Music: Opera in the Saloon

The lined, grave-faced old Italians come to roll bocce balls for 30¢ a game in the indoor courts behind the bar, or to drink a poncino (coffee laced with brandy) and play long, silent games of pinochle. But now and then the pinochle stops in mid-meld, and the bocce bowlers push through the swinging door into the bar to stand watching the small stage. Occasionally, as a mark of highest respect, the old men take off their hats.

What attracts them is the same lure that brings steady crowds of tourists and local fans...

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