Italy TravelItaly’s First Barter-Only Restaurant Opens in Florence

Italy’s First Barter-Only Restaurant Opens in Florence
Published on Thursday, October 11, 2012 by

Budget travelers to Italy might want to check out L’è Maiala, an osteria that recently opened in Florence, supposedly  the first barter-only restaurant in the country of Italy.  The name of the restaurant means “What a pig!” or slang for “What a tough situation!” Those in a bind – or just curious to experience a barter-for-bites meal –  may want to pay a visit to the osteria near Piazza Della Libertà.

Whitney Richelle, a writer  for  Studentsville has penned a delightful,  first-person account of choosing which items to barter (the owner currrently favors things for the restaurant) and the culinary delights  at L’è Maiala…

Browsing the traditional Tuscan menu by candlelight, we found several specialty dishes with maiale (pork) as the signature ingredient (again, the name of the restaurant) among vegetarian options and the more typical pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup), pici (hand-rolled pasta), and Florentine trippa (cow stomach). Everything was average-priced, making dinner in two (with appetizer, dessert, and wine) possible for around €50,” Richelle writes.

She continues, “Just as we were beginning to wonder if we were the only ones who brought something to barter, the people at the table next to us pulled out a designer sweater and a jar of homegrown, crushed red pepper; and other guests arrived at the front bar with crates of wine and vegetables, kitchenware, and a set of glass vases.”

Although it is touted as a barter-only restaurant, diners are also welcome to pay for their meals in full or if they don’t bring enough items to barter, they can pay in part. Sounds like the place is a hit!

By Kathy McCabe

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Photo by Whitney Richelle, Studentsville

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