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Vivaldi Classical Italian cuisine, which offers variety of meals from different regions in Italy.


4 Lady Strangford Str., Plovdiv
+359 87 673 6155
10:00 – 00:00 (Mon - Sun)
  • Kind: Restaurant
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Cards Accepted

In the restaurant we are greeted by Valentina Georgieva. She and her husband Raffaele Borgese built together the restaurant and the food on their beliefs what it should be: adaptive to the wide specter of customers’ needs, with a menu offering variety of meals from different regions in Italy and high quality products.

Raffaele Borgese arrived in Bulgaria 30 years ago with a purpose to make business in the food industry. He is one of the first Italians in Bulgaria who implemented clearer lines in the production of bread and pastry. More than 20 years ago Raffaele opened the first Italian restaurant in Plovdiv – Dolce Italy. He gave a good start to many young cooks in Plovdiv – he took them directly from school and invested in them by training them in Italy. His wife told us that Raffaele realized that the taste of the people at that time was still conservative and it was not the right time for that type of restaurant. However, the taste of the people living in Plovdiv has evolved, they are travelling more and starting to build up a cult for food. In 2015 Raffaele, now with his wife Valentina, decided to open a restaurant on the small street Lady Strangford.

Born in the Italian region of Calabria, Raffaele spent his summers in a villa near the sea. From the age of 5 he spent most of his days on fishing boats. The fishermen took him as a mascot and he learned that fish needs olive oil, tomatoes and garlic. “Every single day until my 18th birthday, I spent 3 months in a year with the fishermen, eating fish every day. Around them not only did I learn about every possible kind of fish but I knew how to cook each and every one. The tradition is that every single morning at 9:00 am the boats are transported to the port. They always carried a gas stove, frying pan, olive oil, tomatoes, parsley and garlic. From them I learned that fish does not go well with onions because they change the taste of the fish and you can only taste the onions”. Until this day he loves meals with fish.

What he misses the most from Italy is the diversity of products. This is the reason why they import exotic product for the Bulgarian market. In the different regions of Italy there is a variety of products which are specific to the certain region. This allows a lot more imagination when preparing the food. This also gives Vivaldi its own appearance. The menu is structured that it has options from each Italian region. “We make sure that there are combinations of meals from the different regions. The challenge is to make sure that the prepared food is liked by people with different tastes without changing the traditions”, shared with us Valentina Georgieva and continued with vigorous explanations: “We are trying not to be static; we are looking for new products with which we prepare new meals. I cannot say which meal is the most preferable because it is always changing. There is a psychological moment existing, 80 % of the people who dine here do not use a menu. It is our responsibility to make sure that we know what their taste is but at the same time to offer them something different which imposes their taste. We have a circle of different clients, which is increasing because clients bring their friends, who also enjoy the food and after that they start to make visits with their own friends… We rely on the fact that our clients are satisfied and will continue to come back. They come here because they know that they can count on quality food, good service and that they are not anonymous because their simple needs are always meet such as the water that they like”.

Except the careful attitude towards the menu, Valentina and Raffaele are thinking of hosting special events at their restaurant. Back in time they were hosting different themed evenings – wine tasting led by their wine suppliers, nights where producers of soft cheese made meals with different types of cheese – all imported from Italy, combined with fruits in front of the guests; themed evenings for the different regions in Italy.

The latest idea on which they are working on is inspired by a meeting with the Multi Kulti Collective, who has invited the restaurant to host a workshop in which representatives of 30 countries, participants in the European Capital of Culture, cook food together. The culinary show is supported by Foundation Plovdiv 2019. After this meeting Valentina and Raffaele have started the Customers of Vivaldi Cook. “We have seen that in this format people let loose and feel better. We believe that this allows clients to come out of the frame of being in a restaurant in which they are seen only as consumers. Of course it is a type of attraction too. We do not have secrets and we share with our clients how we prepare our fantastic food.”

Text: Danny Kotseva
Photos: Valentina Topalova
March 2019