Italian Restaurant Decor
While the standard image of Italian restaurant decor revolves around chequered table-cloths, images or statues of grapevines or of major Italian tourist attractions, the truth is, restaurants in Italy are decorated in diverse ways. It all depends on the provenance of the cuisine being served, and the target clientele.
Some restaurants emphasise the conviviality of the atmosphere, like La Libera in Milan with a woody decor, simple chairs, an open kitchen. The emphasis is on comfort, la gioia di vivere, the joy of life. Or there could be more formal restaurants where the owners could choose great wall paper, muted lighting, strikingly antique fixtures, beautifully patterned carpets, and ornate tables and chairs.
Others can have great decorative items on the walls, and dark wooden floors contrasted with elegant tablecloths, like Dal Bolognese in Piazza del Popolo in Rome, for instance.
In between are a range of modern restaurants, with backlit shelves of wine, that provide sleek seating arrangements with mirrors and plain walls.
Restaurant decor in Italy is also sometimes a matter of family story, as a lot of businesses tend to be family-run affairs. The decor could be the idea of one or all of the family-members, giving it a homey, cluttered, welcoming feel.
Again,a lot of Italian restaurants could have paintings and pictures in their decor, but this is hard to generalise.
Cenare al fresco is a favorite Italian pastime. A lot of restaurants have the option of dining outside in the summer months, like in Antica Focacceria di San Francesco in Palermo. Be it a trattoria or a ristorante, Italians like to indulge in their well-known habit, on wooden tables and chairs placed on stone pavements, occasionally shaded by an umbrella.
So, Italian restaurant decor is as diverse as the imagination of its owners. What you're likely to find in an Italian restaurant is a great atmosphere and interesting odds and ends around you which make great conversation pieces.
By Damyanti Ghosh