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A portrait of the brilliant Nicoletta Lanza Tomasi who teaches Sicily’s cucina povera to preserve the legacy of The Leopard author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa—and save his home.

SAVEUR Magazine is a gourmet, food, wine, and travel magazine that specialises in essays about various world cuisines.

A Sicilian Duchess is Teaching a Cooking Class to Restore an 18th-Century Palazzo

For much of the year, Palermo’s thousand-year-old Capo Market is violently loud. But today it is calm: most of the locals have fled to the coast, away from the stone city baking in the summer morning sun. The stalls, though, are still full.

“Sicilian cooking is all there in the local ingredients. Everything must be in season, that’s the main thing,” explains our spry guide, Nicoletta Lanza Tomasi, as she surveys a bounty of produce: borlotti beans still in their speckled pods, bulbous eggplants the size of grapefruits, and ribbed costoluto tomatoes.

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