At the restaurant in the time of the covid. “Must you have dinner? First disinfect your hands”

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Florence, 22 May 2020 – «Excuse me, excuse me, where are you going? The gel for the hands “. The time to cross the threshold of the Affe di Bacco, a restaurant with two hundred covers in via Giampaolo Orsini, in Ricorboli, and we immediately wave the yellow card under the nose. Wrinkled smile of those who made a involuntary prank, step back, thumb on the sanitizer dispenser that dominates a table (how did we not see it before?) and the hands slide into each other. We are here for a dinner, the first one, in Phase 2. In short, we are here to “secretly see the effect it has”.

Hands are okay. Now we can go sit in the big room. We touch a table for two, the closest customers are at least ten meters away. “I can seat a maximum of 90 people, less than half compared to March,” says Francesco, the owner. Remove the mask at last.

With one elbow we drop a paper envelope. “I’ll bring you another one right away,” she says very kindly Amal, one of the waitresses together with the quick Sara. “No, it doesn’t matter. But what is it?” “How does it matter? It’s the container for the mask”. Think about yourself. Here’s the menu. It is plasticized, we remembered it different. “But wasn’t it paper?” “But the paper absorbs, we have changed them all” smiles Francesco.



An eye on prices, there seems to be no retouching. “Absolutely, the prices have remained unchanged. This is certainly not the time to raise them,” points out the owner. “When customers arrive, they ask us ‘How do you eat?’ And we explain to him that, except for some foresight it’s all the same “Sara smiles.

In the club about twenty people, Florence still has the handbrake pulled. The smell of disinfectant on the hands as we scroll through the list with our fingers – paccheri alla norma, rice with cuttlefish ink, steak, beans with bird – at the beginning it is a bit strange but it is all in all pleasant. We choose, we order. The waitress joins us and takes notes smiling but far from the table.

Sliced ​​gorgonzola beef and radicchio, a fish soup for our photographer, half a liter of bulk white and a mineral. Not carbonated.

Automatically, before the arrival of the dishes, you have to wash your hands. “The bathroom is at the far right” (some things never change). We get up, two steps and (second) gentle call. “Alt, alt. Put on the mask.” We don’t grab one tonight. Soap, gel again, then hairdryer to dry hands. We eat, we chat, the voices echo as if there was an echo.



But it’s all pleasant, after the first few minutes, those who remember more than that bastard of Covid 19. Two coffees and we go to the cash register. “Alt”, there is a yellow ribbon attached to the ground. You don’t go beyond that. This time we realize it by ourselves (with another mistake so march they would have thought that we are not so lively then). To pay, the ATM is extended, the owner in turn extends the Pos. We type, say goodbye and go to the exit. “A moment”. “Yup”. The coffee killer is offered.

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