Tis Returns to Italy! Day 50: Twelve Years Later…
It may sound completely crazy, but I keep detailed records of my travels, including dates and places I went to in every place I am lucky enough to visit.
While it was not planned, it turns out I am in Lucca at the same time I was here for the first time, twelve years ago to the day. I spent two nights here back then, which I now know, is never enough anywhere.
Single Person Struggles
Twelve years ago today, I made a reservation at a fancy-pants restaurant that seemed like a place I must try for reasons I cannot recall. Typically, I am not a fancy-pants person.
I remember showing up alone and giving them the name on my reservation, confirming yes, in fact, it is just me.
As a single person that refuses to be locked out of all I want to experience in the world, I do get a bit frustrated at the treatment I sometimes receive at restaurants.
I waited tables. I get it. Yes it is always nice to have a full table instead of a partially full table. However, one gives great service to a party of three at a table for four. Why is it not the same for a party of one at a table for two?
After all, it is very easy for three people to come to a restaurant together. However, show some respect! Girlfriend here has to put her big girl panties on and go for it when she wants to dine alone. There is frequently, how should I say this politely since my mother is probably going to read this, degradation of quality in the level of service given to single diners.
Oh heck they are downright s#$%y at times.
Not that night.
I was warmly greeted and taken to a lovely table by the fireplace. Well, that is more like it! Do they not have tables by the swinging kitchen door??? Because that is where my usual table is.
To sum it up, I felt like the most important person in the room that night. I ordered multiple courses and slowly savored each one, never in the least bit feeling rushed.
The wait staff helped me with the menu as I did not speak Italian then. I told them I wanted to go out of my food comfort zone and try something new. Back then mushrooms were not something I was at all interested in. They encouraged me to trust them and I did. They put the tastiest mushroom on top of my steak. Thanks to them, mushrooms are now a regular part of my diet.
Ha! I said diet! 😆
But seriously, the whole evening was the very best it could be. I have never forgotten that evening and their kindness to an English-speaking stranger dining alone.
Tonight, I am sitting at a caffè just across from Ristorante Giglio, where I was seated by the fireplace twelve years ago today, having the time of my life. I won’t go back. I’ve tried that before and it is rare when one can recreate such special moments.
So I sit here now, thinking of that night twelve years ago and hoping things are the same at Ristorante Giglio. At the very least, I hope those kind souls that waited on me with such humanity are still out there somewhere, making the world a better place just by being in it.
Ciao for now!