In the 90s, Roma had few pubs, which offered a place to sit and enjoy a pint of your favourite beer. Men dominated the space behind the bar and pushed women to the kitchen. Lorenza had no choice but to work as a cook to support herself in her university days. She used to prepare simple snacks and tiramisu from her aunt’s recipe. A pleasant addition to her daily wage was free booze that was pouring in streams after the closing hours. Students life is not a sad life.
This July, I visited Lorenza in Rome. Early one morning, we set off to the oldest fishmonger in Ostiense: a neighborhood known for its street art and old industrial buildings. We were on a mission to stock up for that evening’s seafood dinner. It was a hot summer day filled with urban noise and a humid breeze from the Thyrrhenian Sea. The fish monger shop was straight out of a story book. It clearly hadn’t aged well and there were no windows inside.