Have you seen Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy?
If you haven’t, then go ahead and find it now. It’s perfect Sunday evening viewing — and believe me, you won’t want to miss a moment of it, so put your phone away: this is full of gems — of history, of culture, of food — blink, and you’ll miss something spectacular. It’s really a perfect show — a compelling blend of food, history, culture, contemporary issues — and Stanley Tucci. I’ve been a fan of his since he played one of my favourite characters, naughty sprite Puck, in the 1999 movie of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which my parents took me to see at the cinema in Singapore, of all places — sorry, I was an irritatingly precocious and well-travelled child).
Anyway, I’ve long been a lover of Stanley Tucci, of Italy, and of the food/travel television genre, but I only recently had the chance to sit down and watch every episode again (thanks, flu). And each one got me thinking — hey, I could do that job.
What’s on my Italian travel bucket list?
So if you’re looking for a new job for the new year, maybe you’ll find inspiration in this list?
1. Limoncello maker / lemon grower
Live on a cliff on the Amalfi coast, grow big juicy lemons, turn them into limoncello, to drink in the sunshine? Sign me right up!
2. Food consultant
I don’t really know what this involves, but from what I can gather from the episode, it involves being best friends with Stanley Tucci and consulting for foodie things on films. I happen to think I make an excellent best friend, and I can certainly consult on food — I know I’m good at eating, for one thing!
3. Prosciutto di Parma DNA tester
In 2017, a fake prosciutto di Parma scandal rocked the Italian ham industry, and was eventually cracked in a phone tapping and undercover surveillance operation that seized and confiscated a million fake hams: eat your heart out, The Wire. They carefully DNA test all the hams now — as far as I can tell, this also involves lots of sniffing of prosciutto, and tasting it, too. See you there, Stringer Bell.
Have you read my weekend guide to Venice?
In the Rome episode, off they trot to a parmesan producer to watch them wash the giant cheeses, baby them in a salt bath, whisper sweet nothings to them — before cracking them open and taking a nibble. I might need help lifting the giant wheels, but I’d be
5. Stanley Tucci
Is anyone hiring in this department? I feel like I’d be great in this role. I have passable Italian, I have good cheekbones, I’m a good cook, I look great in chinos (probably, I dunno, let’s try it), I enjoy friendly banter, I’ll travel anywhere — and I’m really, really good at eating.
Don’t worry, your favourite independent London escort isn’t