Volume 76, Number 8 | July 12 - 18, 2006


Vittorio Capparelli, 67, chef and owner of Bleecker Italian restaurant and painter

Vittorio Capparelli, chef and owner of Vittorio Cucina Regionale Italiana and a painter whose works are displayed on the walls of his restaurant at 308 Bleecker St., died July 4 after a brief illness, in New York Presbyterian Hospital at the age of 67.

A culinary historian and a master wine connoisseur, he came to New York from Naples in 1965 to work as a private chef before he opened his restaurant in the Village 18 years ago with his wife, Antonietta. He traveled throughout Italy’s 20 regions and did research in the Academia Tecnica della Cucina Italiana to compile a collection of antique recipes from the 72 culinary districts of Italy.

The recipes appeared in his two books, “Cooking with Vittorio” and “Vittoria Cucina Regionale Italiana — Classic Menus.” The Bleecker St. restaurant offers selections from the historic menus as well as Vittorio’s signature dish of fresh homemade linguini served from a wheel of original Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

His artwork — oil on canvas pictures painted over the past 40 years of Italian landscapes and imaginary subjects — has found buyers among his restaurant patrons and others.

“He was a true Renaissance man,” said Alan Swiedler, a longtime friend.

His wife, whom he married in Naples, and his younger son, Maurizio, will continue to operate the restaurant. Another son, Marcello, also survives. The funeral Mass was July 8 at St. Joseph’s Church. Perazzo Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker St., was in charge of arrangements.

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