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Pizzeria Tentazione Tasty, fresh, home-cooked Sicilian food

Pizzeria Tentazione

130 Sv. Patriarh Evtimii Blvd, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
+359 88 543 8018
10:00 - 23:00
(Tue - Sun)
  • Kind: Restaurant

Tags: italian restaurant, Stara Zagora, Tentazione

Pizzeria Tentazione is a place where people are not just customers. Here you become part of the family of Ani and Domenico. Ani will meet you with a wide smile. Domenico surely will not remain hidden in the kitchen. He often brings food to the tables and wishes his guests a healthy appetite or to discuss a “strange” combination, which you may have ordered. If you haven’t  been back in a while, you had better call and speak with them because they will start worrying if you are alright. I have met other people, who speak with love about food, but with Ani and Domenico there is something else. It is as if they are expressing their love for each other through the food.

(scroll down for the interview)


Domenico is from Sicily. Ribera, Agrigento province. He says that the kitchen has always been his passion – even as a child. Otherwise, he has always been an entrepreneur – a person, who longs to create.

That does not mean that he has always dealt with cooking as his profession. At the age of 18 he founded his first company. He took over his father’s business. Soon Sicily seemed to small for him. “I felt I wouldn’t be able to develop my full potential there,” Domenico says as he shares his search with me in detail: his first trip to the USA, his experiences in Northern Italy, his difficulty to adapt and his return home to Sicily.

“For Sicilian families it is a serious loss, when one of their sons departs.”

He discovered happiness in Modena. He started a business  there and decided to settle down long term. He bought his first property in Mirandola. “The area was rich. Anything a person could imagine creating happened. There were no hindrances for it to happen. When I had gotten these important things in my life in order, the only thing I was missing was love. In 2002 I met my wife and she succeeded to draw out the best of me – starting a family and showing I am a good husband and father – while committing myself to the kitchen. And, so, step-by-step, I discovered that I am good at it. When you only cook for yourself, you cannot evaluate how well you are doing. Only when you start doing it for others are you able to see what you are capable of.”

Ani laughs. “He courted me in the kitchen. And then I got interested, too.” Ani is from Bulgaria. She says she wasn’t interested in cooking before meeting Domenico. Little by little Ani began getting deeper into the profession and became a “professional in sweets”, as Domenico calls her with more than a little pride. Their firends began inviting them into their homes to cook for them. In this way they incrementally became more sure of themselves and began to think that some day they could open their own eating establishment. After the children arrived, they promised each other that before they turned 50 they would open a restaurant.

“I liked Bulgaria from the very beginning. As far as climate and landscape it is very similar to Sicily.”

There is a date, which they will never forget. On May 20, 2012 the family found themselves at the epicenter of an earthquake which measured 6 on the Richter scale. In a moment their lives changed. “It is a miracle we are alive. It is impossible to explain. You understand in a matter of seconds what things are truly important in life.”

That is when they moved to Bulgaria and began creating Pizzeria Tentazione. Domenico adores simple cuisine. He doesn’t cook spicy food because he things that it blocks the taste. His idea is to offer tasty, fresh, home-cooked food. Everything is prepared according to recipes, which are characteristic for his homeland of Sicily. Besides temptation (which tentazione translates to in Italian) the menu (bruschetta, pizza, focaccia, and a variety of pasta), you will often be able to try Domenico’s homemade sausage or marinated garlic cloves. It is the right spot regardless of whether you want to drink a quick, authentic Sicilian coffee from Raguza with friends, or to dine comfortably with a regional wine after work. People who appreciate real food – what is fundamental, not packaged – both Bulgarians and foreigners, come here!

Interview: Rayna Miteva for Nagore Association
Photos: David Leistrum for Nagore Association
Translation from Bulgarian: David Leistrum for Nagore Association
Illustration: Inna Pavlova for Compote Collective
30 November 2015