Well, I hadn’t realised the Sunday Telegraph would have such impact in a provincial Italian town.I’d decided to keep pretty quiet about the piece I wrote on Fondi a few weeks ago, on the grounds that the information wasn’t there to boost local egos but to help people who didn’t know the place to enjoy themselves here. I point out some of the most attractive places to visit, best places to eat, the usual stuff. I also point out that one of the town’s restaurants is a place to be avoided ‘unless you like being told what to eat by the owner’. I could have said a lot more about this particular place: that the food is over-priced, that the owner treats his customers with contempt, that he refuses to provide a menu, something required by Italian law, and laughs at people who ask for one. I could have, but I didn’t.
I suppose it’s foolish to expect anonymity when your name and photograph appear beside the article, so I wasn’t surprised when some of the people mentioned started to ask for copies. But I didn’t expect to hear that the owner of the offending – and now offended – restaurant was threatening to have me driven from the town, as though it were his personal fiefdom. This is a typically anti-democratic reaction to acts of lèse majesté, so if I’m kneecapped (or disappeared) in the next few weeks, you’ll know who to blame.