by Melinda Gallo

Un aperitivo al cinema

Dave found out on the Odeon cinema's Web site today that on Tuesdays there is an aperitivo (aperitif) for 5 Euros each from 8PM until the beginning of the film. We decided to go since normally we go to the earlier showing. And luckily, we didn't go any earlier because we had thunder and lightning since this afternoon.

Instead of going to the left where the snack bar is, they opened another bar on the right. A man took our tickets for the movie and allowed us to go into this new area. As I handed the barman our red pieces of paper to get drinks, he asked us, "Cosa gradite?" (What would you like?) He was offering red wine (Chianti), white wine, or prosecco. Dave and I both asked for a glass of red, which we really liked.

There were a few people seated in the large chairs and sofas. The lights were dimmed and gave the area a nice atmosphere. I was almost hoping they'd have candles on the small tables that a few of the people were seated at.

We walked over to the buffet and placed a few hors d'oeuvres, like little toasts with salsiccia (sausage) and bite-sized warm pizzas, on our plates. Dave went back a few times so that I could keep our one sofa chair that I sat in while he sat on the steps. We ate quite a bit to make sure we didn't get too tipsy from the wine. We skipped dinner before coming, thinking that a light buffet would suffice. And it did.

I saw many people walk outside of our area by stepping over the rope. I wasn't sure if we couldn't go into the theater from where we are since this area isn't normally open. I asked the woman, "Possiamo entrare da qui?" (Can we enter from here). She responded, "certo" (of course) and so we walked up the small steps and opened the velvet curtains to enter.

Dave and I love going to this movie theater because it's an old theater that was probably used for stage performances at one time. There is a dome overhead with ornate architecture that really makes you feel as if you are somewhere else entirely. Because it is on two floors, there is a lot of seating.

The only thing I do not like about going to movie theaters in Florence is that generally people don't know how to sussurrare (whisper). A couple in the back seated at least 10 rows behind us could be heard for the first half of the film. Then, another couple a few rows back, but on the other side of the center aisle were talking throughout the entire film. I could hear a low murmur throughout. I looked back a few times, but to no avail.

During the intervallo (intermission), I took one picture of the theater from where I was seated and it was blurry, so I tried to go to the back of the theater and take another picture. By the time I got to the back row, the lights went off and the intervallo was over. I ran back to my seat in the dark.

We're hoping to attend another aperitivo at the Odeon cinema again, but there are no other movies we're going to see on Tuesdays for awhile. It's a great idea to have an aperitif before watching a movie; it definitely cuts down on the snacking during.

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