We did not know much about Orvieto so we were quite surprised when we
discovered that the whole city was built on the top of a mostly flat rock.
The evening was approaching when we arrived. "Experienced" travelers
as we were by now we first looked for the piazza where everyone is…
well that is after we climbed on the walls surrounding the city and looked
over the cliff which height made me dizzy…
The town has a beautiful gothic
cathedral from the early 14th century
which was unfortunately already
closed, but still managed to impress us
with its rich façade that is decorated
with mosaic and pieces of marble in
different colors that create various
But our most vivid memory of Orvieto goes to the "Pasta Nazi". In one of those narrow
streets we found a lovely restaurant and decided to have a small dinner because we
were not overly hungry; just a plate of spaghetti and a glass of wine we thought. We
sat down in a narrow but very nice dinning room that had two long rows of tables.
Since we were one of the first guests, we picked the table by the window and were
soon joined by another English speaking couple, teachers from California on their
sabbatical as it turned out later. But let's go back to our waiter.
First he asked us a bunch of questions in Italian and when he figured out that we do
not have a clue what is he taking about; he offered us an "aqua" with gas or no gas.
My husband looked at me and mumbled: "I don't want no gas in my water", and was
overheard by our neighbors who explained that that meant carbonated. After we
decided that we would prefer a glass of wine rather than water, we chose the wine we
liked and tried to order a glass. He looked at as, walked away, came back and with a
loud thump put the whole bottle on the table. We were trying to protest but were
totally ignored. He came back and asked me what would be my first course.
I tried to tell him that this would be also my only course when he repeated with the increasing voice: "Priiiiimiiii!?!" and I
quickly ordered my spaghetti. Than he followed in the same tone: "Seeecondiii!?!, and again I ordered my second course
as fast as I could. That caused some frustration across the table and my husbandasked me why I ordered both courses as
we had agreed on just one. Before I could even answer he was faced with the same questions in the same tone and we
had two more "primis" and "secondis" coming… It was than that we realized that Seinfeld's Soup Nazi must have his
counterpart in Italy and we have just met the "Pasta Nazi"… And the legend has it that two tourists died in Orvieto that
day. They were two teachers from California on their sabbatical. Probable cause of death: they could not stop laughing…