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Renaldo, Roberto's son


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Renaldo, Roberto's son, used to be a cop in Naples, but quit after an injury to a knee. For the moment, he works at the family pizzeria, called Delizia, near Rende, on a hilltop less than five minutes drive from where my father was born. Renaldo speaks excellent English, partly from the years his father ran a Chicago pizzeria. He fills me in on lesser-known details of daily Italian life. Cafe protocol assigns to the first person in the door of the cafe or pub the obligation to buy a round of espressos or drinks. (Sometimes, he'll drive by a cafe or wait in his car, Renaldo admits, peering to see if a friend is already inside.)

I try to claim this obligation, walking a few feet in front of his dad, telling him what I'm up to as we approach Cafe Mimosa on Via Repaci in Rende one morning. Roberto picks up his pace, passing me, saying, no, it was his idea to get a coffee this morning. We are fueling up on our way out to visit my father's birthplace.





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