Sundays with Zia Olivanna

The Palladian Traveler is happy to welcome into the stable of spatula-toting food magicians known as the Good Chefs, Zia Olivanna – Aunt Olivanna – or simply, Zia O.

Zia O is my sister-in-law. She’s wined and dined me for years. Normally, I find myself at the table on any given Sunday sampling her delicious, mouth-watering dishes typical of the Vicenza province; and, on occasion, beyond the “county line.”

A walking, breathing cookbook, Zia O is the “queen of the kitchen” for our extended family tree. Whether on the cooktop, the oven, the grill, the blender, etc., she’s always conjuring up something new and exciting to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Prepping for two or an army of 20, it makes no difference to Zia O as she enjoys “whipping up a storm” and seeing the joy that it puts on the faces – and in the tummies – of the guests that honor her table. If anyone was meant to be totally at home in the kitchen, it is, without a doubt, Zia O.

Starting soon, you’ll be able to see her handiwork unfold in step-by-step recipes that we’re calling Sundays with Zia Olivanna. If you’ll bring a good bottle of wine or a tasty dessert, we’ll set a place for you at the table.


Sundays with Zia Olivanna, appointment viewing that’s coming soon from the newest addition of the Good Chefs. Enjoy the short preview below.

Buon appetito!

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images


Written by

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 50 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along the travertine and cobblestone that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches via and Anthology Magazine Ireland.


  1. She really is one of the best cooks around! And she makes it all look so easy! Can’t wait to see the Sunday meals Zia O will be sharing with us!


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