Book Review "Breaking Bread In L'Aquila"

"When a project is conceived out of passion, its roots show."
This is the case with the new Italian trattoria-style cookbook, Breaking Bread in L'Aquila



A collection of recipes? Hardly just that.

Maria Filice is an ardent fan of the city and traveled many times to L'Aquila, the hometown of her late husband, Paul Piccone. On their numerous travels there, Paul introduced Maria to San Biagio, a small and charming homestyle restaurant, owned by two brothers–Andrea and Luciano Carlofelice–experts in making customers happy with their warm smiles and their fresh, local, and incredibly tasty dishes.

Breaking Bread in L'Aquila is inspired in part by those memorable meals, but even more so by a deep love for the joviality and warmth of shared hospitality. But above all, the book is inspired by the enduring love for Paul, the man who transformed Maria's life. Breaking Bread in L'Aquila is, essentially, a delicious love letter.

Maria was prompted to write her book when she visited L'Aquila a few months after her husband Paul passed away. As the book shaped itself, her visits intensified and in the aftermath of the April 2009 earthquake, Maria reports:

"When I was leaving L'Aquila on my short visit in September 2009, in the lobby sitting next to me was an older woman, relocated there from her crumbled home in the city. We made eye contact. I smiled, and she asked me what I was doing in L'Aquila. I told her that I was finishing my book and that I had wished to see L'Aquila once more before I could put closure on my book's introduction. She looked at me and gripping my hand, said, "Don't forget about us." I was moved. This deepened my resolve to complete the book, and release it on April 6th 2010–the anniversary of the earthquake–as a reminder to readers of the Abruzzo region's suffering. I promised the elderly lady that I would help by donating the net profits of my book to L'Aquila."

Breaking Bread in L'Aquila, whose recipes are inspired by those sampled over the years at trattoria San Biagio, includes Maria's favorite appetizers, main courses, side dishes, desserts and regional wines.

Bold, colorful, and easy to make, Breaking Bread in L'Aquila's Abruzzo-inspired dishes are as gorgeous to look at as they are to savor. The 49+ recipes, which are organized according to the days of the week, are made with ingredients available in anyone's local market.

In her practical and entertaining cookbook, Maria guides readers on a personal journey, complete with charming storytelling and tasty tips, to one of the most beautiful areas of Italy's countryside.

The net proceeds of this book will be donated to the earthquake restoration efforts of L'Aquila.

About the author: Maria Filice, a first-time author, food stylist and food blogger, is a first-generation Canadian-American Italian. Born and raised by immigrant parents from Calabria, Maria grew up following her family's Old World, old-school values. She learned her cooking skills from the best: her mother, grandmother, and aunts, whom she carefully studied from the time she could barely walk.

Join us in celebrating Abruzzo's fine food, wine and music at the "Breaking Bread in L'Aquila" Italy book launch with author Maria Filice

Saturday, May 15th 2010 at 5 p.m.
Sextantio albergo diffuso
Via Principe Umberto – 67020 Santo Stefano di Sessanio (AQ) Italy

Contacts for further accommodation info:
Tel. +39 0862 899 112