The mystery of the White Lady resolved

When Céline, the band, and I returned to La Dama Bianca on our way back to Venice to lunch with our friend Marco Fantinel, we were served these delicious paccheri (homemade ring-shaped pasta) with shrimp and squid.

My post the other day on La Dama Bianca in Duino (Italy Day 7) generated a tide of comments, including a number of messages from fellow fans/lovers of the the restaurant/hotel: it’s one of those truly magical places and once you’ve been, you count the days until you can return (Céline Dijon liked it so much that we decided to stop there for lunch on our way back from Slovenia).

Céline (left), the band, and I met Marco (right) on our way back to Venice. The weather was beautiful and the food… ah… the food at La Dama Bianca always puts you in a good mood.

Pierpaolo from Trieste wrote:

    The name “Dama bianca” came from a legend, inspired by a white rock that, seen from the sea, it seems a female figure wrapped in a long veil. The legend tells of the evil owner of the old castle of Duino (today only ruins) during the Middle Ages, who threw his wife from a precipice and God, moved to mercy by the shouts of the “pure” lady, transformed her into stone before touching the water.

Thanks, Pieropaolo, for resolving the mystery.

Simona author of Briciole also pointed me to this Wikipedia entry on Duino.

I’m not quite sure the origin of paccheri (see photo at top), although I know that some believe the pasta shape was created to smuggle garlic cloves. Maybe Simona can help us to resolve the paccheri mystery…

One thought on “The mystery of the White Lady resolved

  1. No mystery.
    I Paccheri are the more typical format of pasta of the Campania region. Defined also ‘schiaffoni’ (slaps), once famous among the poor people because even few but large paccheri were sufficient to fill the pot.
    You can read a more detailed definition (in Italian) on Wikipedia (
    In my opinion, the “paccheri” are the best pasta to match a fish sauce, like the one you had at the “Dama Bianca” restaurant.

    Pierpaolo (

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