During our early evening walk we found a piazza tucked away from the crushing crowds of tourists. Populated only by locals, this piazza seemed to be a gathering spot for people out walking their dogs during the evening passeggiata.
A word about dogs: on this trip to Italia, we noticed that more people than ever own dogs. Dogs are everywhere, following their owners through town, into buildings and restaurants — anywhere their owners went. (And no, I did not see an over abundance of dog poop.)
It seems the Italians have really embraced dog-loving as much as we Americans — I was especially delighted to find that almost all the dogs are small (undoubtedly for the similar logistical reasons why Europeans own small cars) — AND I noticed that Dachshunds were a very popular breed. A European corroborated this observation.
At a small bar at the edge of the piazza, we sat at one of the metal tables and enjoyed a glass of Campari, watching friends greeting friends after a day’s work. I noticed several people were drinking a delicious looking orange colored drink, which I have since learned is an aperitif called Spritz al’ Aperol, which originated in Venice and is now common all over Italia.
It consists of 1/3 Pellegrino water (or other bubbly water), 1/3 Prosecco (Italian champagne), and 1/3 Aperol (the Italian aperitif that lends the drink its orange color). I recently found Aperol at our nearby Total Wine store, so I can now enjoy a Spritz — pronounced “spreetz” — as often as I want. (In fact, I’m drinking one as I write this paragraph!)
A medieval well with a garbage container inside marked the center of the piazza. We watched curiously as a man walked up to the well and stood there for some time digging through a wallet.
One by one he pulled every item out of the wallet, inspected it, and either threw it away, or replaced it inside the wallet. His actions were somewhat suspicious and we tried to guess what he was doing. Was he a pickpocket examining the spoils purloined from his latest victim?
He glanced over at us more than once, but seemed unconcerned that we were intently watching him. When he had finished with his wallet assessment, he ambled away. And we went back to our drinks.