The whole 'Italian thing' - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Rant Room Clean ranting only - No Swearing!

 41Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 71 Old 27-08-17 Thread Starter
Status: I'm not really here
Club Member
Membro Premio
 
Club Member Number: 59
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 76,926
Garage
The whole 'Italian thing'

Not really a rant, so much as an observation or enquiry (and not intended to offend anyone).

I get that people love their Alfa Romeo or Fezza or Mazzer. Over the years it would be easy and reasonable to suggest that several folk from those communities would exhibit Italophile tendencies.

But, does that really stand up to any kind of logical scrutiny?

For example, people might, after a nasty bang on the noggin, prefer lager to other, more manly and delicious, forms of beer. But do they really believe that Peroni is anything special, and more worthy of savour and consumption than Heineken?

My slightly Quixotic tilting at the Italian Restaurant thread is actually another way of asking the same question. Would a Restaurant thread be more useful if it were not so very specifically focused on delivering pizza and pasta, which, good as it might be, isn't the only fruit?

Do people with these tendencies buy Italian aftershaves, shoes and watch Inspector Montelbano with intense enjoyment? Do they think Italian coffee is markedly superior to French? Is their kitchen adorned with cookbooks from Carluccio & Contaldo? Do they ever open them or even use them?

I'm not poking fun. I've been there. I took an evening class in Italian. I've got the Carluccio cookbooks (never used).

It just looks a bit daft to me now. :nutter:

















Besides I'm into Mexican now. :cigar:
steveisfrowning is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
AO Gold Member
 
chrishendrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater London
Posts: 10,896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis Presley View Post

Besides I'm into Mexican now. :cigar:
Surely should be sushi
chrishendrix is online now  
Status: off down the shed.
AO Gold Member
 
alfacool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: England.
County: Durham
Posts: 6,323
Im guilty of liking the Italian "style" of things to a degree.
I like the suits and the shoes.
Think the coffee thing is a con.
I like real Italian beers, but i will drink most stuff
Some of the super cars are well overrated.
I like a pizza.
But pasta is a bit meh.
It is a strange one how owning a particular car brand makes you proud, defensive, happy and sad all at the same time.
Its life, we are human and have our quirks and i kind of like that.
I prefer to have a car to talk about than one i cant find in a car park.
My Mrs doesn't get it, but im cool with that as well.
Viva Italia.
steveisfrowning and MalcQV like this.

Remind me again, what did i just say?
alfacool is offline  
Status: 6 YEARS LYMPHOMA FREE!! :)
AO Silver Member
 
ronan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Belfast
County: Down
Posts: 4,916

Member car:

156 1.8 Turismo

Couldn't agree more...I love Alfa...I love Italy....but they aren't the be all and end all...the obsession like anything can become embarrassingly cringey at times.
Example....holidayed in Sorrento in July...too effing hot...35c+ every day...food was ok...holidayed in Donegal August...warmish.... perfect 20c every day...and the pizza we ate from the local chippy was a million times better than anything we got in Sorrento
Won't stop me going back to Italy...but Ireland was a more relaxing holiday...and i never thought i would say that !!
steveisfrowning likes this.

Last edited by ronan; 27-08-17 at 09:45.
ronan is offline  
Status: T-5 Days to Unicorn Paradise
AO Platinum Member
 
TheGrimJeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: France
County: Riviera
Posts: 38,319
Japan is where it's at, now.


Bottle of Asahi FTW!
steveisfrowning likes this.
TheGrimJeeper is offline  
Status: -
Unregistered
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New South Wales Australia
County: - okie dokie - uno due tre quattro
Posts: 2,484
i am Italian so i am biased,

i do know the Inglesi are not very well received though lol
steveisfrowning likes this.
Papa Gallo is offline  
Status: Gormless [email protected]*
AO Gold Member
 
Paddy OPlastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ireland
County: Cork
Posts: 8,443

Member car:

Alfa GT JTD 2004

This Inglese was received with warmth and grace on a recent trip.

With some exceptions Italian food is better outside Italy IMHO.
steveisfrowning likes this.
Paddy OPlastic is online now  
Status: T-5 Days to Unicorn Paradise
AO Platinum Member
 
TheGrimJeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: France
County: Riviera
Posts: 38,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy OPlastic View Post
With some exceptions Italian food is better outside Italy IMHO.
That's your cards marked for the next trip.
TheGrimJeeper is offline  
Status: Gormless [email protected]*
AO Gold Member
 
Paddy OPlastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ireland
County: Cork
Posts: 8,443

Member car:

Alfa GT JTD 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrimJeeper View Post
That's your cards marked for the next trip.
Hopefully they'll be marked with a map to decent restaurants.
Paddy OPlastic is online now  
Status: T-5 Days to Unicorn Paradise
AO Platinum Member
 
TheGrimJeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: France
County: Riviera
Posts: 38,319
TheGrimJeeper is offline  
Status: -
Unregistered
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New South Wales Australia
County: - okie dokie - uno due tre quattro
Posts: 2,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy OPlastic View Post
This Inglese was received with warmth and grace on a recent trip.

With some exceptions Italian food is better outside Italy IMHO.
youre Irish, ya great orange gitt, even an Italian knows the difference
Papa Gallo is offline  
Status: Always saving up......
AO Member
 
soolka's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: The Wet Bit
County: Carmarthenshire
Posts: 496
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Gallo View Post
i am Italian so i am biased,

i do know the Inglesi are not very well received though lol
Why not (aside from any football references) ?
soolka is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: London
County: -Middlesex
Posts: 202
I live half the year in Northern Italy and, despite the b*llsache of dealing with a public sector and corporations with not a notion of customer service or even efficiency, I enjoy it massively but I'm not dewy-eyed about it.

Most importantly, although very parochial in some ways, most Italians seem genuinely hospitable to foreigners. I lived in France (Lyon) and found the experience quite stressful. This was not because I was foreign - the French seem quite abrupt and rude to each other as well and the default assumption in any transaction appeared to be that the counterpart was out to do you down. Not a nice way to live your life. Day-to-day transactions in Italy are far more relaxed and much more respectful in my experience.

The small and medium businesses and trades are generally lovely to deal with with people who care about what they are doing. It is a delight watching a time-served expert in a carozzeria, for example, and the painstaking care he will put into a job.

Corporate Italy on the other hand is a mixed bunch. My bank is excellent but if we in the UK think that the Post Office in the UK resembles a Warsaw bread queue from 1977, try the Italian equivalent.

The food is pretty mono-cultural but, at least where I live, it is good and if you change with the seasons it can be quite varied. Supermarkets have a lot of stock but very little foreign stuff and the frozen food is far superior in French supermarkets.

I don't understand the comment about the quality of Italian restaurants. If you keep away from the tourist haunts, it is generally quite easy to find a decent meal for not a lot, but generally the emphasis is on simple food done well and less on the kind of (what my son terms) poncy food you expect dining in France. Very different food cultures. I've eaten far more defrosted food in other parts of Europe (France included) than I have in Italy.

You really do not want to go for a curry or oriental meal in most Italian towns either

Good Italian design is excellent but much of it is innovative for the sake of being innovative and can be very poor indeed, especially with shoes and garments. I'm afraid I seldom buy anything to wear in Italy unless it is in the league of Battistoni. Pound for pound quality English tailoring is still IMV far superior. Sure, Zegna does good cloth and there are superb tailors if you want a 10000 Euro suit but outside the realm of bespoke, there are expensive garments which simply do not hang well or last.

The television is so awful but that means I read a lot more.

The saddest thing though is that, although they can design nice cars, few get to drive them because the taxation system forces them towards the dullest and lowest powered diesel sh*tboxes imaginable. The Ferrari and Maserati are relative rarities and there are few performance Alfas around. When I drive my 156 GTA it excites comment amongst some but the majority are not even aware of the variant's existence.

BTW, it must be taste but I prefer Italian coffee to French by a mile.

Peter
chrishendrix and MalcQV like this.
Fentum is offline  
Status: Gormless [email protected]*
AO Gold Member
 
Paddy OPlastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ireland
County: Cork
Posts: 8,443

Member car:

Alfa GT JTD 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Gallo View Post
youre Irish, ya great orange gitt, even an Italian knows the difference
I'm not.
Paddy OPlastic is online now  
Status: Gormless [email protected]*
AO Gold Member
 
Paddy OPlastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ireland
County: Cork
Posts: 8,443

Member car:

Alfa GT JTD 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fentum View Post
I live half the year in Northern Italy and, despite the b*llsache of dealing with a public sector and corporations with not a notion of customer service or even efficiency, I enjoy it massively but I'm not dewy-eyed about it.

Most importantly, although very parochial in some ways, most Italians seem genuinely hospitable to foreigners. I lived in France (Lyon) and found the experience quite stressful. This was not because I was foreign - the French seem quite abrupt and rude to each other as well and the default assumption in any transaction appeared to be that the counterpart was out to do you down. Not a nice way to live your life. Day-to-day transactions in Italy are far more relaxed and much more respectful in my experience.

The small and medium businesses and trades are generally lovely to deal with with people who care about what they are doing. It is a delight watching a time-served expert in a carozzeria, for example, and the painstaking care he will put into a job.

Corporate Italy on the other hand is a mixed bunch. My bank is excellent but if we in the UK think that the Post Office in the UK resembles a Warsaw bread queue from 1977, try the Italian equivalent.

The food is pretty mono-cultural but, at least where I live, it is good and if you change with the seasons it can be quite varied. Supermarkets have a lot of stock but very little foreign stuff and the frozen food is far superior in French supermarkets.

I don't understand the comment about the quality of Italian restaurants. If you keep away from the tourist haunts, it is generally quite easy to find a decent meal for not a lot, but generally the emphasis is on simple food done well and less on the kind of (what my son terms) poncy food you expect dining in France. Very different food cultures. I've eaten far more defrosted food in other parts of Europe (France included) than I have in Italy.

You really do not want to go for a curry or oriental meal in most Italian towns either

Good Italian design is excellent but much of it is innovative for the sake of being innovative and can be very poor indeed, especially with shoes and garments. I'm afraid I seldom buy anything to wear in Italy unless it is in the league of Battistoni. Pound for pound quality English tailoring is still IMV far superior. Sure, Zegna does good cloth and there are superb tailors if you want a 10000 Euro suit but outside the realm of bespoke, there are expensive garments which simply do not hang well or last.

The television is so awful but that means I read a lot more.

The saddest thing though is that, although they can design nice cars, few get to drive them because the taxation system forces them towards the dullest and lowest powered diesel sh*tboxes imaginable. The Ferrari and Maserati are relative rarities and there are few performance Alfas around. When I drive my 156 GTA it excites comment amongst some but the majority are not even aware of the variant's existence.

BTW, it must be taste but I prefer Italian coffee to French by a mile.

Peter
I like poncy food. The masters of ponce are the Belgians and they make the best Italian and French food IMO.
Paddy OPlastic is online now  
Status: T-5 Days to Unicorn Paradise
AO Platinum Member
 
TheGrimJeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: France
County: Riviera
Posts: 38,319
Only if you want fries with it, though.
TheGrimJeeper is offline  
Status: -
AO Gold Member
 
chrishendrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater London
Posts: 10,896
and mayo
Dave Brand and TheGrimJeeper like this.
chrishendrix is online now  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: London
County: -Middlesex
Posts: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy OPlastic View Post
I like poncy food. The masters of ponce are the Belgians and they make the best Italian and French food IMO.
Not unaverse to it myself, but my son is one of those who will invariably order a rare T Bone wherever he is. The chef is not generally drawing much on his extensive training when cooking for him.

But I'm not sure that Italian food lends itself well to poncification! It's all about letting a (very) few well matched ingredients speak for themselves.

P
Fentum is offline  
Status: Gormless [email protected]*
AO Gold Member
 
Paddy OPlastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ireland
County: Cork
Posts: 8,443

Member car:

Alfa GT JTD 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrimJeeper View Post
Only if you want fries with it, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrishendrix View Post
and mayo
Yum!
Paddy OPlastic is online now  
Status: Gormless [email protected]*
AO Gold Member
 
Paddy OPlastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ireland
County: Cork
Posts: 8,443

Member car:

Alfa GT JTD 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fentum View Post
Not unaverse to it myself, but my son is one of those who will invariably order a rare T Bone wherever he is. The chef is not generally drawing much on his extensive training when cooking for him.

But I'm not sure that Italian food lends itself well to poncification! It's all about letting a (very) few well matched ingredients speak for themselves.

P
I like it simple too sometimes but most meals in Italy are just things put together on a plate with very little subtlety. I like delicate and aromatic sauces, for instance.
Paddy OPlastic is online now  
Status: -
AO Gold Member
 
chrishendrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater London
Posts: 10,896
enough with the mayo already!
chrishendrix is online now  
Status: Gormless [email protected]*
AO Gold Member
 
Paddy OPlastic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ireland
County: Cork
Posts: 8,443

Member car:

Alfa GT JTD 2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrishendrix View Post
enough with the mayo already!
Gotta love aioli.
Paddy OPlastic is online now  
Status: T-5 Days to Unicorn Paradise
AO Platinum Member
 
TheGrimJeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: France
County: Riviera
Posts: 38,319
Mayo is hardly aromatic. Unless it's been left in the cupboard for 6 months after opening it.
TheGrimJeeper is offline  
Status: -
AO Gold Member
 
chrishendrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater London
Posts: 10,896
I agree pretty much with Fentum's assessment
I started my love affair with Italy by falling for my Italian partner in 1982
Several stints living in Rome and then Tuscany followed.
(I didn't get an Italian car until 28 years into the relationship )

I think (and all my French friends agree) that Italians do 'everyday' simple food the best, the French possibly winning out at high end sophistication (or poncy food, if you prefer ).

I have found the (restaurant) food in Rome to be on average better than Tuscany. In the big city there is so much competition that if the food isn't up to scratch folk will go 'next door'.


As for getting better Italian food outside of Italy, my brother prefers Pizza Express pizzas to those he tried in Napoli.... watchagonnado?

This might be due to catering for local tastes, in a similar way that Chinese and Indian restaurants change their menus and recipes to suit the palates of their local customers?? You like what your used to??
MalcQV likes this.
chrishendrix is online now  
Status: T-5 Days to Unicorn Paradise
AO Platinum Member
 
TheGrimJeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: France
County: Riviera
Posts: 38,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrishendrix View Post
As for getting better Italian food outside of Italy, my brother prefers Pizza Express pizzas to those he tried in Napoli.... watchagonnado?
Dead horse's head. Works every time.
TheGrimJeeper is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Misc Lounges > Community Discussions > Rant Room

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome