Sunday, November 1, 2009


Our world is full of signs steering us away from danger and disaster: SLIPPERY WHEN WET! BUFFALO CROSSING! ATOMIC BOMB TESTING SITE! You need to pay attention and run the other way.

It's in this spirit of civic and moral duty that I post this alert.

If you're hungry in Rome (or anywhere in Italy, for that matter)
and you come across one of these plastic signs, usually large and glaring, STAY AWAY! You will not eat well--which is hazardous to your sense of pleasure and overall great travel experience.

These signs lure you into what I call imposter restaurants, often located around the major piazzas, like Campo de Fiori or Piazza Navona, and equipped with waiters beckoning in what they guess is your native language. What you'll get is a good view and poor to really terrible food. If you're drop-dead exhausted or otherwise in need of a brief respite, take a table and order something to drink, enjoy the piazza scene, and then go elsewhere for your meal.

Consider yourself warned.

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