Actor Stanley Tucci Says Buongiorno to CNN with New Show Celebrating Italian Cuisine


(via Forbes)

Dominic Rascati, Entertainment Editor

Get ready to sit down with an English-to-Italian dictionary and grab an espresso. Academy Award-nominated actor Stanley Tucci is taking viewers on an unforgettable culinary tour of the cradle of the Renaissance in a new CNN Original Series, “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.” 

Tucci has set out to show that Italian cuisine is more than just pizza and spaghetti. Each of the country’s 20 regions, much like U.S. states, have their personalities and styles of food. 

Of course, you can’t ignore the world’s favorites. The first episode, which premiered on Valentine’s Day, had Tucci walking the streets of Napoli while learning about the origins of pizza, mainly fried pizza or “pizza fritta.” Surprisingly, the Italian staple came to life during another historic outbreak when frying the pizza dough turned out to kill bacteria that caused cholera.  

Now Tucci wants to show the more unseen eccentricities of Italian cooking. Speaking of Italy’s diversity in an article for CNN, Tucci says, “They don’t get the extreme diversity of it — that if you’re in Sicily you’re less than 100 miles from the coast of Africa, and if you’re in northern Italy in Alto Adige, people are speaking Swiss, Italian, German — a combination of Italian-German and Swiss-German.” 

Italy is relatively young globally; Despite being soaked in ancient history, the country only unified in 1861. The combination of religious and political influences has contributed to the nation’s people and its food as well. 

The CNN Original Series has Tucci traveling to Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Milan, Bologna, Sicily, Rome, and more, following in the footsteps of CNN’s late food king, Anthony Bourdain. This is the network’s first food and travel show since Bourdain’s death in 2018. 

When Bourdain first took over the CNN scene in 2013, people wanted a break from the hectic cycle of politics to sit back and explore good food and exciting places. Nowadays, Stanley Tucci is here to deliver the same escape with his flair and cultural influences. 

Speaking of the new show to The Hollywood Reporter, Tucci says, “The show that we are doing is distinctly different than his: I am not nearly as adventurous as Tony was, not nearly. Or as brave. But what he did is open the doors to all of us who were interested in food, and travel, to explore in our own ways.” So say arrivederci to your troubles and explore Italy’s incredible landscape of culture and food. 

“Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” is on Sundays on CNN at 9 PM EST.