A beautiful Memorial Day weekend brought larger crowds than ever to the I Madonnari chalk-painting festival held in front of Old Mission Santa Barbara. “Everyone was really happy to be back out together in person. It was packed,” said Kai Tepper with a note of awe in her voice, as she sat on the Mission lawn on Tuesday, watching a continuing stream...

More than 40 years ago, I spent a college summer in Santa Barbara, by day studying postwar Italian cinema and at night immersing myself in the local New Wave music scene, which drew on punk rock, surf rock, reggae and even tiki. Many of my peers sheared their hair and dyed what was left purple. It felt like a time of cultural revolution. I drank st...

When the annual I Madonnari street-painting festival returns to the Old Mission this weekend after two years of operating online, participants and attendees will celebrate more than just la dolce vita, Santa Barbara–style. From its beginning, this iconic expression of collective effervescence has had its roots in the year-round activities of the Ch...

Alberto Morello never shied from proclaiming that his lifelong goal was to open a Sicilian restaurant in honor of his upbringing on that Italian isle. But who knew this pensively jovial chef behind the Olio e Limone family of downtown Santa Barbara eateries wanted to be a professor of history, art, and culture as well? In just my first few minutes...

The L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele folks are staying busy, with planned outposts coming to Long Beach, California and New York City. The group isn’t planning on slowing down, either, because they’re soon to jump north with a new location in the Central Coast city of Santa Barbara. The incoming arrival of L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele — the famous 150-...

After deciding to drop its ship logo, the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Board of Education has hired a consultant at a cost not to exceed $75,000 to create a replacement. On Wednesday night, the board unanimously agreed to hire Zeste Consulting, a Studio City-based firm. In September, the board heeded calls from some in the community...

Follow your passion. It seems like a simple concept, but it can be easier said than done. It takes courage, sacrifice, self-awareness and a firm belief in yourself and what you can accomplish. Tom Gamboa followed his passion and it led to a career in baseball that lasted over four decades and gave him a front seat to history on multiple occasions....

When you feel like indulging in some good old-fashioned comfort food, there’s nothing like paying a visit to your favorite Italian joint. We’ve got plenty of fantastic authentic Italian restaurants in Southern California, but there’s none like Petrini’s in Santa Barbara! Around for decades, this restaurant exudes the atmosphere of Italy through its...

Via Maestra 42, a North State Italian restaurant and deli, is serving its authentic Italian favorites under new ownership. Well, somewhat new. The restaurant’s now-retired owner Renato Moisio wasn’t going to let his legacy go to just anyone, so he called someone the restaurant’s regulars are likely to remember. Nicole Bitar worked as Via Maestra 42...

A few summers ago, on the last afternoon of a somewhat exhausting family vacation to Europe with our young kids, I slipped through a tourist-jammed square near Florence’s Ponte Vecchio into a smaller, almost abandoned piazza just steps away. This is where I found Le Volpi e l’Uva, an enoteca whose mellow vibes belied a revelatory wine selection and...