearing the same.

(And Sarah Alder: if you’re reading this, I’m still waiting for my invitation to the Università del caffè! ;) )