Lucca Italy bans non-Italian Food ~ Romancing Italy

Feb 3, 2009

Lucca Italy bans non-Italian Food

There are usually two sides to a story. One side says "we are not going to have new ethnic restaurants within the walls of Lucca" and of course the other side claims that there is discrimination to ethnic groups or immigrants. I am sure there is more to the issue than just about food.

I have to admit my first reaction was that it just wasn't right to take away equal opportunity not to mention the variety. I happen to like variety when it comes to choices of food.

Then I thought of the reason why I wanted to vacation in Italy in the first place. It was to experience the old world, with narrow streets that suddenly opened onto a piazza and chairs set out in the sun outside a cafe serving espresso. It was to get a feel for style of life gone by, that hadn't changed with time. To be Italian for a short while, do Italian things, stumble over Italian words and eat Italian food. It was to be a sensory experience, seeing the beautiful countryside, walking streets filled with history, running fingers over intricately carved stonework, eating traditional foods, drinking lots of good wine and listening to musical gibberish.

I know that times change and we have a lot of outside influences, which is good for growth and expansion. It's part of how Michelangelo became as awesome as he was. But for tourists, people like me who want a taste of the Italian life it's a good thing to put limits. The limit is just within the old walled town itself as the rest of Lucca is still open for all kinds of eateries. Why not preserve something that has contributed to one of the main revenues of Italy's economy...tourism.

I think of San Francisco, a properly multicultural city. Chinatown was downtown, near the financial center. It has grown and grown and like a weed, has found another area to root. At the beginning of the avenues, from around 1st Avenue to the 6th, another Chinatown thrives.

From a tourist point of view, and even from one who likes to find some Chinese, Japanese and kebab here in Italy, I think there are times that limits are good.


  1. I agree. Delineating the kinds of restaurants you want in a tourist area is just the same as giving permits to museums, shops and people who want to paint their houses purple. Besides, immigrants too can learn to cook Italian.


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