While on a recent trip abroad, my wife and I ventured off the tourist-beaten path in Verona and found ourselves enjoying a splendid aperitif in an unassuming cafe. Our host was Francesco Finetto who, with his wife, owns and operates Il Convivio with that combination of warmth and efficiency that seems to be uniquely Italian.
A medical doctor, Francesco practiced for almost a decade. He then opted out, pouring his savings into the cafe. The passion, joy, and love he brings to the enterprise is obvious from the moment you walk in the door of the place. He greeted us with a sincerity that can be lacking in more touristy venues, offering us complimentary hors d’oeuvres and making suggestions regarding the cafe’s menu, which was charmingly written on a chalkboard. The food was simple, abundant, and delicious.
Most of his customers are local and regular. He and his wife (also a doctor) put in long hours in addition to raising their 13-month old child, but Francesco’s candor exemplified an Old Money principle: “I do what I love. I don’t have a boss. I get to talk to my friends all day long. What’s better than that?”
He does what he loves, and he’s really, really good at it.
Complimento, Francesco. Well done. And thank you for the grappa.