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Talk of the Weekend #17

Bella Cucina Atlanta now closedsource

Happy gorgeous weekend to you!  Are you making plans for next weekend’s Valentine’s Day?  With it being on a Saturday, you will have ample opportunity to really enjoy it. 🙂

Bella Cucina

When I think of Valentine’s Day and romance, I think of romantic meals, (food of course! 🙂 )  and when I think of romantic meals, I think Italian.  I am probably supposed to think French, but I have never prepared anything French in my life (but a lot of Italian!)  So for this weekend’s post, I have a few Italian things I want to share with you.  Perhaps you will find some inspiration here to help you with your Valentine’s Day plans.

Bella Cucina

First up… this cute cute shop (that has unfortunately closed in its Virginia Highlands location of Atlanta.) 🙁 The photos above (and below) are from Bella Cucina.  It offered wonderful ingredients for Italian cooking and housed a lovely little sandwich shop. But there is good news for us!  Its website still remains open, and you can order any of those delicious pestos, olive oils, breads and other things for your Italian dinner any time you like. 🙂


There is also a small cookbook available here and here from the owners.

Bella Cucina cookbook

Now if you really want to have a full taste of Italy party, here are some inspirational photos from a Taste of Tuscany party.

Taste of Tuscany

and the gorgeous cookies that were the dessert.

Taste of Tuscany

If you need an idea for an invitation here is one that is perfect.

(It would also make a great centerpiece.)

invitations for an Italian party basil in tomato

You might like these for an appetizer…


or this for your salad.

Valentine caprese

If you’d rather have a simple meal, here is a pretty pizza party.

(And don’t you think it looks perfect for Valentine’s Day?)

girls dinner pizza

If you are putting together a gift for someone special, how about an Italian dinner gift basket?

Italian dinner gift basket

Then you could have fun cooking the dinner together.  Or maybe you are not cooking at all, and you will be enjoying your Valentine’s dinner out.  If you live near Atlanta, you can visit the Little Italy area on the Westside.

Little Italy

My husband and son ate at Antico yesterday . (There is a video tour of the restaurant here.)  It is my son’s favorite pizza place.  The always packed eat-with-strangers-at-your-table dining area would not be my choice for Valentine’s Day though.  And the parking is awful in this area, but there is valet parking available across the street.

Antico pizza

My husband and son had the Diavola pizza there.

diavola pizza

My choice for a Valentine’s date would be Gio’s- which happens to be right next door.

(Video tour here.)

gios chicken atlanta

And this is the dish to order there – Sorrento lemon chicken.


Gios Sorrento lemon

When you finish your meal, go behind the restaurant for dessert here

Caffe Gio for

Gelato imported from Italy

gelato at caffe  photo by Chelsea Heidorn Photography

And if you have time, wander across the street to Bottega Luisa, a tiny Italian market.


That would be my idea of a fun (and delicious!) Valentine’s date. Oh, and we could finish it up with a movie at home.  It would be hard to choose between these two…

Letters to Juliet

Under the Tuscan Sun
What would be your choice?
Let me finish up this post with two links to a house for you to see…the house that Diane Lane restores in Under the Tuscan Sun. (Scenes from the movie are here.)
Under the Tuscan Sun
And the real life villa is here.
Hope you have found some inspiration for your Valentine’s Day here today.  I have a lot to get done this weekend for it and a party we are hosting after it.  (That is why I am soooo far behind on answering your emails.  Sorry.)
I will fill you in soon on the parties! (and answer the emails!)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. 🙂
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Kelly - February 19, 2015 - 9:19 pm

Lovely post. I actually visited Cortona, Italy last year as was able to see the home where the Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed. I absolutely loved Tuscany…..SO BEAUTIFUL!
Lucky you!! What a wonderful place to visit. And you got to see that home!!! We are all jealous.

Garden, Home and Party - February 9, 2015 - 3:14 pm

I love Italian food and several of the dishes you showed us made me hungry! We have been invited to a friend’s house for Valentine’s Day, along with 2 other couples. I’m responsible for making the salad…your caprese salad won me over. How cute to have mozzarella cut like hearts. I love it!

That restaurant you showed looks amazing.
Enjoy your week.
Yum! I love caprese salad. I know yours will be delicious!

L J - February 9, 2015 - 1:24 pm

Bella! Bella!!

Vicki - February 9, 2015 - 11:54 am

You had me at the mozzarella hearts on the tomatoes. Sweet and simple. Love the pizza party idea, but those restaurants look mighty tempting. A 3 day weekend trip to Atlanta would make for a pretty swell Valentine’s Day celebration!
I like the idea of the pizza party too. (And that red striped tablecloth.) I agree. A 3 day Atlanta trip would be great!

Design Chic - February 9, 2015 - 10:58 am

I love Italian food and can’t think of anything I’d love more for Valentine’s Day.
We actually have a dance Saturday night so our plans are made…hoping yours is wonderful!
A dance sounds like a lot of fun! Hope you had a great time!

Kathy - February 9, 2015 - 8:29 am

I am so excited to be going to Atlanta for Valentine’s Day weekend…my husband’s idea! We are going to the Ballard Outlet, the Pottery Barn Outlet and the Williams Sonoma Outlet. Dinner with be either Italian or possibly Bahama Breeze. (I might want to pretend I am on an island but you certainly planted the Italian seed.)
What a fabulous idea! Your husband did great!! I know this will be a super trip!(and I wish I could do the same thing. 🙂 )

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - February 8, 2015 - 5:33 pm

I love Antico and wrote a post about how fabulous it was! I would make a special trip to Atlanta just to eat there again!

As for the Italian food basket idea – my husband loves Italian food so much, that’s what I did for him for Christmas – but he may just need another one for Valentine’s Day, come to think of it! (and St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day . . .)

Your photos are always so beautiful and appealing. Great inspiration as always.
What a great gift for your husband Leslie Anne! I know he had to love that. I am glad you have enjoyed Antico’s pizza. Yum!

Debra - February 8, 2015 - 2:31 pm

Quite the delicious post! I have to say, the home pizza party is to my liking. That table set up would be fun and it looks like a close (Kelly inspire). 🙂 I like the idea of eating at home on such a “pumped up” holiday. That appetizer and heart salad would be a wonderful starter for sure. I love Italian. Hard to say what the day will bring. Hmmm… Thanks for this drool worthy post.
Yes, there is enough yumminess here to make anyone hungry! I could go for that salad right now.:)

Marken - February 8, 2015 - 2:06 pm

Enjoyed such a cheerful post on this gloomy day here. Hadn’t given much thought to Valentine’s Day this year,but now the wheels are turning.
Well I am glad to be bright spot in your gloomy day Marken. Hope your wheels keep on turning!

Dawn - February 8, 2015 - 1:12 pm


My ideal date for Valentine’s day would out to eat at a local Italian restaurant called Madison’s or take out from there with a rented movie. I would fix dessert of course. I love Pioneer Woman’s Knock You Naked brownie recipe! It’s a winner every time I make them! This Valentine’s Day we are flying to Riviera Mia, Mexico to celebrate our 15th anniversary, another couples 25th anniversary and a birthday. I will only miss 3 days of school since it’s Presidents day weekend. I can hardly wait. Thanks for your inspirational post! I will pins some of the ideas for next year! I always think of Italian on Valentine’s day too! Take care!
Wow! What a great way to celebrate your anniversary and birthdays. I hope your trip was wonderful!

Patti - February 8, 2015 - 12:19 pm

Mouth-watering post! 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it Patti.:)

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