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I, like my wife Livia, am from a family who have been in the hotel trade for four generations. After hotel management school in Stresa, we wanted to open our own restaurant, and this prompted a bit of a row in my family. For ten years, and with this hanging over us, we kept both the hotel and the restaurant going between us before devoting ourselves body and soul to the Don Alfonso 1890 restaurant. We have travelled, studied the customs, the food, the vineyards, the markets for fruit, meat, fish in places where there are lively traditions. Then we set up our own farm “Le Peracciole”, which has become an integral part of our restaurant.
I use San Marzanos for sauce bases, the large tomatoes from the Salentine Coast for salads and tomato aspics, and cherry tomatoes as a garnish for pizzas. I also use cherry tomatoes for our “Don Alfonso” spaghetti, with a special pasta created by an excellent small producer.
The tomato was part of my upbringing. We are lucky enough to have eight hectares [20 acres] of grounds, where we grow many types of organic citrus plants, including three varieties of tomatoes. Our region is one of the best for tomatoes because it doesn’t get very cold at night and there are no wide temperature fluctuations.