The Italian city of Viareggio—famous for its carnival—is one of the most visited in Tuscany for its beauty, culture and excellent culinary delights.
The city dates from the first half of the 16th century when it became the only outlet to the sea of the ancient Republic of Lucca.
Today, the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte is one of the most luxurious accommodations in Viareggio. It houses the restaurant Il Piccolo Principe (The Little Prince), where—every day—the talented young chef Giuseppe Mancino delights diners with his culinary charms.
The restaurant is especially attractive for its location. It is situated on the hotel’s fifth-floor terrace and features an elegant and relaxing dining room. A sublime option for summer is to have dinner by the pool or on the garden deck, which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the steep Apuan Alps.
Giuseppe Mancino, born in 1981 in Sarno, in the Campania region, attended the Hostelry School of Salerno and began his career working in various prestigious hotels and restaurants.
In 2005, he arrived at the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte as chef of the Il Piccolo Principe, and in no time his work was recognized with very flattering reviews in Italy’s most prestigious gourmet guides, such as the Gambero Rosso and Espresso, which led him to obtain his first Michelin star in 2008 and the second in 2015.
Giuseppe is considered one of the great young exponents of the new creative Italian cuisine. He is an innovator that—at the same time—shows great respect for the traditional Tuscan cuisine. He is also an arduous defender of the cuisine that will not alter or transform the real flavor of the ingredients, something he learned from the teachings of the great French chef Alain Ducasse.
His respect for the raw materials is demonstrated in his tasting menus—Degustazione dal mare and Degustazione dalla terra, that reveal an outstanding modern interpretation of the best dishes of the cuisine of Viareggio using seasonal products.
Among other delights, the menu includes green ravioli stuffed with cod, sea snails, algae and yellow tomato, red mullet, fennel cream, vegetables “panzanella” and fish soup sauce, and the incredible, creamy risotto with saffron, crisp veal sweetbreads, and licorice.
Those who enjoy the celebrated and much awarded Tuscan wines, will be in heaven, as the wine list at Il Piccolo Principe contains a judicious selection of over 800 fine wines from this region, as well as other Italian wineries from Piedmont, Sicily, Puglia, Umbria, Sardinia, Veneto, Friuli, among others.
Il Piccolo Principe offers a substantial, balanced and tasty cuisine that reflects the unique talents of Giuseppe Mancino, a chef that shines as brightly as his two well-deserved Michelin stars. ■