Dinner at Eight, Be Late.

I have to admit that, when I am hungry, I am no picnic to hang out with.

And the Italian restaurant schedules took a little getting used to. In theory most restaurants open for dinner about 7:30 PM, but if you walk in the door any time before 9 PM you are apt to get a look from the staff, that is busily setting up, that seems to ask “what are you doing here?” We were at a somewhat disadvantage due to our place being under renovation, and having no working kitchen. That left us at the mercy of the local cafes, which close after 1 PM, to gather enough sustenance to sustain us through to dinner. I started to wise up, and developed what I thought was a rather clever solution. Ann chided me for ordering two paninis in our early afternoon ventures to our local café, but I was the one still left standing at 9:30 PM with enough strength to lift a fork.

I had been told that you cannot get a bad meal in Southern Italy, and based on the amount I consumed while there, you can be assured that I was trying my best to put that theory to the test. And, Yes, it’s true, you cannot. We stopped once while driving from Rome to Southern Italy at a highway gas station. I had tried my best to avoid anything that even remotely smacked of fast food, so with great reservation and skepticism I proceeded to order a sandwich at the station’s cafeteria, which, Yeah, turned out to be a really really good sandwich. 

Oria, the town where our apartment is located, has several very nice and quaint little restaurants tucked away among the narrow streets and alleyways in the ancient part of the city. We also enjoyed taking short drives to the outlying regions and to towns such as Martina Franca, Ceglia, Francavilla, and Ostuni to try any one of their fabulous restaurants. It really did not matter that we had never been to these restaurants before, and that we were not going based upon anyone’s recommendation, we came to realize that whether dining at a cliff side ultra-chic restaurant, or a local bistro, regardless, the meal we were about to enjoy was going to be amazing!