There was a melancholy sweetness about Capo d’Orlando. When I’d last passed through the town in July it had been pulsating with people who had all the raw energy of holiday-making. The beaches had sprouted sunbrellas like exotic mushrooms. The sea was a playground. The air was bright with the sea-gull cries of children. Bars bustled. Restaurants were turning tables.
All that had ebbed away. Only one or two sunbrellas dotted the tawny beach. The sea was flat blue. The sky was a flat blue. It seemed like one of those long, empty scenes in an Antonioni film designed to express the ennui of life. The occasional car trundled along the sea front. Some of the restaurants were shut up. In others waiters went about their business in a listless fashion, more in hope than expectation.
I found the Ristorante Odeon and settled to zuppa di ceci e vongole, rife with garlic, fruity with tomatoes; and then piatto rustico, a hubbub of bits of sausage, strips of egg, shreds of green chicory and battlements of fried bread. What a splendid pub dish this would make, and went to bed.