Yesterday was “Festa Della Donna,” or Women’s Day. Women are traditionally given mimosas, fragrant little yellow flowers. It’s not a romantic gesture like a valentine. For example, the director of the language school I’m attending gave each woman on his staff three (odd numbers are good luck in Italy) candy-coated almonds packaged with a small sprig of mimosa. Women give mimosas to their girlfriends, too. My class consists of three women, and our teacher brought mimosas for each of us.
But wait, there’s more! It’s also traditional – or at least popular – for womenfolk to leave the men at home that night and go out for dinner together. I had been planning a quiet evening of study last night, but when I heard about these parties, my plans changed in a flash. Sure enough, the sleepy little restaurant I’ve been frequenting wasn’t so sleepy last night. There were several large groups of women enjoying the sisterhood of friends.
But that’s not all they enjoy. A few of these parties feature strippers. This was all explained to me in Italian, but I think I got the story right. Handsome men, some dressed as, say, police officers or firemen, will enter a restaurant filled with these tables of women of all ages and … don’t make me go on. Apparently the restaurants arrange for the entertainment, but the men do accept tips.
I was offered directions to a restaurant in Orvieto Scalo that promised a cultural education I wouldn’t forget, but I chose to stay closer to home. My sleepy little restaurant didn’t have any outside entertainment … I don’t think. I wasn’t the last one to leave, so who am I to say what went on last night?