I’m coming to the conclusion that there is no such thing as going for a ‘quiet drink’ in Italy. By that I don’t mean that a quick drink at the local inevitably turns into an all night drinking session, I mean that the word ‘quiet’ coupled with the words ‘Italian bar’ don’t naturally go together due to the high level of engaging, interesting people you’re bound to start debating with on various subjects.

This was the situation I found myself in, when last night I decided that it would be a good idea to go for a fabled ‘quiet drink’ at a local wine bar. After a day spent evicting a swarm of bees from my garden I decided I deserved a drink and duly pottered into town for a glass of wine.

Sitting in a corner, I was soon approached by an acquaintance of mine, who for the purpose of this post shall be called M. M is a stout, middle aged accountant, he is best characterised as being… vocal. Yes, I’ll settle with vocal as over opinionated sounds a little harsh. M was keen to know my opinion on the newly tattooed statue of David, an exact replica of the famous Michelangelo statue which had been decorated with tattoos drawn by a group of artists. Not knowing much about it, I ummed and ahhed for a while about ‘updating classical art’ and ‘bringing the contemporary together with the classic’ before M shot me a shrewd look and launched into a tirade against it.

As M’s voice is hardly the quietest, we attracted the attention of a small group of people who came over to argue the pro’s and con’s of a tattooed David with M. One thing led to another and within an hour their was a group of no less the 20 people surrounding us, the debate having evolved by then into the comparative merits of modern art.

And this is what I mean when I say that I don’t believe that the concept of a ‘quiet drink’ translates into Italian.