The Timeless Fantasy of Stanley Tucci Eating Italian Food

Mar 28, 2021 1061

BY: Helen Rosner

Several episodes of the CNN series “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” open with a message that’s part apology and part warning: “The following episode was filmed prior to the start of the covid-19 outbreak.” For the couch-bound viewer, any travel show is a portal to fantasy. But a show like this—airing in a time like this—is escapism of another order.

Here there are olive trees and cow-dappled hills and the blue-green sea, sure, but also cheek-kiss greetings and crowded piazzas, tiny café tables and narrow alleyways. Tucci, the show’s host, wanders through Italy’s regions unmasked, unfettered, chatting amiably with cheesemakers and pizzaiolos, sipping aperitivos on rooftops, picking up petals of artichoke from a plate in a cramped restaurant kitchen. 

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