Lunch with the Mafia

The next morning, we slept in to recover from Pompeii. Had a leisurely breakfast. And walked to Il Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta. It was a stunning church on the inside. Especially the Cappella di San Gennaro. Filled with lavish art and decoration, the entire room felt robust and uplifting. The metalwork appeared to freeze time and capture a moment.

The ceiling of the main church is reminiscent of Tintoretto.

We went down to see the crypt of San Gennaro too. Such time dedicated to celebrating the saint. The ceiling sculptures took my breath away.

Then we took a break at the hotel before venturing to the St. Lucia area of town. Good thing too because they were celebrating carnavale. We walked around searching for a restaurant. Close to 2pm and we begin to panic. 3pm and all restaurants close.

We go in a pizzeria, entering through the kitchen and walk upstairs to a deserted room. No one comes to give us menus. Waiters see us and ignore us. We get up and go further in and find another dining room. We are seated but when OL opened his napkin, a bug crawled out and raced across the table. OL said I’m not eating here and we got up and left.

Shit. We wander along that street and then double back. We cut across Piazza Reale toward the water expecting to find restaurants on the water. Nope. In Desperation we cut down Via Santa Lucia. We see a pizzeria/restaurant open and walk in.

The waiter ignores us so we seat ourselves. It’s 2:30. The menu looks fabulous so I decide to order a primi and secondi piatti. Big mistake. The food is delish. OL his best pizza ever. I love my pasta.

But the place has a weird vibe. The owner is running around like the pope is coming to dinner. He’s rearranging tables. He’s grabbing waiters to rearrange the rearranged tables. I feel like I’m in an SNL skit. He’s adjusting everything in the room. And the restaurant should be closing at 3 not getting a big party arriving.

And then they walk in. Oh shit. We’re having lunch with the mafia. A small table of 5 arrives. The owner fawns over them. Then another table arrives and the owners practically kisses their feet. Then the big table arrives. OMG. I just want to leave but my second course is coming so we are stuck.

Then they begin ordering which means my food is never coming. We watch prosciutto and mozzarella flow to the tables. Seafood is brought out and presented prior to cooking to see if it meets their acceptance. The cook comes out to greet people. And all the tables clearly know each other.

The energy in the restaurant raises the hair on my arms. I can barely eat my food when it arrives. But I just want to leave. So I push it down my throat. Then we get the check.
It’s 28€. so I hand him 2 20€ bills. Then the change comes. He brings us a handful of coins. OL counts it. He shorted us 4€. So he points it out. And the waiter counts it and slips 2 € into the pile. Still shorting us2€. then he demands a tip. OL explains that is his tip and we walk out.

We then stroll by the water to Castel D’Ovo. Trying to chill out from the intense lunch experience. The water is beautiful and the area is lovely. Hear a guy playing a skeleton violin beautifully. We take some pics of the area and then walk back to our hotel which is about 2 miles away.

We eat at our fav restaurant again and prepare for our return to Rome.

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