Tacconi Trattoria and a Surprise

24 Jun

A few mornings ago, we happened into a very small trattoria just down the street from us for cappuccino. I noticed a sign that said they were only open for lunch. I introduced myself, and asked the lady for a menu. In Italian, Graziella said there was no menu, just what she was cooking each day.

This morning after coffee, I told her we’d be back for lunch. She took me in the small kitchen to see what she was making…the scents were already divine. As  you can see in the pictures, there was tomato sauce with meat already simmering and another pan heating on the flame with olive oil, garlic, sage, and just added cannelini beans.

We returned later for lunch and had the best pasta with meat sauce ever! And I don’t even like meat sauce! Before the pasta, she surprised us with just fried zucchini blossoms. And of course, the Florentine Bistecca, which they cook over an open flame and fan the charcoals to obtain the perfect heat and flame height. (That’s two steaks more than I have had in a long time!)

And here’s the surprise. As I took pictures, Graziella asked if I was a writer. I explained that I had a blog and would feature her restaurant. She then told me she had a friend that’s a writer, and then she went to a glass cabinet to pull out some books. Three books in Italian… all autographed to Graziella by none other than Frances Mays.

I have mentioned in an earlier post that I have read Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany. Frances Mays clearly put Cortona on the radar of many a traveler to Italy. That said, however, we did not come here looking for her nor have we ascended the hill to find Bramasole. In fact, unlike the real Julia Childs in Julie and Julia, most people don’t even know what Frances Mays looks like…They often imagine her as Diane Lane, from the movie, as shown in many posters around Cortona.

Graziella and her husband Angelino have a collage of pictures hanging on the wall. She took me over and pointed to one of her and Frances Mays. She then told us we were sitting at the table where Frances somtimes comes to write. A fortunate stroke of serendipity for me! And now you and I know what she actually looks like!

Ciao, Ciao,


5 Responses to “Tacconi Trattoria and a Surprise”

  1. Sandy Holswade June 24, 2011 at 6:33 PM #

    Oh, this is just too much fun!! I bet you meet Frances before you leave, especially if you go there every morning for your coffee.

    Judy, I am getting so hungry for “real” Italian food, I can hardly stand it! The pictures of food look delicious.




  2. Glenna September 26, 2014 at 2:27 PM #

    Graziella is related to me. My mother is from Cortona. I’ve eaten lunch there a couple times and I agree the surprise of the lunch menu is half the fun. Angelino always makes funny comments. Even though I don’t speak Italian, I don’t seem to have a problem communicating with my family. Such a special place for me.


    • blogginginitaly September 26, 2014 at 2:41 PM #

      Glenna, We always love stopping in for lunch with Graziella and Angelino. And you are right…even if you speak no Italian, the food is the great equalizer…everyone loves the food and the smiles are abundant! Thanks for writing. Judy


      • Glenna October 29, 2014 at 4:23 PM #

        I just had the privilege of meeting Frances Mayes in Nashville at a wining tasting of the Tuscan Sun Wines. Of course I asked her about Graziella and of course she knew the restaurant and both Graziella and Angiolino. Oh how I miss Cortona!


      • blogginginitaly October 29, 2014 at 4:48 PM #

        But always so nice to talk to someone who misses it too!!


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