Italian haute couture in Vancouver
By Anna Foschi Ciampolini
Pat Cocco, owner of Seville Bespoke Taylors speaks calmly, measuring his words as he would measure a fine fabric. On the wall of the small room in front of his haute couture workshop in Burnaby, British Columbia stand countless photographs of Pat with famous Hollywood stars, sports champions and other celebrities.
At 77 years-old, he is one of the very few, if not perhaps the only one in Canada, able to tailor men’s clothing from an interpretation of the client’s personality and lifestyle.
He explains: “If it’s a lawyer, I recommend classic, somewhat formal fabrics and cut. For an engineer going to construction sites, a more casual style is needed.”
Cocco uses only fine fabrics imported from Italy and England, takes meticulous care in the choice of accessories, buttons and the precision of stitching and more minute details. The making of an outfit takes about a month, sometimes more, but for special occasions or pressing commitments dictated by the customer, one day may be enough.
Pasqualino Cocco, born in Morrone del Sannio in Molise began as an apprentice tailor when he was 10 years-old.
His family moved to Vancouver in 1958 and Pat who was already an expert tailor at a very young age, worked for 20 years at the renowned store Olympia Taylors before opening his own business in Burnaby in 1985.
He chose the name Seville Taylors as a tribute to Savile Row, the London street made famous by the highest quality tailors, adding a Mediterranean touch to recall Sevilla, the Andalusian city.
A workable way to extend the holiday and live like a local
By Silvana Longo, Travel Editor
There’s a bitter-sweet quality to this time of year as summer comes to a close and fall routines resume. On the bright side, the shorter days and cooler temperatures welcome back spectacular fall foliage, a multitude of delicious zucca-based dishes and way more interesting fashion choices into our wardrobe.
However, if you’re anything like me, by the time I am pulling out those early fall sweaters, I find myself wistfully reminiscing about warmer climes and the magic of an Italian summer holiday, already a distant memory.
Oftentimes, towards the end of a holiday, I have wondered, “What would it be like to just throw caution to the wind, quit my job and stay in Italy beyond the vacation?”
I am sure I am one of many who have pondered the prospect. Personally, I have always been interested in looking behind the veil of la dolce vita and getting a real taste of Italian local life, especially once the summer has ended and the crowds of tourists disperse.
Nowadays, fortunately, that’s not as risky a prospect as it once was. What if, instead of packing your bags at the end of a vacation and heading home, you don’t have to quit your job or abandon your business but extend that stay in exchange for a digital nomad experience in Italy?
In this fall issue, we explore precisely this option as il Bel Paese is amongst the many European countries working hard at attracting digital nomads from across the globe.
In an effort to revitalize and repopulate shrinking towns and hamlets, or give summer hot-spots some life throughout the year, the Italian government approved the Digital Nomad Visa in March 2022, allowing applicants one-year stays where they can live, work and spend their Euros.
Naturally, between the new government and just good ol’ Italian bureaucracy, we are still waiting for the details to unfold and for this highly-anticipated Visa to be rolled out.
You don’t need any designated work permit to indulge in this experience as long as your stay doesn’t exceed 90 days. There are entrepreneurial Italians offering digital nomads this precise opportunity with one to two-month sojourns in Italy’s lesser-known places.
Spaghetti alle vongole
By Gabriel Riel-Salvatore, Food Editor
Spaghetti with clams is a timeless recipe suitable for all seasons. This easy and tasty dish can be prepared in about thirty minutes. The secret to the success is choosing quality ingredients and properly sorting and cleaning the clams.
The little pepper lady
Text and photography by Joey Franco
When I was given the assignment of profiling an evil eye healer, Lisa Palmieri is not exactly what I had envisioned that person to be. The fiery 32 year-old does not mince words. Despite her tiny frame, she fills the room with her presence and warmth.
The youngest of three siblings, Lisa grew up in Montreal’s east end. Entertainment and pop culture were important in the Palmieri household. Italian comedy icons such as Pierino and Toto, as well as classic American cinema were as much part of their household traditions as Sunday dinner.
When I was given the assignment of profiling an evil eye healer, Lisa Palmieri is not exactly what I had envisioned that person to be.
Lisa recalls her father Pasquale’s collection of bootlegged VHS films, neatly organized and carefully numbered. “It was like a video store in our garage,” she recalls. The collection of over 200 films were meticulously catalogued in a reference book, like a bookkeeper’s ledger. The assortment included films such as Rocky, Planes, Trains & Automobiles and a plethora of classic cinema.
She remembers acting out movie scenes with her older brothers Luigi and Anthony. Her father and brothers also filmed a re-enactment of Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece The Godfather.
After graduating from Marianopolis College, she enrolled in Communications Studies at Concordia University, where she quickly realized she wanted to be in front of the camera, rather than behind it. Her newfound path, which was been ignited at a young age from the countless hours of improv and imitating films with her brothers, led her to the city that never sleeps.