Turtles in Calabria: Anything But the Turtle Soup, Per Piacere

I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but several people have sent me this article in the past few days, so I just have to share it:

Confused sea turtles march into restaurant

That’s right! Right here in Calabria, in the province of Cosenza, about 60 newly hatched sea turtles took a wrong turn and instead of ending up in the sea, showed up for dinner at a restaurant instead, startling diners, of course, because who expects to see a baby turtle crawling over your shoe while you’re digging into your primo piatto?

Wildlife officials think that the turtles were confused by the bright, artificial lights of the restaurant and simply turned in the wrong direction in their quest to dive into the sea.

Turtle vertigo?


And although Calabrians are known to eat some weird stuff, don’t worry — they (we!) have a special fondness for the baby turtles. Lots of mommy turtles make their nests on Calabrian beaches, and here is one little tartaruga that even made our village blog!

And so, the turtles in Cosenza were rescued and escorted back to the beach.

No word on whether they were given anything to eat first.

Buon weekend!

And check out my Guarda! column this week at Italy Magazine:
La Festa del Redentore in Nuoro, Sardinia.

22 Beans of Wisdom to “Turtles in Calabria: Anything But the Turtle Soup, Per Piacere”
  1. 08.22.2008

    Such a cute little turtle! I took a peek at the village blog — is it for Badolato Superiore only or also for Badolato Marina (I looked, i promise! There’s events at both listed so I am leaning towards both)? Also, totally random question — you mentioned many Calabrase village/towns have a Superiore part (on the mountain/at least 3-5 km from sea) and then a more-modern Marina counterpart. In those cases, does that mean two town goverments/mayors etc., or one?

    City Girl’s last blog post..Fashion Friday — Interesting NYT Style Article and Target Mini-Boutiques

    Yeah that turtle actually is from Spain; it was just the photo that went along with the news story on AGI.

    As for the blog and southern Italy in general, there’s not much distinction of the upper and lower parts of the towns other than physically; that means that there’s just one government (although two physical seats, one up and one down that actually do different things…IDs are only issued “down” whereas genealogical research is all “up”).

    If someone asks where I live, I simply say “Badolato.” It’s only really specified if asked, well, specifically. It’s usually not even specified on the mailing addresses b/c the streets are apparently all different (amazing that there’s no overlap!).

    And yes, the blog is for all of us ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 08.22.2008

    Poor little chap. Do we know what happened next?

    casalba’s last blog post..Taverna La Staffa

    All turtles were returned to the water; no telling what happened after that though…positive thoughts!

  3. Gil

    Casalba, There were around 60 baby turtles according to the article that I read and they were either brought back to the seaside where the turtle nests are or brought to wildlife rescuers.

    I saw that article and was waiting for a turtle soup recipe to appear! I remember hearing about some of my old French-Canadian neighbors making turtle soup out of the big snapping turtles they used to catch out of the muddy neighborhood pond. It is supposed to be quite the delicacy but I never tasted it.

    Turtles are actually quite protected in Italy from what I hear; I’ve never had turtle soup either, and I don’t think I will anytime soon either….

  4. Oh that is precious! That is a great Friday morning story… thanks. Also, LOVE the pic of you and your mom in your flickr stream!

    Cherrye at My Bella Vita’s last blog post..Love Thursday: A Bit of Love from Mickey Mouse

    Thanks Cherrye! I’ll send you the link from my “mom” post that you missed while you were in TX ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 08.22.2008

    Too funny! I wish I had been there with my children when the turtles came marching into the restaurant…that would have been a great sight to see!

    Saretta’s last blog post..A Poem

    I would’ve loved to have seen it too ๐Ÿ™‚ Imagine!

  6. 08.22.2008

    Those of us who watch “Superquark” were told that almost all baby hatchling turtles die before adulthood, which made me very sad. Still, what would they eat if all the millions of them survived? I don’t even know what they want to eat, or how they get it.

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Friday: wine, food and Communist fish

    Very sad fact of life indeed, Judith. That’s why I said who knows what will happen after that in a previous comment response. But yes, cycle of life and all that stuff….

  7. 08.22.2008

    Yeah!!! Thank goodness there was a happy ending!!! I was holding my breath, hoping that they were rescued and brought *home*

    Must have been quite a sight in the restaurant ๐Ÿ™‚

    My Mรฉlange’s last blog post..Love Thursday:Three good souls

    Indeed they were Robin…exhale!

  8. mentalmosaic

    As I mentioned to you before, I thought it was funny that the article thought it pertinent to add that the turtles wandered into an Italian restaurant. I mean, hey, it’s Italy; is that such a surprise?

    I’m so glad the little guys were cared for, though! ๐Ÿ™‚ A pal of mine has actually swam with turtles before. Wouldn’t that be lovely?


    mentalmosaic’s last blog post..by: michelle of bleeding espresso

    Oh that would be *so* fun indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Your village has a blog. The 21st century has truly come to CZ… I don’t even think Brighton, Mass has a blog.

    They need more pics, though. And a What’s Cooking Wednesday wouldn’t hurt…

    paul of crazy like whoa’s last blog post..Day 4: 7,136 words

    I’ll see what I can do….

  10. 08.22.2008

    Awww, poor little sweeties. Glad there is a happy ending to this story!

    Must’ve been such a cute sight, don’t you think?!

  11. 08.22.2008

    Speaking of Calabria – I was in my library yesterday and we have an AWESOME collection of music there. I was getting a variety of CDs and I ended up finding a collection of Calabrian songs – from those music evenings like the one you recorded last year. I can’t wait for some non-writing time today to listen. The cover looked just like your video!

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday: Cucumbers in Sour Cream

    Ooh how fun! I hope you enjoy Jen!

  12. 08.22.2008

    What a souper story!

    To quote you:
    “And although Calabrians are known to eat some weird stuff, donโ€™t worryโ€“they (we!) have a special fondness for the baby turtles.” I also have a special fondness – for sea food!

    Are you quite sure these little darlings did not end up as a ‘soup of the day’?!

    All the best,


    Alex’s last blog post..What is the Right Food for an Italian Commie?

    I’m blocking my ears, er, eyes…la la la la….

  13. 08.23.2008

    How cute and what a treat for the dinners…er maybe treat isn’t the right word…good experience maybe? ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad they made it back on the right track after their restaurant diversion…

    Mrs. L’s last blog post..Small Plates – August 22, 2008

    Hee hee…they just wanted a field trip!

  14. 08.23.2008

    I have a turtle! Squishy and I want to set him free now that he is bigger then my hand. But I’m afraid he’ll be some animals dinner!

    lucy’s last blog post..10 Minutes From Home

    Ooh sounds dangerous to me; I’m always nervous about animals being released back into the wild….

  15. 08.23.2008

    I have never heard of turtles taking a wrong turn, that’s crazy! I would love to have seen the look on the diner’s faces when the turtles came in. I am glad they made it back to sea.

    I imagine it was quite a sight Tricia! Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. 08.24.2008

    LOL! Interesting story. Glad they made it back in the right direction.


    Paz’s last blog post..Queen of Puddings

    Glad you enjoyed Paz ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. 08.24.2008

    Thanks to you and Gil for answering my question.

    casalba’s last blog post..Riviera del Conero

    No problem ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Oh, I’m glad they were rescued! Great story.

    Welshcakes Limoncello’s last blog post..BISTECCA ALLA PIZZAIOLA

    Yes, the happy ending was definitely the best part for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. 08.25.2008

    That’s so funny! I’m glad they were escorted back to their homes. Wonder if the lead turtle, the one whose idea it was to stop for dinner first… wonder if they others are annoyed with him for not stopping to ask for directions…

    Could you hear the conversation?

    “Henry! Henry… this doesn’t look right, we should stop and ask for directions. Well of course I’m sure you know a great many things, and yes, of course we trust you, but uh… this just… doesn’t… look like… hey! That’s lobster ravioli isn’t it?”

    HA ha ha ha…

    Hhadn’t heard about it, thanks for putting it up!

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..Settling Matters Of The Heart ~ The Cardinal Rules Of Love

    Love the dialogue! I’m sure the leader caught hell all the way back to the sea…especially if he was male (and who are we kidding, we KNOW he was) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. 08.27.2008

    What a sweet story. I just read a book that talked about preserving the sea turtles, so this a neat follow-up to that book.

    Chel’s last blog post..Homesickness, my old friend

    Oh how fun! I love when the universe works like that ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Clem

    poor little guys.
    when we’ve vacationed in certain areas of the Florida coast, we’re instructed to keep any lights facing the ocean OFF – but it’s for the female turtles. They get confused by the lights when coming ashore to lay their eggs. never heard of the babies hatching and heading inland!!! now THAT’S confused!

    Now you have me wondering…maybe the nest was actually right there nearby b/c Mom got confused and really they were just doing what Mom said, so to speak…hmmm….

  1. [...] some turtles in Calabria got a bit turned around and, instead of crawling into the sea, crawled into a n... italylogue.com/italian-news/italy-news-082408.html



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