Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, the critically-acclaimed six-part CNN Original Series that follows Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci as he travels across Italy to discover the secrets and delights of the country’s regional cuisines, continues on CNN International this weekend.
In the fourth episode, airing on Sunday 11th July, Tucci eats and drinks his way around Milan, Italy’s second biggest city and the business powerhouse. Tucci visits the largest cathedral in Italy, meets one of Italy’s biggest fashion dynasties, and goes fishing on Lake Como.
Milan is the capital of Lombardy. It’s Italy’s second biggest city and the business powerhouse.
Stanley’s first stop is the Duomo, the largest cathedral in Italy where he meets Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini. Beppe explains the Milanese eat food for work. But in recent years Milan has become a culinary mecca. Stanley heads to Ratana', a buzzy restaurant led by chef Cesare Battisti. Cesare shows Stanley how to ace a schnitzel, which he contends is Milanese, not Austrian despite the Germanic sounding name.
Milan is home of the aperitivo - a post-work drink served with a light snack. Stanley goes for aperitivo with social media star Tess Masazza and afterwards they head to one of Milan’s super cool bars where you need a password to enter. Here he drinks a refreshing black martini, prepared by one of Milan’s best mixologists, Morris Maramaldi.
Milan is one of the four fashion capitals of the world. While there, Stanley meets one of Italy’s biggest fashion dynasties, the Missonis. Family matriarch Rosita, her daughter Angela and her grandson Francesco cook Stanley some family favorites – tender succulent brasato, creamy polenta and freshly foraged mushrooms.
Next, Stanley heads to the Orobic Alps to meet cheese maker Paolo Ciapparelli. Paolo makes Bitto Storico Ribelle – an ancient cheese made from the milk of alpine herds. The cheese is so incredible that Stanley feels inspired to make pizzoccheri – a noodle made from buckwheat. His film crew try it and love it. But it’s only when the locals give the thumbs up that Stanley is happy.
Stanley then goes fishing with amateur angler William Cavadini on Lake Como. William has formed an association to protect Como from global warming. Stanley catches perch and they head to William’s to cook it with rice, butter and sage.
Stanley’s wife Felicity joins him in Como and together they head back into Milan to Osteria del Treno, a former HQ for the rail workers union. The menu is classic Milanese – veal chops and risotto, good quality but reasonable prices. All classes of people eat here at the huge tables, often to the sound of live music, singing and dancing. It’s a far cry from money-driven fashion-conscious Milan - but a wonderful tribute to the people who built Milan from the ground up.
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy airs on CNN International from July 11th [all times BST]:
Sundays at 12:00, 16:00, 19:00, 02:00; and Wednesdays at 12:00, 19:00 and 02:00