By Abby Kintz
FLORENCE, Italy – At dinner after a long day of touring the packed streets of Florence our server came to take our orders about thirty minutes after being seated. In another thirty minutes, our freshly prepared food arrived at our dinner table. Enjoying every sip of the Chianti wine and each savory bite of the penne tomato pasta, there was no rush; we could enjoy our pleasant meal chatting with friends. Eventually, an hour or two into our intriguing conversations, we asked the server for the check.
To many in the U.S., the wait would have been an evening-killer. They would either complain to the manager, never come back, or insist for a discount or free meal. When we order food in America, we immediately expect it to be at our table in ten minutes. It’s rush-rush.
But we miss so much this way.
In Italy, servers feel socializing after meals for a long time is normal, adding to the pleasurable aspect of dining. Turning tables quickly seems to be important in the U.S. I won’t take leisurely dining for granted after being in Italy.