Welcoming travelers and tourists is done by people, so when I walk around I always try to talk to the locals and get involved in their stories. And I have never been disappointed!
So, when I went to Ciciliano for the Town Ambassador project with Alessia Pieretti, councilor of the Metropolitan Area of Rome, I went into all the shops in the historic center there is only Roberto de Luca's butcher shop (read also) and then I asked the mayor Massimiliano Calore to show me where to eat.
“In the historic center you can experience Roman-Argentine-Neapolitan music and cuisine. Tamurriata and fettuccine”, Massimiliano tells me. It intrigues me a lot, also because when some friends from abroad come to visit me I always take them to the Taverna del Barone in Fumone, where the waiters play the accordion and sing. Sure success, who knows if I have an alternative in the Aniene Valley!
A few steps from the historic center, just below the church of Santa Liberata, run by Lebanese monks of the Maronite order, I see the beautiful stone building of 'Grano in mano' while in the background the imposing beauty of the Theodoli castle observes us.
We are welcomed by Lorenzo de Girolamo and Mariana Carolina Scigliano, he is Neapolitan, and she is Argentinian. A flag of Argentina but above all an exhibition of author paintings and two great works whose technique I cannot define.
“They are works created with photosynthetic plaster, the first with a negative and the second directly with sunlight“, Lorenzo tells me proudly. “My family in Naples had been taking art photographs for generations, then digital photography arrived and my father went into crisis. So, I decided to try to give another life to analogical techniques and this is the result.
We'll take care of the lunch, we'll let you taste the fusilli made in the scialatielli’ way, handmade fusilli but with the dough of scialatielli.
In the meantime, a little music to warm up the room”.
And Lorenzo takes the tammorra (for the uninitiated it is a large Neapolitan drum with a leather membrane) and beats a tamurriata, while Mariana begins to dance.
They met this way, and have never left each other. Destiny brought them to Ciciliano and they opened this place basically during the COVID. But they are welcoming and amazing people.
First comes an appetizer with fried bread and Argentine white wine, and then this delight of a fusillone along with a meat sauce. But let's go back for a moment to tell what is particular about the dough of scialatielli, which are the typical pasta of the Amalfi coast.
The history of scialatielli is quite recent and they were invented in 1978 by Enrico Cosentino who mixed durum wheat semolina with an egg, pecorino (or Parmesan), milk and a little EVO oil.
In a few years they have become an emblem of Naples and their delicacy is a surprise for the palate.
I leave with a promise, if they organize Lebanese dinners with the help of the monks and other inhabitants of Ciciliano of Lebanese origins, I will definitely come back. And if there is also an organ concert by Francesco de Luca, then they will have totally conquered me!