By Lyndsay | September 30, 2011
I have come to find that Italy is a very laid back kind of place. For example, if you go out to dinner, the waiter or waitress will not bring you a check for at least an hour and a half. This is something we barely see in America because we are such a fast pace country, and the concern to get more and more people seated for dinner is always preset. Here in Italy, (from what I have heard from some locals) families sit down for dinner and will sit there for about 2 hours just enjoying each others company and chatting. I am noticing more everyday how laid back and relaxed the Italian culture is and I really love it.
The other aspect of the culture I have noticed is, they don’t always go by the price that’s on a menu, whether you’re at a fancy restaurant or a small café. If a sandwich is 4 euro they may say “eh, give me 3.” Obviously this is great for a college student on a budget. They’ll give you free food or free water… it just really depends where you go and how the waiters are feeling that day.
Now, my main point about how much Italians don’t worry about the money they receive, or what they are giving people. There is a place here (I have no idea of the real name) that people call “the secret bakery.” Bakers are up at 2 or 3 in the morning baking for the local café’s and restaurants around Florence for that day. The only way you can find it if you don’t get directions from someone who decides to spill the beans, is the smell. We smelled this bakery from a mile away, I swear. The greatest smell ever, by the way. The best part about all of it is that anyone who finds this secret place can go in and get any pastry they want for just 1 euro each! The two little bakers, who barely speak any English, just don’t care that people walk into this tiny bakery and pick out any fresh, straight out of the oven, pastries they want. My roommates and I went there and got croissants filled with cream, FRESH out of the oven. We were seriously mind boggled… I think we actually still are.
I can truly get used to this lifestyle and I am going back to that bakery very, very soon!