Oh my goodness, the amount of times I've said I'd like to eat al fresco, thinking it means "to eat outside". NOPE !!! think again, I've just discovered the Italian phrase "Al Fresco" in Italy has a very different meaning than everywhere else.
If you're planning a trip to Italy you should know that there are several expressions that don't have the same meaning as what you may think.
Al fresco for example is a typical Italian expression but used in two different ways. So Italians use the expression "al fresco" to mean "in the chill" or "in the cool". So if they want to keep things in the right place, they'd say "keep the cheese al fresco", but these words also have another meaning.
How many times have you visited an Italian restaurant and want to eat outside, you would usually say you want to eat "al fresco". So I've just learned that this is a funny mistake because in Italy this has a completely different meaning, "Al fresco" literally means "in prison"! It gets its meaning because in the past prisons were very cold places with thick walls and "fresco" means "cold"
So, if the waiter laughs when you say: "I’d love to eat al fresco", it's because you are actually telling him "I want to eat in prison"!
Time to learn some Italian, to eat outside what you need to say to your waiter is "Vorrei mangiare fuori’" or you could just say, "I’d love to eat outside". Remember it for your next Italian trip or Italian restaurant with the rooftop terrace and let the waiter know that you want to eat in the open air and not in prison.