Tucked away behind an unassuming alley in the tiny Italian village of Pianetto near Galeata magic happens. Believe it. A restaurant revered by the locals, almost as much as the glorious renaissance church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli that sits next door.That is the magic of Osteria La Campanara.
On the face of it, they may seem an incongruous couple; chef Alessandria, slim and serene in her compact cucina, casting culinary wizardry left and right, whilst her more portly other half plays to the crowd like a genial Friar Tuck, bobbing and weaving amongst the tables collected around the small leafy garden overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany in the distance.
The exposed stone wall of the church providing handy shade from the summer sun.
Make no mistake, this is real home cooking, local recipes made from home grown fresh ingredients cooked in the now trending ‘slow way’ but more realistically, the way Pianetto folk have been cooking for centuries I suspect.
However, it seems behind this couple’s jovial facade lies a dark secret; they have insightful and clinical ambition. Not content with creating and running a spectacular restaurant revered by the good citizens of Pianetto and Galeata, they have spent the last year creating a live in luxury cookery school next door where Alessandra can teach her special kind of sorcery to hopefully, a long line of budding apprentices.
This is serious investment, converting an adjacent ancient building into a state of the art kitchen and demonstration area with 5 luxuriously appointed bedrooms above. Roberto dismisses all this business talk with a typical nonchalant wave and another beaming smile, as if this is just a foolhardy adventure. It isn’t. It’s genius. And if it means that Alessandra’s spectacular culinary skills can be shared, well, it’s a win win for all of us.
In the mean time I return to Osteria La Campanara’s garden haven fully intent on devouring another course.
All images (c) Andy Mossack
OK I love it. How can I get there?
Osteria La Campanara Via Pianetto Borgo, 24A, 47010 Galeata Forlì-Cesena, Italy
Tel: +39 0543 981561