The square, the church, and the Osteria. In the past, those were the meeting places of Italian people, in small towns and in the cities' suburbs. Places where the rich and the poor used to sit close, where the cultured and the uninstructed could find a way to communicate, sometimes - in the Osteria - around a table, with a pack of playing cards and a carafe of wine.
Literate Nicolo' Macchiavelli was one of the greatest Italians, nevertheless he didn't disdain to spend long evenings in the Osteria with friends, daring in some common amusements. Accompanied by barreled wine, the Osterias never lacked some traditional dishes or a local product, making luscious meals. The Osterias, at the same time, were the places where many people tried to alleviate life's hardness, consoling themselves with some shots in excess. This antique image of the Osteria existed in Italy until the advent of the modern era.
The two World Wars, the industrialization and the strong movement to urban life, changed radically most Italians' lifestyle, giving a hard stroke to the antique Osterias' fascinating world. In a few decades the Osteria was substituted, almost everywhere, by another "institution", also very Italian: the Bar. The Bar for its own nature is a place of transit, fast consumption and too quick socialization.
However, at the end of the 70's, in the same moment that the Bar looked as if it was definitively supplanting the original Osteria, there was the unexpected revival, the come back in "great style" of the Osteria's idea. But, this time, as a place of aggregation for a new subject: a passionate and curious gourmet, often a high-cultured youth, but not always from an upper social class. An intelligent consumer, looking for the quality but who doesn't like trinkets and luxury's exhibition. He prefers mostly simple, ambient, rustic looks as the original Osterias. He wants to be received by somebody like him: maybe wearing denim, but rich of passion and enthusiasm for good food and good wine. And the wine is the protagonist of this rebirth. The comeback of the Osteria, in fact, coincides with the extraordinary growth of Italian wines' quality and with the increase of labels.
Osterias are places to eat very country Italian food and to taste a glass of particular wine, without need to order the entire bottle. The simple food and wines are often original products, small productions not always easy to find. In a word, real gourmet specialties. Riding the wave of this rebirth, old banners have reopened and others, close to shutting, have found a new vitality and now they look very optimistic to the future. Viva l'Osteria!
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