Monday, June 9, 2008

Wait Staff in Piazza Navona

Since my last Piazza Navona blog was about some dining habits there, I figured I would continue and probably end the sub theme of restaurants in the piazza. So I took a very slow walk around past pretty much every single restaurant there. I wanted to see if I could find something different, something similar, or anything that struck my attention. What I noticed in particular was the wait staff of all these places. First of all, the staff is predominantly male. And if you are greeted outside the restaurant, I feel like it absolutely always male. They are all somewhat attractive men dressed in a three piece suite with friendly but stern posture. If you make eye contact with them, they immediately give a little head gesture or very small bow, sometimes extending a hand and ask if you would like to dine there, almost like a fisherman anxiously but calmly watching a fish creep up on his bait. And if you take the bait and pick a place to eat there, the wait staff is so friendly and real to you and literally happy to serve you. It gives you a very nice sense of Italian culture and dining. The waiters seem interested in all their customers, even willing to have a small conversation with you if you seem equally friendly and they aren’t too busy. A little different than in America, a dining experience in Piazza Navona depends a little less on food quality, but the overall setting and interaction between you and the piazza.

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