Summer Season


Twelve weeks have slipped by since I last added to this blog and I apologise for neglecting it. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been too busy with work, however that’d only be a half truth as I’ve also been busy eating out and enjoying the summer.

It’s eating out during the tourist season that I’m writing about today. Out of season the restaurants are very happy for the local population to patronise their establishments and are often more attentive. However as soon as the tourists arrive the attitude as well as the food changes.

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I was having a conversation with a friend about this a month or so back after we had visited a restaurant we’d visited many times before and had a terrible experience. The season was winding down and when we entered the almost empty dining room we noticed that parts of the bar were already being packed away, meaning the small eatery will probably close over the autumn and winter months. Fair enough, if there’s not the custom to make it worthwhile opening then it makes sense, but surely if they remain open to diners they can pack up later. The waitress (eventually) strolled over to take our order and everything we asked for off their menu was no longer available. Sorry no pizza, sorry no fries, sorry no vongole, sorry no white wine, sorry red wine either only rosé. We all decided that as there was nothing available that we wanted we’d leave. The final insult after many weeks of eating there was to hear the waitress moan to the owner about us being miserable English tourists. Suffice to say, despite your usually friendly staff and great food, we’ll not be back again.

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One thing we as stranieri, ex-pats, immigrants, or however we label ourselves have noticed is that when the area is full of tourists the food quality in some not all establishments drops from excellent to average and portion sizes shrink faster than a slimmer at Weightwatchers. Service becomes rushed and the waiters that out of season are pleased to see you become less attentive; I put that down to increased trade, but regular patrons and locals do seem to get a rum deal when the tourists are in town.

I’m sure this isn’t indicative of just our area, I’m sure it must go on all over the world where bars and restaurants cater to tourists – it’s just a shame that it can make you reconsider where you’ll be spending your euro the following summer.

2 thoughts on “Summer Season

  1. Sadly I find the biggest problem is age. Most of the restaurants I visit have been run by two or three generations but now they are passing. Those left are older and struggle. I would however recommend a restaurant up from colledimezzo in Monte Ferranto. I think it is called la Fontana. The town is famous for its water and you can draw from the fountain opposite the restaurant. Also, if you have the legs, there is a walk through the town going up to spectacular views. Apologies if you already know it. As you would expect, no menus and about 15 euros a head. They do fantastic beans and pasta and last week magnificent ox tail.
    Regards
    Frank
    PS not owned by my family although everyone seems related in some way!!

    • Hi Frank, yes I’ve heard good things about this restaurant in the past so must make an effort to visit. My post really applies to restaurants on the coast and at tourist destinations as those inland in our local villages and towns that we frequent always give great service. If you’re ever Casoli way, give the usual agriturismo’s a miss and try Agriturismo Travaglini on the road up to Pianibbie for authentic Abruzzese cuisine.

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