Two days ago I reported on how Italian food was the big winner from culinary globalization. How are things going in Italy itself?:
Annual spending by Italian families on restaurants and cafes shrank nearly 2% between 2007 and 2014, Eurostat’s latest data show, while consumption of ethnic foods such as Chinese or North African has nearly doubled during that period.
The Masuellis—with a back-of-the-envelope way of running their business—can’t get bank loans to modernize their restaurant. They had to sell a property to fund the restaurant in 2011 and 2012, and have also reached into their own pockets to pay salaries and taxes at times.
Mr. Masuelli considered firing some of his five employees, but the rigid labor laws meant the cost of dismissing them was too high. At the same time, new health and safety regulations have eaten into profit.
More broadly there is this:
Officer Pang is a top supervisor in one of China’s biggest police departments, in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou. But for two weeks, he and three other Chinese police officers are in Italy with strict orders: to protect Chinese tourists.
Of course it is only four officers, but isn’t that what they said at first about RoboCop? I also enjoyed this paragraph:
“It’s our duty to make Chinese fall in love with Rome and Italy,” said Alessandro Zucconi, the president of the Young Hoteliers Federation in Rome, who agreed that “misunderstandings” sometimes occur between the two cultures. “They are not like the Germans, who mostly come knowing our culture and literature better than we do.”