Tuesday 2 December 2008
Differences between north and south.
It has been a while since I have posted (slow internet and all that) but all is well here in Malito, Calabria - well minus the fact that yesterday was the first day of sunshine that we have seen in quite some time. Italy has been caught in a stint of very bad weather. I have seen on the news that Venice is literally underwater...and here we have had non-stop rain everyday, strong winds, the power going on and off...and being stuck inside (at least by the open fire place) since a torrential down pour is not the best weather for playing tourist.
Bel ragazzo and I felt a little like caged animals so we braved the heavy fog and freezing winds to go out to dinner in a local pizza restaurant on Saturday night. The power kept flicking on and off throughout the meal, and the restaurant was near empty as not many people were crazy enough to venture out with the elements as they were, but it was like a foreigners dream come true as a local Calabrian folk band was enetertaining us that night. (We had no idea...just a nice bit of luck!)
For those who have never been to the non-touristy Italy, you would get a shock at just how different the prices are. We went out for a pizza on Sunday night as well and there were 4 of us. We had 4 pizzas (I am a lady of expensive taste and like to eat pizza with porcini mushrooms - bianco or white thankyou very much as on Saturday night I forgot to request this and the pizza came out with a tomato base which steals all the flavour of the porcini...This pizza by the way is always the most expensive on the menu.) So we had 4 pizzas, 2 large bottles of beer and a quater of house red wine (yes, for me. I hate beer.) The bill came to €24....and bel ragazzo and I just looked at each other and laughed. You'd pay at least €40 for such a meal in Rome...at least!
My pizza was 5€ and in Rome and other such places for a pizza or pasta with porcini you will be paying anything from €8-€12 euro. The Heiniken was something like €1,50 per bottle whereas in Rome you pay about €5 for a pint of beer. My wine was also only €1,50 (and it was an overflowing caraff verging on half a litre rather then one quater.) After the meal in all the places I have ever eaten in Calabria, once the bill has been paid - they offer you (a.k.a free of charge) a liquer to help digest the meal. I like a little limoncello to help my pizza go down...while bel ragazzo will usually have an Amaro or a Grappa (both a little potent for me.)
In Rome once I was offered an after dinner liquer once I had paid for my bill. Assuming it was free I drank my limoncello and left the restaurant only to be chased down the street by the waiter calling us back to come and pay! True story!