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Via Trakia Pizzas with unusual taste, pasta with seafood and spices, made with love and affection

Via Trakia

Trakia Highway, 89th kilometer - off the exit for Pazardzhik, Bulgaria
+359 89 476 2591
7:00 - 22:00
(Mon - Sun)
  • Kind: Restaurant
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: italian restaurant, Pazardzhik, Via Trakia

Situated on the 89th kilometer of the Trakia Highway is a big complex – Via Trakia, part of which is the Italian restaurant opened 2 years ago. It is owned by the Italian Domenico Russi who brings over to Bulgaria his attitude towards food and eating culture. He is an art aficionado as one could tell from the authentic paintings hanging on the walls of the restaurant. Domenico came to Bulgaria 10 years ago to stay with his father who has been exporting horses for Italy for 30 years. Smiling, he is a little worried because of his Bulgarian skills. However, when telling us his story he puts a lot of emotion switching between Bulgarian and Italian.

(scroll down for the interview)


Domenico likes Bulgaria a lot and doesn’t miss Italy at all. He doesn’t find a difference between the two countries. He thinks that the defects and lack of culture are present both here and in Italy. ‘I feel like a citizen of the world and I feel good among Bulgarians. To me, the important thing is accepting people well. I don’t think it’s the people’s problem if I don’t like someone.’

Domenico’s favourite Bulgarian dishes are peppers stuffed with rice, chicken legs with rice, and moussaka.

Born in Bari, in the region of Puglia, Domenico took up cooking when during the summer break he attended a state-funded culinary course in Pugliese cuisine. Ever since then cooking has been his passion. Domenico obtained a degree in philosophy and worked as a cook in Vatican City for 4 years.  He has a strong social presence, spending two months a year as a volunteer cook at a nursing home and a center for AIDS victims.

The Via Trakia kitchen has readily available a large selection of wild mushrooms, part of Domenico’s business. Luigi himself likes working with seafood – sentimental of his childhood since Bari is a Mediterranean city and has lots of fish and seafood.

To Luigi the basis of Italian cuisine consists of 4 ingredients – pasta, parmesan, tomatoes, and olive oil. If one of these is missing, the dish won’t be the same.

Luigi tailors the dishes to each client individually. The Bulgarians prefer a lighter taste. The Italian cook [Luigi] has a secret recipe for béchamel sauce which the clients really enjoy because of its lighter taste. He stresses that he respects the clients’ taste and complies with it.

Because of its location – on a major highway – the restaurant accommodates Members of Parliament, many Italians, and… kids because of the great pizza. Luigi says with a smile that a 4-year-old once stated they only want to eat Bolognese here and nowhere else.

Interview: Danny Kotzeva for Union for Independent Creative Communication
Photos: Photo Youth Group for Union for Independent Creative Communication
Translation from Bulgarian: Stanimir Stoilov for Union for Independent Creative Communication
Illustration: Inna Pavlova for Compote Collective 
30 November 2015