Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy

In the time since its debut on CNN in February 2021 and the BBC in February of 2022, everyone from my therapist to my coworkers to our 11-year-old daughter have made a special point to tell me that actor, writer and director Stanley Tucci’s latest venture, a show called Searching for Italy, reminded them in some way of me.

Having first fallen for his puckish charm and devil-may-care nonchalance while writing my high school newspaper’s TV column, covering the first season of Stephen Bochco’s Murder One in which Tucci played murder suspect Richard Cross, he cemented his place among my favorite actors a year later when a much cooler friend invited me to see Big Night in the theater.

The film about two brothers’ attempt to save their failing Italian restaurant starred Tucci who also co-wrote and co-directed it with his high school friend Campbell Scott. I fell hard for its story and the luscious way the camera captured the miraculous food emerging from the kitchen.

As I’ve spent much of my 20-year career exploring the finer things and experiences in life, I suppose I too can see why a show about one Italian-American man’s exploration of the food of Italy’s 20 regions might remind someone of me. My delve into all things Tucci bordered so closely on obsession this year, that my Christmas was, in my wife’s word’s “Tuccirific,” comprising of Taste his food-centric autobiography (pair it with his reading of the audiobook), The Tucci Table, his first cookbook with his wife Felicity Blunt and a cheeky journal, whose cover reads “Sorry. I wasn’t listening. I was think about Stanley Tucci.”

Like my celebrations of people, places and things making life come together in the right way, this show does more than showcase each region’s food; Searching for Italy is an exploration of the people, the politics and the cultures that make up one country.

And let’s be honest, the likeliest reason I’ve heard that the show reminds them of me is that people think I dress like Stanley Tucci. You better believe I tracked down a modernized version of his vintage Tart FDR glasses. I so loved the three nail construction of the frame fronts and temples that I encouraged my wife to purchase these 47mm frames from Celine (CL41459).

On his casual walks across medieval cobblestones, he’s often seen sporting dark navy Supergas, which I’ve always thought were the Italian Chuck Taylor. As the Vans slip-on has become my go-to, this pair in “peacoat” do a nice job of replicating Tucci’s Italianate pair. For the vintage hunters, seek out deadstock Italian Army trainers.

Spread collar denim and chambrays, olive and stone-colored jean-cut khakis, merino turtlenecks in black and blue and dark-colored chore coats and Trialmaster jackets comprise the remainder of his look, a look any one of us could easily replicate.

Less easily replicated? His family’s timpano. If I could cook anything with him, it would be the oversized pasta dish that acts as the main plot-driver of Big Night. It is also featured in the Sicily episode of Searching for Italy.

If season two, debuting in the US on May 1, 2022, is nearly as wonderful as season one was, we are all in for quite a treat… hopefully several of them.