(CNN) — What’s it like visiting a city in Italy the place greater than half the inhabitants has the identical title as you?
For actor Stanley Tucci, accompanying his aged mother and father to his ancestral homeland within the southern Italian area of Calabria, it was “very emotional.”
The Tucci household made a pilgrimage to the city of Marzi, tucked away within the toe of Italy’s boot, in one of many newest episodes of his CNN Authentic Sequence “Trying to find Italy.”
It was the primary time the actor and his mother and father had visited the city since he was 12 years previous, he says.
“It was very emotional,” he informed CNN’s Christiane Amanpour this week. “You understand, my dad is 92, my mom is 86, and so they by no means thought they’d go once more and see these individuals once more, and we had been capable of make it occur.
“They’d a good time, it was very transferring.”
Throughout the present, the Tuccis wander the streets of Marzi — some named after different Tuccis — in quest of the house of his grandfather, Stanislaw Tucci.
Greater than half of the individuals in Marzi are referred to as Tucci, the actor says.
Tucci’s father, additionally named Stanley, struggled to recall the precise location and the hunt was additionally hampered by the truth that Tucci is not an unusual title on this nook of Italy.
“Because it seems, being a Tucci is not that exceptional over right here,” Tucci relates within the Calabria episode of “Trying to find Italy,” which airs on CNN Sunday night time at 9 p.m. ET.
“Over half of Marzi’s inhabitants shares our title, which seems to be an enormous drawback as my dad desires to seek out his father’s home.”
Tucci informed Amanpour that it wasn’t sure whether or not they discovered the precise ancestral residence, joking that they did not knock on the door of a possible contender as they had been distracted by meals.
“I suppose we needed to go eat, most likely,” he stated.
Meals, after all, performs an enormous half in Tucci’s exploration of Italy. In Calabria he says the locals had been, like in different areas of the nation, passionate concerning the superiority of their very own cooking kinds.
“Italians are very valuable about their recipes,” he informed Amanpour. “And so they’re very distinct. They are saying, ‘I take advantage of precisely this sort of fish, I take advantage of this sort of tomato, I take advantage of this sort of oil, I take advantage of this sort of garlic, and it may well solely be this huge…’ and it is exhausting after some time, having been by your complete nation.
“Nevertheless it’s fascinating, it is what makes them so singular.”
The frugality and ease of some Italian dishes have additionally made an impression on Tucci. He says many scrumptious recipes have developed utilizing offcuts of meat as a result of that is all that was accessible.
“That’s the foundation of Italian delicacies in virtually each single area,” he says. “And naturally that may change over time, however for probably the most half, that is what nearly all of individuals ate.
It may very well be the ancestral residence. Tucci wasn’t positive.
“They ate the offcuts of issues, they ate issues that they grew seasonally.”
“In case you have a look at the Italian larder, it is a actually easy set of substances. You possibly can mainly have about 10 substances and you’ve got an Italian kitchen, and that is form of the fantastic thing about it.
“The vary that they’ve inside these 10 substances is astounding.”
However, he observes, Italians can usually be hidebound when confronted with culinary innovation, citing one younger cheesemaker he encounters on his travels who had the temerity to make an uncommon blue goat cheese, which is now extremely profitable.
“In Italy they’re very particular and dogmatic about what sort of cheese you make, with what,” Tucci stated. “Can a blue cheese be made with goat? Completely not! However he did, and his household had been very upset. And now they’re completely satisfied.”
CNN’s Emmet Lyons contributed to this story.