In the heart of the delightful Norman Arab district of Monreale, a stone’s throw from the famous Cathedral, Angelo Patellaro’s is certainly one of the most beautiful pizzerias in the world, inspired by the “Palazzo del Gattopardo” in Palermo in a pop key.
The birth of Pizzeria Art Libri Totò is a tale of Sicilian creativity. A vocation for art since he was a child, Angelo Patellaro dreams of becoming an art historian but, due to the disappearance of both parents when he was still a child, he has to start working quickly.
Thus, in 1998 he took over the historic family tavern, located a few steps from the Cathedral of Monreale, a Unesco heritage site with its splendid Byzantine mosaics, and transformed it into a pizzeria, bringing all his passions inside, from paintings to literature.
Paintings and books are symbols of beauty and knowledge, “values” that have always been a source of inspiration and comfort for me.(Angelo Patellaro, owner)
Wandering around flea and antique markets, he begins to collect paintings and books that he likes, inspired by his myths Rothko, Chagall, Picasso. He personally decorates, by restoring and repainting frames and furniture, the rooms of his pizzeria, freely inspired by the ballroom in the film The Leopard by Luchino Visconti who had stolen his heart years ago.
So he mixes chandeliers, colored drapes and gilded mirrors with a multitude of books, his other great passion, which are literally everywhere in the pizzeria. The resulting ensemble is something truly unique, which responds only to Angelo’s taste and inspiration, making the pizzeria to all intents and purposes an original gallery of Sicilian figurative arts.
The pizza is delicious, strictly cooked in a wood-fired oven, which overlooks the entrance to the restaurant, Angelo’s kingdom, and prepared with local products such as mozzarella from an artisan dairy or tomato sauce made fresh every morning.
The menu ranges from the traditional Margherita to Gloria Art with aubergines or the Typical Pizza of Monreale with sliced tomatoes and breadcrumbs up to the Toto Gourmet one with buffalo mozzarella, stracciatella cheese pie and mushrooms.
In the summer, it is wonderful to eat outside, at the wooden tables set up in the small square in front of the restaurant which preserves all the flavors and colors of Monreale intact over time.
Angelo’s favorite painting is “Sunday lunch”, bought 15 years ago in a flea market and depicting a noble Sicilian family intent on sitting down at the table (with a blue frame in the photos), which he loves to contemplate every morning to calm his mind.
Pizza from 8 euro