Carla Passino has a way with describing Italian food:
Olives and prosciutto tickled your palate, lasagne oozed meaty creaminess, brasato released its boozy flavours and you lost yourself in a tiramisu. But if you are having a proper Italian meal, the best is yet to come—a small glass of amaro. ~ Amari
Carla is talking about the slightly bitter Italian after dinner treat, usually containing secret herbs and produced predominantly by pharmacies and monasteries.
I like Amari (the plural of Amaro). I like the taste, especially after a large meal. I like also the connection to religious and health institutions. It bucks the puritanical trend in a world at war with itself.
We have our own local amaro in the Lunigiana. It’s Amaro Clementi, elixir di Fivizzano. I think you can figure out the Italian; the town is our market town, Fivizzano. You can buy Amaro Clementi at the farmacia of the same name: Clementi.
So here’s what to do. Find out how to get the waiter to serve you the best food a restaurant has to offer—for which we’ve just prepared a roadmap: Ordering Good Food in Italy —and then ask for an amaro after. You can’t go wrong.
Unless you’re driving…