“No, grazie,” you say to the waiter, “non posso più” (I can [eat] no more). He leaves to serve the cake to others, those with gargantuan stomachs.
You look around and see the trattoria packed with families, three generations, at large tables. They have all eaten the antipasti, ravioli, risotto, carne and now expect the dessert.
In Italy you only find a family trattoria like this by chance. They don’t advertise, no road signs. Their fame is spread by word of mouth, the fastest way to become known here, and the only way to stay in business. This Sunday lunch, il pranzo, takes the whole afternoon.
Children go outside to play soccer with Max, the dog in residence. Max’s other job is to lie around the restaurant, especially across the entrance to the kitchen. The waiter simply steps over him. Dogs never stop eating, you realize, they eat everything that is served.
You stop musing and look at your plate. The dolce. The waiter has just served you a slice. “Solo un assagio”, he says, and smiles. (Just a taste…)