Amanda Hunt and Her Grandparents’ Italian Pitcher

Nov 25, 2015 719

By Ligaya Mishan

The ceramic water pitcher on Amanda Hunt's dining table, loosely painted with golden fish in a sky-blue sea, bears the legend "Ristorante 'Sabatini' Roma" and a telephone number. "Should we call it?" she asked. To Ms. Hunt, a curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the pitcher is a family heirloom, a rustic souvenir her maternal grandparents brought home from a starry-eyed trip to Italy in the 1970s.

That provenance matters more to her than the pitcher's place of origin. Still, she appreciates a good back story. Sabatini, it turns out, is a trattoria that has stood for more than six decades on the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, a blue-collar-turned-bohemian neighborhood.

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