letters from Italy... 25 aprile 2009
We are in Florence now. Arrived 2 days ago, and the first night we joined
a fun restaurant club - the Teatro del Sale, which was crazy fun. There
are club rules - mostly to not be an isolationist, but share in the
conversation. Pay a set fee, and at 7:30, the doors are open to rush in
and get a table. Then food is displayed on a big table and people line up
to get it. The kitchen with flames and chef hats is in view. Every time a
dish is created, it's placed on the food table. The shouting chef
announces to the room (in Italian, of course) the new dish, and people
scramble to get a plate. More rules: do not pile food up on your small
plate, just take it, return it later to the dirty dishes window, and get a
fresh one. The good part is the chef is famous here and this is his
entertainment. All the dishes were delicious and in this format we could
try many local foods. The atmosphere was festive, in this large room with
columns, and a stage for the entertainment after the dinner.
After about an hour of eating, there is a show. The show for us was a 70's
band of four Italians playing on amplified acoustic guitars singing Simon
& Garfunkle, Carol King, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Cath Stevens songs
with Italian accents. It was interesting hearing their versions of these
songs not always in perfect harmony, but with great spirit. The guitar
playing was actually the best and we did enjoy it.
We sat with a group of Italian women friends whom we met at dinner. They
all were divorced. Most were married for 20-30 years, had kids and were
now enjoying the single life. They were very friendly and lots of fun.
Tony used his Italian to communicate which was the only way we could have
had the conversation. He gets compliments often for his Italian and it's
so much fun and helpful.
Tony is making his first espresso here in our apartment and is using a
brass door knob to tamp down the coffee. There are lots of interesting
adjustments when traveling, aren't there?
More later. This is just "a day in the life of the Italian travelers".
Joselyn and Antony