In corners of Tripoli unaffected by militia violence gripping the capital, Libyans sip espresso and eat pizza as the sounds of gunfire echo in the distance.
Since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, pizzerias and cafes have proliferated in the ex-Italian colony, even as the country descended further into anarchy as nationalist fighters battled Islamist-linked militants in a tussle for power.
But in the peaceful areas of the city, the coffee trade is booming as young Libyans open cafes and foreign businesses arrive, trying to capitalise on the freedoms offered in the post-Gaddafi era.
At a coffee shop on a main thoroughfare, a sign proclaims "The best coffee in town". The cafe is open 24 hours a day, so Libyans can enjoy their pick-me-up drink around the clock.
Until the Italians arrived, the inhabitants of Libya were known as tea drinkers. Now coffee is an integral part of their everyday lives.
Gaddafi, whose reign began in 1969, did not welcome investment from abroad, but since his fall a large Italian coffee company has opened three outlets in Tripoli.
"It's exceptional," said the director Rashid, a Moroccan who had worked for a coffee company in Dubai before deciding to try his luck in Libya.
"Our customers come back every day," he enthused at the cafe, where every table was full and women were present, which is a rare sight in the country's male-dominated society.
Residents of Tripoli, it seems, also can't get enough of one of Italy's famous other exports, pizza. But rather than seeking the pure Italian taste, many pizzerias adapt their recipes to suit local preferences, often avoiding particularly strong sauces.
Ahmed, a pizza chef, said young people made up the majority of the clientele. Customers chatted and ate, seeming to be on another planet than the gunfire tearing apart the south of Tripoli, where the airport is located.
Libyans' love of espresso, pizza and pasta, of which they are also big consumers, underlines their ties with Italy.
But so does something else. Despite the dire security situation, Rome is one of the few Western countries still to have a diplomatic presence in Tripoli.