I found it hard to believe, but it works. If you have problems with mobile phone reception, put your phone in a drinking glass and after a few seconds you get up to two bars more, which in my case creates the difference between no recption and being able to use my phone.
So a few years ago one of the waitresses there discovered (how?) that if you put a phone in an empty glass it dramatically improves the reception. The Pasta e Basta restaurant is basically stuck in a concrete basement so reception has always been awful. But since they found out about this trick they at least have had enough reception to make and receive calls.
The waiter gave me glass, I put my iPhone in, reluctantly, and lo and behold: I got 3 bars and no 3G but some GPRS. Not perfect but a huge improvement from the ‘No signal’ message I got earlier.