Valeria Piccini

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Da Caino

via della Chiesa, 4
Montemerano (Grosseto)
T. +39.0564.602817


With a wax tablet always in her hands and a stylus in between her fingers, Kaliope, the one with beautiful voice, is the muse of epic poetry. That is, the muse of those compositions, dictionaries say, that tell the deeds of people through an elevated style. To me Valeria Piccini is a contemporary Kaliope, an extraordinary example of how one can transmit the identity and pathos of a civilization through wooden spoons and forks.

We are talking about Maremma countryside, few chiloters away from Lazio region. An ill-tempered land, shaken by elementary contrasts, rusticana in the melodramatic sense of the word. Precisely, we are talking about Montemerano, a steep medieval town where Valeria was born, where she married Maurizio - who gave birth to Andrea Menichetti - where she learned to cook and plant her beautiful restaurant, gathering one and then two Michelin stars.
Kaliope was the daughter of Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. Valeria was the daughter of peasants and cheese-makers. This heritage is well alive in her cuisine, being it in the strength of tastes and flavors, without indulging in the habits of re-interpretations.

Her first teacher was her mother-in-law Angela, who opened the restaurant in 1971 together with her husband Carisio, nicknamed Caino. «I used to get out from school and I stopped myself to help in the trattoria Maurizio’s mother», Valeria tells us. At the age of 20 she married the yet-to-come sommelier.
Then followed usual gastronomic pilgrimages, many books and no cuisine course, up to the big jump at the end of the Eighties, when Caino became a gourmand restaurant and makes Maremma fly.
Valeria is a neuronal chef, we were wrong in defining her a self-taught one since many are the anonymous female generations that orally transmitted that knowledge. Becoming professional and distinguished, thanks to her fantasy and personal curiosity, she never lost the original calling.

A Parable that I already drew to those of the Mothers of Lyon, to whom she shares initiative, severity, the visionary dream, the emotional strength and even the figure as «one of those female-chefs as we happen to figure them out». Her mythos is made of mainly poor ingredients, giblets, cods but also vegetables cultivated in Saturnia kitchen garden by her father Enzo.


Has participated in

Identità Milano


Davide Bertellini

Cultore del bien vivre, lavorando nella moda ha sviluppato una grande passione per i viaggi e per la cucina