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Little Italy in Reykjavík

A new Italian restaurant, Piccolo Italia or ‘Little Italy,’ recently opened on Laugavegur 100, Reykjavík’s main shopping street, where authentic Italian products and food are served and sold.

Owner Antonio Neri, who hails from Italy, told that, he felt “a distinct lack of authentic Italian restaurants serving food made from Italian products.”

Random photo of a restaurant in Reykjavík.

Neri first came to Iceland seven years ago to work in a Húsavík restaurant for one summer. He then became enchanted by the Icelandic capital city Reykjavík and made it his home after having lived in both Italy and Germany.

“I only planned to stay for the summer season but during a visit to Reykjavík, I just fell in love with the tranquility and quietude of the city,” said Neri (who is often referred to as Nino).

“I can walk down the street without worrying about being harassed,” he added.

Neri was born in Sicily but moved to Germany at a young age where he worked as a chef for 25 years. He told revealed that he neither misses Italy nor Germany.

At his restaurant in Reykjavík, Neri makes his pasta from scratch. He also sells an authentic Sicilian goat cheese, as well as mozzarella cheese made from milk from the Italian water-buffalo, both of which are impossible to get anywhere else in Iceland.

Neri neither speaks Icelandic nor English but explained that he communicates with his customers using his hands.

“People in Iceland are very friendly and calm, so it’s easy enough to make yourself understandable,” Neri points out.

Neri has dreamt of opening his own restaurant since he first moved to Iceland, and he is happy that he is finally living the dream.


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