I love Italy for so many simple things. Paying only 1 euro for a coffee, eating a brioche without feeling guilty, old ladies saying ‘brava’ if they see you doing exercise, aperitivo, shoes and many more. One of my most recent favourites however, is the 10 euro lunch menus that you can find in many local bars or small italian cafes.
The Italian and I have been frequenting a place called Ristorante Nerone. It is nothing special from the outside but on the inside it is filled with locals, mostly men, stopping off for lunch and a carafe of wine before returning to work.
We have been calling it Baffo’s due to the owners fantastic moustache, (baffo = moustache), a tall italian man who reels off the menu at an incredible speed, making the many options sound like one long word – lasagne,spaghettipomodoro,pennearrabbitato… – In my first month of eating here I would tend to panic and order any word I could catch. Second course is even more difficult to dissect, this leaves me the easiest choice, the last one (Baffo most likely assumes I have a really exciting diet after dining on arrosto most days).
10 euro in Australia would not get you quite as far, today you might be lucky to get a fancy sandwich. So I will continue to make the most of these menus whilst I can; entree, main, wine, coffee and tighter jeans, all part of the italian experience. My favourite part is being able to sit amongst the locals with a bowl of pasta, doing my best to blend in and most likely sticking out like a sore thumb. The food is nothing special and the decor is to be desired however, nothing beats being greeted in a familiar place by a smile and beautiful moustache.