One of the first things we did when we got to town was walk down and sit on a bench in town in front of this statue commemorating Calitri’s fallen soldiers (I think that’s what it’s dedicated to). Sitting there I glanced up the street toward the borgo and reveled in the knowledge that we were finally there.
On our first morning we set off in search of an open bar to get a cappuccino when I spotted the sign for a pasticceria (pastry shop). Of course I insisted that we stop in and check it out. Coffee would have to wait.
The shop isn’t very large, but the case was full of tempting baked goods. I’m not sure if the baker is also the owner of the shop, but she was so charming and every time we visited she gave us a little something extra to try. I had to have the sfogliatella. This isn’t something I would normally seek out back home, but seeing that it is specialty of the Campania region it was my first choice. The pastry was incredibly crispy while the filling was creamy with a hint of citrus. I almost ordered a second one!
Calitri isn’t very large and there aren’t a lot of restaurants. On our trip here twelve years ago we had lunch at Osteria 3 Rose and knew we wanted to dine there again. Tucked into a street in a residential neighborhood this restaurant seems to be a favorite with the locals.
We ate there twice during our stay and now that I’m home I wish had gone a few more times. I’m still dreaming of my plate of cingul, Calitri’s specialty which are a version of cavatelli. This is a dish I grew up eating at my grandmother’s table and of all the meals she prepared for us, this was absolutely my favorite. Hers were melt in your mouth tender and Osteria 3 Rose’s were just as good. In my attempt to recreate my childhood memory I paired it with braciole, rolled veal which had been simmered in a simple tomato sauce. The portion served of cingul was more than I could eat and of course now I wish I had finished it anyway.
Thursday morning the traveling mercato sets up shop on one of the main streets in town. I loved this display of herbs, but more than that the two men manning the booth were adorable. The older gentleman was thrilled that I wanted to take a photo and made me show him how it turned out. He inquired as to where we were from and when I told him San Diego he just shook his head, so I mentioned Los Angeles, then Hollywood and finally Disneyland. None of it meant a thing to him!
All of the produce looked amazing and it made me want to get in the kitchen and get cooking. Shiny firm eggplants, baby artichokes, tiny pears and what I think is puntarelle which I’ve only ever seen once here in California. Next trip, when I hope to stay for a month, I will be cooking with the stunning local produce.
Panini Girl in Lucca May 2018 for more info get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org