Sat. May 18th, 2024

Michael Schumacher’s favourite restaurant: Ferrari hero adored his ‘Italian Mama’ while Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland and even Penelope Cruz have visited! Now, the world’s best pasta maker awaits Lewis Hamilton’s arrival<!-- wp:html --><div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The best pasta maker in the world is having lunch.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">After a busy morning service, Rossella Giannini enjoys the silence. The silver-haired matriarch watches intently as her husband, Maurizio, divides the remaining contents of a large pot of ragù between him, her son, Alberto, and her daughter-in-law, Francesca, as the family of four exchanges a few words while the waiters diligently prepare for next night.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It is rarely so quiet at Ristorante Montana. Located just a stone’s throw from Maranello, the home of Ferrari, Rossella has fought an uphill battle to compete with the five-star hospitality on offer in the area, where men in suits pay a premium for a slice of Italian luxury.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">However, the stars, it seems, gravitate here. It was Erling Haaland who, sitting between these four wood-paneled walls, wrote ‘the best pasta I’ve ever eaten’ on a napkin addressed to Rossella.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Mino Raiola’s father was a friend,” explains Maurizio, the football super-agent who recommended this hidden gem to the Manchester City goalscoring star before his death in 2022.</p> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Rossella Giannini (center) runs Ristorante Montana with her husband Maurizio (right) and son Alberto (left)</p> </div> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">His restaurant has proven to be a hit with superstar names including Erling Haaland. He described Rossella’s pasta as “the best I have ever eaten” when he visited her restaurant in Maranello.</p> </div> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo visited while playing for Juventus. He ate dumplings, pasta and tiramisu. </p> </div> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Rossella has also been visited by Hollywood royalty, including Penelope Cruz (second left) and Michael Mann (right).</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Haaland is one of countless football faces who have made the trip to Ristorante Montana. Roberto de Zerbi, Gianluca Scamacca and even Cristiano Ronaldo have visited Rossella – the famously diet-mad Portuguese couldn’t resist Rossella’s hearty cuisine during a visit to former Juventus president Andre Agnelli a few years ago.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“I ate fried dumplings with cold cuts and pasta (lasagna, tortellini and gramigna) and tiramisu for dessert,” recalls Rossella.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It also has admirers in Hollywood, where actress Penélope Cruz and director Michael Mann try its famous pasta.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">But it is the La Scuderia drivers who have made this place their home. René Arnoux and Stephan Johansson were the first to pass through its doors in 1986, while Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, the two men competing for the Prancing Horse this year, are regular visitors. Sebastian Vettel still features despite leaving the team in 2020, while a framed photo of a smiling Fernando Alonso hugging the Italian chef during his formative racing years is proudly displayed alongside photos of his fellow Ferrari alumni.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">However, there is one image that inspires the most awe among these myriad memories. Stretched across the wall, Rossella squeezes Michael Schumacher as he eats one of his staple dishes: tagliatelle with pork ragù sauce.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“To my mother Rossella,” reads the German’s message, delicately written in Italian on the canvas. ‘Thanks for everything.’</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Rossella looks on with a smile, his soft eyes shining with admiration for the man who made it his mission to visit him whenever he was in Maranello.</p> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">But Ferrari holds the deepest affection in Rossella’s heart. The walls of the restaurant are covered with memories.</p> </div> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Michael Schumacher formed the strongest bond with Rossella, visiting the restaurant every time he was in Maranello.</p> </div> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Schumacher called Rossella his ‘Italian mom’ and loved her noodles with pork ragout sauce.</p> </div> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="splitLeft"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> </div> <div class="splitRight"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Fellow Ferrari heroes Sebastian Vettel (left) and Charles Leclerc (right) regularly visit his restaurant.</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“For breakfast, lunch and dinner I would come here,” he tells Mail Sport as he clears the table.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">‘He was everything’</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Rossella remembers his first meeting with Schumacher well. After becoming familiar with the area after signing for Ferrari, the German arrived at his doorstep late at night.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“It was February 14, 1996 at 11:30 p.m.,” he recalls. ‘He landed in Parma with his private plane and came to us with the press officer at that time, Mr. Claudio Berro. He had dinner on Valentine’s Day night. It was love at first sight!’</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Five world championships and many plates of tagliateles later, Schumacher has left an indelible mark on Maranello, as well as in the heart of Rossella.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“His Italian mother called me and he was like another son to me,” he says with a smile, appreciating those unforgettable moments.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It has been more than ten years since Schumacher last visited Ristorante Montana, the German victim of a shocking ski accident in the French Alps in December 2013. His well-being has been largely hidden from his admirers and has not been has seen in public since then.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Francesca, standing beneath a framed Schumacher racing suit, says: “It’s a tragedy.”</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">But the Schumacher clan has not forgotten the woman who cared so much about Michael.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">While visits are few and far between since their son, Mick, left Ferrari’s young driver program, a trio of racing helmets belonging to the couple sit on a shelf above the cash register.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Mick and his mother visited us last year,” says Francesca, before showing a photo of the young driver giving Rossella a warm hug. The connection still runs deep between the families after all these years.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The wheels keep turning at Ristorante Montana on this gray February afternoon, where another successful night of business is quickly approaching.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Will any famous faces make a surprise visit tonight? Leclerc is in town to promote Ferrari’s new partnership with Peroni, while great excitement is in the air for the upcoming arrival of Lewis Hamilton – the Briton has signed a lucrative deal to join the Scuderia from 2025.</p> <div class="mol-img-group xwArtSplitter"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Now, this picturesque restaurant awaits the arrival of Lewis Hamilton when he joins the Scuderia in 2025.</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The seven-time world champion has never frequented this Ferrari shrine, but his father, Anthony, passed by many years ago, long before Hamilton began talks with the Italians about a switch from Mercedes.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Follower of a strict vegan diet, will Rossella’s famous tagliatelli be off the Hamilton menu?</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">‘I’m the boss here!’ Rossella jokes, excited at the prospect of cooking for the man desperately chasing a record eighth world title, a tally that will see him finally eclipse her beloved Schumacher. He will have what I cook for him!</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">If he’s anything like his fellow stars, Hamilton won’t be able to escape the magic of this haven.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">And the secret ingredient to Ristorante Montana’s success? .</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“I feel at home,” Rossella says.</p> </div><!-- /wp:html -->

The best pasta maker in the world is having lunch.

After a busy morning service, Rossella Giannini enjoys the silence. The silver-haired matriarch watches intently as her husband, Maurizio, divides the remaining contents of a large pot of ragù between him, her son, Alberto, and her daughter-in-law, Francesca, as the family of four exchanges a few words while the waiters diligently prepare for next night.

It is rarely so quiet at Ristorante Montana. Located just a stone’s throw from Maranello, the home of Ferrari, Rossella has fought an uphill battle to compete with the five-star hospitality on offer in the area, where men in suits pay a premium for a slice of Italian luxury.

However, the stars, it seems, gravitate here. It was Erling Haaland who, sitting between these four wood-paneled walls, wrote ‘the best pasta I’ve ever eaten’ on a napkin addressed to Rossella.

“Mino Raiola’s father was a friend,” explains Maurizio, the football super-agent who recommended this hidden gem to the Manchester City goalscoring star before his death in 2022.

Rossella Giannini (center) runs Ristorante Montana with her husband Maurizio (right) and son Alberto (left)

His restaurant has proven to be a hit with superstar names including Erling Haaland. He described Rossella’s pasta as “the best I have ever eaten” when he visited her restaurant in Maranello.

Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo visited while playing for Juventus. He ate dumplings, pasta and tiramisu.

Rossella has also been visited by Hollywood royalty, including Penelope Cruz (second left) and Michael Mann (right).

Haaland is one of countless football faces who have made the trip to Ristorante Montana. Roberto de Zerbi, Gianluca Scamacca and even Cristiano Ronaldo have visited Rossella – the famously diet-mad Portuguese couldn’t resist Rossella’s hearty cuisine during a visit to former Juventus president Andre Agnelli a few years ago.

“I ate fried dumplings with cold cuts and pasta (lasagna, tortellini and gramigna) and tiramisu for dessert,” recalls Rossella.

It also has admirers in Hollywood, where actress Penélope Cruz and director Michael Mann try its famous pasta.

But it is the La Scuderia drivers who have made this place their home. René Arnoux and Stephan Johansson were the first to pass through its doors in 1986, while Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, the two men competing for the Prancing Horse this year, are regular visitors. Sebastian Vettel still features despite leaving the team in 2020, while a framed photo of a smiling Fernando Alonso hugging the Italian chef during his formative racing years is proudly displayed alongside photos of his fellow Ferrari alumni.

However, there is one image that inspires the most awe among these myriad memories. Stretched across the wall, Rossella squeezes Michael Schumacher as he eats one of his staple dishes: tagliatelle with pork ragù sauce.

“To my mother Rossella,” reads the German’s message, delicately written in Italian on the canvas. ‘Thanks for everything.’

Rossella looks on with a smile, his soft eyes shining with admiration for the man who made it his mission to visit him whenever he was in Maranello.

But Ferrari holds the deepest affection in Rossella’s heart. The walls of the restaurant are covered with memories.

Michael Schumacher formed the strongest bond with Rossella, visiting the restaurant every time he was in Maranello.

Schumacher called Rossella his ‘Italian mom’ and loved her noodles with pork ragout sauce.

Fellow Ferrari heroes Sebastian Vettel (left) and Charles Leclerc (right) regularly visit his restaurant.

“For breakfast, lunch and dinner I would come here,” he tells Mail Sport as he clears the table.

‘He was everything’

Rossella remembers his first meeting with Schumacher well. After becoming familiar with the area after signing for Ferrari, the German arrived at his doorstep late at night.

“It was February 14, 1996 at 11:30 p.m.,” he recalls. ‘He landed in Parma with his private plane and came to us with the press officer at that time, Mr. Claudio Berro. He had dinner on Valentine’s Day night. It was love at first sight!’

Five world championships and many plates of tagliateles later, Schumacher has left an indelible mark on Maranello, as well as in the heart of Rossella.

“His Italian mother called me and he was like another son to me,” he says with a smile, appreciating those unforgettable moments.

It has been more than ten years since Schumacher last visited Ristorante Montana, the German victim of a shocking ski accident in the French Alps in December 2013. His well-being has been largely hidden from his admirers and has not been has seen in public since then.

Francesca, standing beneath a framed Schumacher racing suit, says: “It’s a tragedy.”

But the Schumacher clan has not forgotten the woman who cared so much about Michael.

While visits are few and far between since their son, Mick, left Ferrari’s young driver program, a trio of racing helmets belonging to the couple sit on a shelf above the cash register.

“Mick and his mother visited us last year,” says Francesca, before showing a photo of the young driver giving Rossella a warm hug. The connection still runs deep between the families after all these years.

The wheels keep turning at Ristorante Montana on this gray February afternoon, where another successful night of business is quickly approaching.

Will any famous faces make a surprise visit tonight? Leclerc is in town to promote Ferrari’s new partnership with Peroni, while great excitement is in the air for the upcoming arrival of Lewis Hamilton – the Briton has signed a lucrative deal to join the Scuderia from 2025.

Now, this picturesque restaurant awaits the arrival of Lewis Hamilton when he joins the Scuderia in 2025.

The seven-time world champion has never frequented this Ferrari shrine, but his father, Anthony, passed by many years ago, long before Hamilton began talks with the Italians about a switch from Mercedes.

Follower of a strict vegan diet, will Rossella’s famous tagliatelli be off the Hamilton menu?

‘I’m the boss here!’ Rossella jokes, excited at the prospect of cooking for the man desperately chasing a record eighth world title, a tally that will see him finally eclipse her beloved Schumacher. He will have what I cook for him!

If he’s anything like his fellow stars, Hamilton won’t be able to escape the magic of this haven.

And the secret ingredient to Ristorante Montana’s success? .

“I feel at home,” Rossella says.

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