> SlowTrav > Italy > Restaurants > Reviews > Emilia-Romagna

Parma: Al Veliero

Via Emilia Lepido, 29/a , Phone: 0521 244387 / 242070

Reviewed by: Nick Dwyer from England, review #3772

When: 2011

Wood baked pizza. One waiter, a Serb, speaks fluent English and deserves an award for fostering international friendship.

Al Veliero Pizzeria, photo by Al Veliero

After 300 miles in the car, it was a slog to leave the hotel to find a restaurant.

This one was worth it. A lively street-side terrace on a hot night attracted us and a wood-fired pizza oven in the foyer convinced us. I asked the maitre d' in Italian if he spoke English. "Moment" he said and gestured down the restaurant to a charismatic English speaking waiter who swept us under his wing and out to a table on the covered terrace.

He was welcoming and explanatory without being overbearing and the pizzas were the best our eldest children had ever eaten.

Six huge pizzas, some prosciutto, 4 cokes and 3 very large beers only came to 65 Euros. Our waiter even told the local gangsters sitting at the table near us (yes, local colour was laid on) to stop interrupting his conversation with us with their orders for more beer. This was in Italian of course. I tried not to catch their eye after this.

I asked him about his fluency and he said "I'm a foreigner too. In Serbia we learn English from 5 years old."

While one waiter doesn't make a restaurant, the combination of exceptionally fresh pizza and an unusually welcoming individual resulted in a memorable meal abroad.

If you're ever in the Hotel residence in Parma, please give the Al Veliero a try. Maybe ask the maitre d' if anyone speaks Serbian.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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