By Steve Siciliano
When my wife Barb and I travel we like finding bars and restaurants that are, for the most part, patronized by the local populace. It’s not that we categorically avoid the touristy locales. During our recent trip to Italy some of our most pleasurable dining experiences occurred in places where we had to share tables with fellow tourists.
One evening in an outdoor trattoria in Florence, we encouraged a couple from California to help us with an antipasti that had enough cheese and cured meats on it for eight diners. We had a wonderful time eating, drinking, laughing and sharing stories of our traveling adventures with each other. On another evening I introduced a tourist from Australia (a homebrewer, coincidentally), to the decidedly dubious delights of grappa. I have no doubt that his headache the next morning was as horrid as mine.