White wine for the mussels | ©Tom Palladio Images

I sent my short-order cookin’ alter ego, Lazy Person (LP), out on another gastronomical scavenger hunt; actually I sent him out so that I could track his whereabouts.

Here of late LP’s been returning home with great finds in the grocery tote and I was curious where he was picking up all of these epicurean delights. So, I donned glasses and a mustache, over my real glasses and mustache (actually a beard), and went ingognito hot on his tail.

Il Ceppo Gastonamia e Enoteca - Vicenza, Italy | ©Tom Palladio ImagesTurns out, he’s spending a lot of time AND a lot of money with my ATM card at a tree stump. That’s right. A TREE STUMP. Actually, it’s il Ceppo (tree stump), a gastronomical oasis of mouth-watering delights located under the porticos at the very end of Vicenza, Italy’s iconic Corso Palladio.

If you live in the U-S-of-A and frequent Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s, then you would just fall in love with il Ceppo, the ultimate foodie address in Vicenza since 1971.

Il Ceppo Gastronomia e Enoteca - Vicenza, Italy | ©Tom Palladio Images

This narrow gastronomia is filled to the brim with just about every culinary specialty of the Vicenza province, many of which are made right on the premises. There’s a full-service deli counter that spans the length of the store loaded with fresh salami and an array of cold cuts, a cornucopia of cheeses, homemade pasta (gnocchi, tagliatelle, tortellini and tortelloni), ragù and other sauces, piping hot entrees — including the city’s centuries-old signature dish, Baccalà alla Vicentina (polenta and creamy codfish) — and a variety of appetizers that would make any dinner party a five-star event.

WAIT! There’s more.

The wine cellar at il Ceppo - Vicenza, Italy | ©Tom Palladio Images

The wine cellar at Il Ceppo - Vicenza, Italy | ©Tom Palladio Images  The wine cellar at il Ceppo - Vicenza, Italy | ©Tom Palladio Images

Underneath the wholesome goodness above is the il Ceppo enoteca (wine cellar) filled with 500+ bottles of the grape — white, red, rosato and sparkling — along with liquore (cordials), digestivos (digestives) and distilled spirits. And at your service in this urban vineyard are two, on-duty, certified sommelier — Maria-Giovanna and Ivanna. Just show them what you’ve purchased upstairs and they’ll select the perfect bottle of wine to pair nicely with your selections.

Il Ceppo gastronamia - Vicenza, Italy | ©Tom Palladio ImagesThe warm and friendly staff at il Ceppo is very knowledgeable and go out of their way to offer suggestions on how you can prep and plate your selections at home.

And, for special occasions and events they’re fully staffed to cater your affair wherever you like, or serve as your host for an in-house dinner party right dowstairs in the aforementioned climate-controlled enoteca. Now, HOW LAZY IS THAT?

Il Ceppo on the plate | ©Tom Palladio ImagesIl Ceppo is the epicenter of Vicenza’s take-out crowd. Just stroll up and down the Corso Palladio and you quickly loose count on how many people are hurrying home with their tongues hanging out carrying the white bags with the bright red font.

While some people may be encouraged to “head for the border,” I’m going to enjoy my daily “milk runs” with LP to il Ceppo.

Be on the lookout for a series of “What’s Burning” recipes featuring the bounty and the bottles we pick up at “the tree stump.”

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

The Palladian Traveler's Borsalino over cobblestone | ©Tom Palladio Images

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Written by The Palladian Traveler

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 cobblestone streets 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 along the cobblestone via TravelingBoy.com.

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