Che Ti Dice La Patria? (Hemingway)

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Che Ti Dice La Patria?
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Two men traveled through Italy, encountering various people and situations, including a young Fascist, a complicated restaurant, and a rainy drive along the coast, ultimately leaving Italy with mixed feelings.

Two friends embarked on a road trip through Italy in an old Ford coupé. One day, they picked up a young man who insisted on riding on the outside of the car.

That's a young man that will go a long way in Italy, I said to Guy. Well, said Guy, he went twenty kilometres with us.

They eventually dropped him off in Spezia, where they decided to find a simple place to eat. They chose a restaurant where the waitresses were overly friendly and flirtatious.

This isn't simple. This is complicated.

The friends felt uncomfortable and left as soon as they finished their meal.

The Narrator — narrator; traveling through Italy with his friend Guy; observant, sarcastic.
Guy — the narrator's friend; traveling through Italy; practical, cautious.

As they continued their journey, they encountered heavy rain and muddy roads. They stopped for lunch in Sestri, where they met a sad-looking couple who ate in silence. The friends read about the Shanghai fighting in the newspapers and discussed their plans to leave Italy that night.

The weather improved, and they drove along the coast, passing a Fascist on a bicycle who later fined them for having a dirty license plate. They argued with him but eventually paid the fine and continued on their way. After driving for two more hours in the dark, they spent the night in Mentone, which seemed clean and lovely compared to their experiences in Italy. The entire trip took only ten days, and they did not have the opportunity to truly understand the country or its people.