That was then, but this is now, after a visit to Bolzano. You can easily find a bad meal in Italy if you try ordering a pasta dish or a pizza in this town. Travelers expect to eat pasta in Italy, but in Bolzano, you are better off ordering Austrian specialties. Bolzano is too Austrian for the Italians and too Italian for the Austrians. You hear both languages in the streets, but there seems to be no blending of the cultures, unless you choose fusion type food, which I suspect, satisfies no one.
I was so upset after our 2nd meal, that I wondered out loud why Italy didn't just give it back to Austria. I later mentioned this to a young waiter we met from Trento, and his response was matter of fact. He said that Austria didn't want it, thinking it too Italianized. He went on to say that after World War II, when the borders changed, Italy transported many Southern Italians to Bolzano in an attempt to integrate more of their culture into the area.
If Southern Italians migrated there, what happened to their ability to make pasta? They invented tomato sauce and Pasta Puttanesca. How could they be abandoned? The tomato based lasagne I ordered would have been better if it were the frozen product of Stoffer; ironic since the company name sounds Germanic. Our pizza was soggy; yes, we stooped to that for dinner, because we craved an Italian taste. This is something one does not expect to find in Italy, the country that invented the pizza.