Friuli-Venezia Giulia Is an Italy Far Removed from Its Stereotypes

Feb 14, 2018 427

BY: Oddur Thorisson

White jackets were swirling around my wife in the blue light of an antiseptic room in the village of Tarare, near Lyon. A village I had never heard of, nor planned to visit. I had expected to be seated, at precisely that hour, at my favorite restaurant, some 220 miles away in Turin. I had expected my favorite white jacket, Andrea, to greet us with his usual warmth, and other white jackets to bring me a Negroni and my wife her favorite cocktail, a mix of red wine, vermouth, and something else. But the white jackets in the emergency room cut off her clothes and served no drinks at all.

All of this because on our way to Venice from Bordeaux our Land Rover had taken an unfortunate tumble in a tunnel. I booked a hotel for the night (my wife was not keen on sleeping in that blue room, even facing a plausible back injury), and though the website promised a restaurant, the voice on the phone declared it closed. At 9 p.m. Could they prepare a plate of cheese and ham perhaps? “Non, pas possible.” What did they suggest? “McDonald’s.” I looked at my wife and said, “Let’s stop this nonsense and go to Venice, my love.” The doctors regarded me, one of them clutching our 16-month-old son, with a mixture of horror and shock. My wife gave me a smile that meant she agreed, and then a look that suggested we were probably crazy.

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