The Italian Town Where You Can Eat Like a Renaissance Royal

Mar 01, 2022 901


Every morning by 3 a.m., at his shop in the northern city of Ferrara, Italian baker Sergio Perdonati recreates a Renaissance bread. Using a 90-year-old starter (which his father managed to save after the bakery was bombed during World War II), he rolls two lengths of dough, one beneath the palm of each hand, until they begin to curl. He then presses the two pieces together at the middle to form an “X” and pops it on a tray with a dozen others ready for baking.

With a texture like a soft breadstick, the coppia remains Ferrara’s favorite bread nearly 500 years after its invention. In fact, much of the city’s traditional cuisine is an ode to 16th-century cooking and the tastes of the city’s rulers at the time, the powerful Este dynasty. Ruling from 1240 to 1597, they transformed the city into a sophisticated artistic and cultural center.

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