Montgomery – Pietrasanta Culinary Exchange Program
The first connection of Montgomery, Alabama and Pietrasanta, Italy occurred in 1904 through the discovery by Italian sculptor Guiseppe Moretti of Sylacauga’s marble. An official relationship fostered by their respective mayors was instituted in 2009 as a way to explore and instill an appreciation of the unique history and culture of each city.
As part of a cultural exchange and through the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Montgomery was honored in April 2009 by a visit from Pietrasanta dancers, musicians and artisans. Alabama residents were able to attend an evening of opera, enjoy a Tuscan film festival in addition to viewing art and sculpture exhibits. Moving forward to 2019, a Tuscan delegation visited Montgomery. This group, that included Senator Massimo Mallegni and Chef Gianluca Tolla, worked with Chef Eric Rivera and his team at Vintage Hospitality Group to provide an array of Italian inspired dishes for guests to experience.
Much like the 2009 event, we envision an exchange of chefs, whereby each city would be represented through the hosting of future special dining experiences featuring meals and ingredients respective to each region’s history and location. This program would open the door for additional community opportunities through cooking classes, culinary presentations, tastings, specialized menus, and more.
With continued culinary investment and the Spring/Summer 2021 opening of Ravello, a fine dining Italian restaurant, the Culinary Exchange Program will continue to contribute to and build upon Montgomery’s relationship with its sister city, as well as broaden the community’s appreciation into the area of culinary arts.