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Trattoria da Gianni: The Guidicellis Open Their Family’s Kitchen to Cebu

In Italy, family and food are taken very seriously. Take it from the Guidicellis, a family whose love for food runs in their blood. Spearheaded by the father and daughter tandem, Gianluca and Giorgia Guidicelli, Trattoria da Gianni is the family’s way of honoring the memory of their patriarch, Gianni Guidicelli, who always expressed his desire to put up a restaurant.

Born in Northern Italy, Gianni, father to Gianluca and grandfather to Giorgia, Matteo, and Paolo, moved to the Philippines in the 1970’s, fell in love with the country, and never left. All throughout Gianni’s life in the Philippines, Gianluca shared that despite the number of Italian restaurants in town, his father always preferred home cooking from their very own kitchen.

Time caught up with the food-loving Gianni, and he passed away last year, leaving two of his helpers, Antonia and Jean, with no one to attend to any longer. Since then, the idea of putting up a family restaurant has always hung over the head of Gianluca. As a result, Trattoria da Gianni was created. The fruition of the restaurant gives Antonia and Jean something to take care of now that their beloved Gianni is gone. It’s also the family’s way of thanking the two women who have served them for more than two decades.

Trattoria da Gianni, which translates to “a small Italian restaurant by Gianni,” is casual and unpretentious. All the love that goes into the restaurant doesn’t only reflect in their food, but it extends to their cozy and inviting interiors as well, giving you the warm-hearted welcome you’d get at an Italian friend’s home. As a family restaurant, Trattoria da Gianni serves the best of Italian home cooking with time-honored recipes right from the Guidicellis’ kitchen.

One thing that sets Trattoria da Gianni apart is that instead of pizzas, they have a wide variety of bruschettas. With toppings ranging from Parma ham with figs, fresh ricotta and truffle oil, to Taleggio cheese with apricots, the Guidicellis make the Italian staple more exciting than usual.

Diners can also expect freshly made pastas with homemade sauces for that personal touch, different kinds of mouthwatering mozzarellas, a variety of fresh salads, traditional Italian cold cuts and cured meats, premium Italian cheeses, hearty soups, and of course, delectable desserts. The menu also indicates which dishes were Gianni’s personal favorites. Some of these include the minestrone, spaghetti with pesto Genovese, ragu della Nonna (spaghetti with tomato meat sauce and Parmiggiano Reggiano), and tiramisu.

Crafted out of love, Trattoria da Gianni is the Guidicellis’ way of welcoming everyone into their kitchen, hoping to spread the love that Gianni had for food across Cebu. At Trattoria da Gianni, home is where the heart is.