al fresco.


local alfresco dining

so welcoming, jovial, relaxed, and natural

 The term al fresco comes from the Italian and loosely means “in the cool air.” We use the term to mean dining outdoors. Interestingly, the Italians don’t use the term for dining outside.

Italians use the expression ‘al fresco’ to mean ‘in the chill’ or ‘in the cool’. For example, when they want to convey keeping things in the right places, they’d say ‘keep the cheese al fresco’. But these words also have another meaning. When tourists in a restaurant are wanting to eat outside, they usually say they want to eat ‘al fresco’. In Italian, the expression, ‘Al fresco’ literally means ‘in prison’. The reason for this may be because in the past, prisons were very cold places with thick walls (‘fresco’ means ‘cold’). So, don’t be angry if, when you say: ‘I’d love to eat al fresco’, the waiter laughs, because you are actually telling him: ‘I want to eat in prison’. Instead what you need to say is: ‘Vorrei mangiare fuori’ or, ‘I’d love to eat outside’. Note it to remember it for your next Italian trip, and let the waiter know that you want to eat in the open air and not in prison.     

“seating themselves on the greensward, they eat while the corks fly

and there is talk, laughter and merriment, and perfect freedom,

for the universe is their drawing room and the sun their lamp.

besides, they have appetite, nature’s special gift,

which lends to such a meal a vivacity unknown indoors,

however beautiful the surroundings.”   

-jean-anthelme brillat-savarin

51 responses »

  1. Good advice, my friend! Also, do not be surprised if the bar you visit does not have tables. Italians prefer to do their drinking around the dinner table. Bars are usually reserved for a quick visit to imbibe your favorite drink and then move along.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The eating outside season is quickly approaching us “down here” … tomorrow is going to be a sunny 19’C (67’F) … and I’m finally fit enough to visit the outdoor style of my fav’ place, the Box Office Cafe …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I too am someone who only enjoys eating outside if the weather, sun, and bug conditions all sync together to be perfect…which of course they rarely are. We have enough trouble keeping the flies outside when we’re grilling. That being said, there are plenty of folks who like outdoor dining judging by the attendance at restaurants we often drive by. And, I would rather eat outside than in prison any day of the week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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