Italy’s culinary achievements are for the most part undisputed, however café culture is not something to which it usually subscribes. A quick espresso knocked back with a countertop pastry has an efficient charm, but sometimes a more languorous, healthy experience is desired. Scatter cushions, laptop plug points, background music and fresh fruit smoothies continue to pull those of us trying to find a more aesthetic alternative to the office or library. With two locations across the city, Fresssco offers just that.

Juices are made and bottled each morning, smoothies blitzed to order from the fresh whole fruit piled beneath the counter and the classic health food selection of chia pots and granola tubs line the fridge display. In Bristol or London this would be nothing new, but in central Italy it smacks of sweet relief. An oat milk cappuccino satiates those millennial dairy-free cravings, while a (pleasingly banana-free) fresh peach and summer berry smoothie reinvigorates the work-weary brain and makes the most of the seasonal glut of stone-fruit.

Service is for the most part friendly and accommodating, offering helpful recommendations when called for and showing equal welcome to those grabbing a quick take out as to the sit-in laptop slaves among us. There appears to be the occasional change of staff ‘off-day’, but this sinks no lower than a slightly wearying lack of enthusiasm in comparison with the usually animated rapport.

Upstairs, (Via del Sole outpost) a floor-level arched window offers a sneaky viewing platform onto the city’s main square. Low, bench-like seating lines the walls, complete with a suitably ridiculous selection of cushions. Shoes can be kicked off, free WIFI switched on and hours passed in a relaxed atmosphere of calm productivity. In the land of ‘down it and run’ caffeine consumption, Fresssco provides a welcome alternative.

Via del Sole, 2
Perugia, Umbria

+39 075 573 4180

Photos by Pippa Cole