Tuscany in the fall is beautiful – New England leaf peepers, eat your heart out – but sadly we had a few days of rain and gray. I could have stayed in London for that.
Florence is also pretty, but is it just me or is the service and attitude in restaurants and shops rather poor there? Jon and I were last in Florence in 2003, and I don’t remember anything bad about it, but this time around, I have a few bones to pick, and it’s not just with Florentine places.
A little bitching and moaning before I get to the happier food and shopping reports:
1. If you don’t want to sit parched through your meal, bottled water is your only option. Ordering a carafe of tap water in Florence and Tuscan towns appears to be impossible. When I tried, at best I got a dismissive ‘no,’ and at worst, I seemed to have flagged our table as a “no service zone,” which meant we waited close to half an hour for any server to even catch our eye again. (You can imagine how popular I was with my tolerant dining companions).
2. Coperto. I hate coperto. In Italy, coperto is supposed to cover the cost of your place setting and crappy, stale bread that nobody ever wants to eat. I actually appreciated that one restaurant, Baldovino, did away with the charade entirely and didn’t even bother with the bread. They just charged the coperto. My two cents': if the place setting costs that much, just add it to menu prices, please! Otherwise, I find it kind of deceptive.
Less rant and more rave to come. Ciao.