After reading A Small Death in Lisbon, which I liked a lot but also found to be rather violent and stressful, I read Murder on the Vine by Camilla Trinchieri, because I knew it would be easy and fun. I learned the Italian expression to be a piece of bread, said about a good person. As a bread baker I endorse this saying, which has so many layers. Bread can be crusty and hard on the outside but soft and squishy on the inside. Bread can be sour and delicious at the same time. Bread lasts a long time and can be eaten with almost anything. It can be depended on.
Essere buono come il pane (to be as good as bread): this idiom is used to describe a caring, loving person with a good heart. Few things are as nice to eat as a well baked piece of bread still warm from the oven; if a person is as good as that, it’s really the best you can get. Another idiom with an equivalent meaning is essere un pezzo di pane (to be a piece of bread).
Speaking of bread, there is a bakery around the corner that is tiny and mighty, the smallest bakery I have ever seen. And yet, far better than most… delicious Pain au Chocolat, great olive sourdough bread, fantastic focaccia, with tomatoes and cheese, or with potato pieces and gorgonzola, or with romesco sauce… A neighborhood that contains a place such as this IS a good neighborhood, just as a person who is a piece of bread is a good person. It’s as simple as that.