THE ART OF ITALIAN DINING
This weekend was the first few days of summer for people living here in Italy.
There has been rainy and cold weather until a few days ago and everybody was complaining about the low temperature, lack of sun and heavy rains. We couldn’t wait to escape the city and get our speedos on.
Italians are casual complainers. We might walk into your house and mention that traffic was a nightmare, the weather sucks, we are not feeling too well and that something in your fridge smells funny. We may even add something about the clothes you are wearing and how the colors do not match.
We love to complain about the bus that is never on time, but never do we buy the ticket; about how corrupted our government is, but we are the first to evade taxes when we can; we complain about how dirty our cities are, but always ‘forget’ to throw the cigarette buts where they belong because there aren’t enough trash cans in the city.
Finally, the sun is out now and temperatures are hitting the three digits zone. People are ready to migrate to the Tuscan beaches, enjoy some fresh ‘paranza’ (fresh small fish tempura) and gossip around.
So, with my friends Claudia and Yasaman we decided to pack our bags and go visit the coastal city of Lido di Camaiore where an umbrella, two lounge chaises and a little table on the beach totaled 60euros (75 dollars) a day. Here there was God testing me. That was surely something to complain about.
But I didn’t. Everything was perfect. The fresh food was absolutely amazing, even better when eaten on the sand while practicing one of our favorite sports: people watching. The smell of the air, the sound of the water crashing on shore, the kids playing, a good book to read.
Nothing to think about.
I slowly lift my head from my chaise, turn to Claudia and tell her how wonderful that moment was.
She takes off her sunglasses, lift her left eyebrow just slightly like in sign of disappointment and says:
“Yes, but it is too hot, too humid and the beach is too crowed.”
That’s Italy. These are Italians.