Lecce’s native son and artist Alberto Buttazzo!

One lazy afternoon while strolling the cute streets of Lecce, we entered an unassuming shop. It was hardly recognizable as a shop from the outside.  Inside Alberto and Dino were sitting and chattering away as if they have been waiting for our arrival all this while…

We did not know that we were looking at the portrait of an artist, until we started looking around the shop. I saw a print and immediately knew it would be mine. Maker turned out to be Alberto himself. 

 

When people like each other no matter what the languages they can communicate. Though we know some limited Italian it was easy to connect with him.  He told us about his art and showed us his books, prints, the printing machine and more. 

  

 This is Alberto’s passion!  He has been doing this since 1934, his father founded the La Teatrale typography shop in 1926.

 

Dino, his brother in law, and AnnaMaria, his sister – a soprano, joined our lively conversation.  Also we had the pleasure of meeting Antonio, Dino’s talented son.   

Hard not to fall in love with culture, art, passion… we felt lucky that we walked in on this history waiting to be told and heard.

 

If you are visiting Lecce, drop by and say hello to Alberto and family. The shop is located at Via dei Perroni, 21 Lecce.  If you are far away then follow him on Facebook at Tipografia Del Commercio Lecce.

Grazie Alberto!!!  

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Cooking with Lecce’s best Chef Gianna !

We had been waiting for this cooking experience for weeks. It was important to us to make this travel a learning experience since we love to cook and eat. 

Chef Gianna and Giorgio gave us the full experience of cooking in traditional Lecce style.  We met in the early evening by Piazza del Duomo.  We strolled together to the market in a leisurely way while getting to know more about each other.  We all have a passion for cooking, eating, and enjoying good company as a common characteristic.   

Market experience was fun, we watched how Gianna and Giorgio selected cheese, tomatoes, and other ingredients. The market owner and staff were great.  This is an integral part of feeling and breathing the whole experience.  These are the kinds of memories that are priceless.  We loved it!! 

 

We arrived at the beautiful Cooking Experience kitchen. This is where they cook and entertain the guests.  

 

It is lovely, comfortable, fully equipped with anything needed for cooking a great meal.   

The menu was focaccia, orecchiette, stuffed eggplants, and pastacciotto , which is the local custard desert.  

   
 Drinking wine 🍷🍷 while we cooked made the whole process even more fun. Chef Gianna is full of great tips and lessons. We made the entire dinner from scratch!! 

  
 

Learning how to make the orecchiette was amazing. We made eggless pasta dough that could be used for any type of pasta. Chef Gianna showed us in detail how to make the pasta.
  

We tried our best to follow Chef Gianna’s instructions. Yes! she did use the pasta we made for dinner. She was gracious and kind to say we did well.  We think we need more practice 😉

The fully hand on experience was very satisfying. We made everything together. Giorgio assured us not to worry about taking notes since he send the precise recipes to all the students. This helped us relax, concentrate and have more fun. 

 

Voilà!!   the finished pasta… it was as delicious as it looks.  What’s remarkable is that time flew by, we had great laughs, and a great meal while learning without any strain or intimidation.  Giorgio and Chef Gianna have this easy going style that makes any level cook feel comfortable.  
While we did only one day, you can customize and book several sessions with Chef Gianna.  Start planning your cooking experience; contact Giorgio for details at cookingexperiencelecce@gmail.com 🇮🇹