The daily diary of a wandering restaurateur
May 18 - A Rainy Day in Tuscany

What to do when you have a classic Italian villa and it is raining? The short version is to stay in all day, do laundry, read and generally goof off. The only real venture of the day was dinner at Canta Napoli ... and that only because we thought to call and make a reservation.

We are finding that absent the group, we have become very laid back. It seems that no matter what plans we might talk about -- drive to Orvieto and Pitigliano, cruise the Chianti region -- we never get moving before noon and it is just too late to motor on. The good news is that we have lots of places that we want to see on the next trip! I guess it also means that we may arrive home rested and relaxed rather than totally frazzled from the typical tourist marathon. Maybe tomorrow ...

We finally made it to Canta Napoli and had a delightful meal. The place was nearly empty at 8pm when we arrived ... and was packed 30 minutes later with a decidedly local crowd. There were a lot more families than we have seen elsewhere and we were surprised to see so many young children out that late at night ... although I guess it is only late by US standards.

So what is the secret of Canta Napoli? Why are they full every night when most others in town are not? Obviously I have only tonight's meal to draw a conclusion, but here is my best guess: They offer a slightly differentiated cuisine (Neopolitan vs. Tuscan), they have a kitchen that knows what it is doing, the service is friendly, the prices are very reasonable, the place is spotless and they execute consistently. In short, they do the work! It is a pretty radical formula for success!

What to do on a rainy day?

Canta Napoli ... at last

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