• Menu
Home » Destinations » Europe » Italy » The One Where We Had To Eat Scampi With Pliers in Sardinia, Italy

The One Where We Had To Eat Scampi With Pliers in Sardinia, Italy

This article may contain affiliate links, which may earn us a commission - at no extra cost to you - if you use one of our links. Please see our disclosures page for more information.

Once upon a time, Scott and I travelled here, there and everywhere without doing as much travel planning as we do now. Okay, fine, we barely did any travel planning at all.

Is it okay to admit that?

In our defence, travel blogs weren’t as widely available as they are now and we didn’t spend money on physical travel guides if we were jetting off somewhere for a casual getaway.

Of course, this means we’ve had plenty of travel fails along the way. It also means we have a ton of stories to tell. Most of them are hilarious.

Now, let me tell you about the time when we had to eat scampi with pliers in Sardinia, Italy.

The Emerald Coast in Sardinia, Italy
The Emerald Coast of Sardinia, Italy… where this story takes place

The One Where We Had To Eat Scampi With Pliers in Sardinia, Italy

But before I tell you this story, I imagine you’re probably looking at your phone or computer screen in confusion if you’re from mainland Europe, the US or further afield. Hear me out for a moment…

Here in the UK, if you ask for scampi on the menu, you’ll get something like this with a side of chips (fries):

An "upmarket" version of British scampi with chips (fries)
An “upmarket” version of British scampi with chips (fries)

The British version of “scampi” is langoustine covered with breadcrumbs or batter and it’s a common “pub grub” dish.

But little did Scott and I know that “scampi” is plural for “scampo”, which means prawn in Italian. And no, they don’t usually cover their prawns with breadcrumbs in Italy.

So, imagine our surprise when the waiter brought over dining equipment akin to nutcrackers! All we could do was look at one another across the table and laugh.

Trust us. We’d only gone and ordered a meal neither of us knew how to eat.

Eating scampi in Sardinia, Italy with pliers and other tools
Erm… what do we do with these?

And then along came the scampi… I mean, they had claws and everything!

A plate of Italian Scampi with claws and no breadcrumbs
And here’s what Italian scampi looks like…

To tell you the truth, neither of us can remember whether we actually enjoyed Italian scampi.

I think we spent so long trying to figure out how to eat them that our food went cold. And I’m not at all convinced either of us managed to get much meat out of them anyway. Facepalm.

Of course, if this had happened to us today, we could’ve whipped our phones out and typed into Google: “How to eat scampi with pliers”.

But back in 2015, we didn’t have free international roaming like we do now (thank you legacy Three contract!) And we certainly didn’t have enough Internet data to watch a video if one existed.

Even to this day, we can’t find any useful info on how on earth you use the tools we were given. This article from Spruce Eats is probably the closest we’re ever going to find.

The funniest part? When I think back to the moment we decided to order “scampi”, the price of €30 per plate should probably have been a red flag. We pay about a tenner here in the UK! Oh, the lessons we learn from travelling

Also… The One Where I Learned How To Snorkel

But finding out what real scampi is wasn’t the only thing I learned that week. Scott also taught me how to snorkel.

Justine snorkelling in Sardinia, Italy and sticking her thumbs up
Snorkelling in Sardinia for the first time… I’ve since learned that a thumbs up means you want to go up and out of the water rather than “Hey, don’t I look cool?”!

That’s right, the first time I ever snorkelled was in Costa Smeralda (the Emerald Coast) in Sardinia. Where rich people with sunseekers and yachts come to play.

And there was me in the background. Squealing and splashing about because I almost stepped on a spiky black urchin. But that’s a story for another day…

A row of sunseeker boats in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
Sunseekers lined up in Porto Cervo on the Emerald Coast of Sardinia

Top Tip: If you want to get a photo of yourself mid-snorkel, take a cheap selfie stick into the water along with your waterproof camera. I say cheap because then you won’t care as much if the salt water ends up ruining the selfie stick.

Over to you now… what are some travel fails you’ve experienced? We’d love to hear about them so drop us a line in the comments below…

And, if you liked reading this story, then you might also enjoy these other travel fails!

If you're finding our blog posts helpful, we would love it if you would consider donating to our "Buy Me A Coffee" site. Thank you so much for your support xoxo
Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *