‘Melissa’s Tea Room’ – Italy’s Rustic, Traditional Hidden Gem; Owned by a Woman Who Embodies the Spirit of Riviera Culture
Tucked away in the medieval Italian town of Liguria, ‘Melissa’s Tea Room & Cakes’ is a small and cozy oasis that not only oozes the smell of freshly-baked, traditional sweet treats, but also captures a snapshot of bygone Italian history and culture. It’s owned by Melissa Forti – a fearless world traveler passionate about sharing the best of her native Italy. And it’s been a huge success – with visitors from all corners of the globe joining her for a cup of tea, a slice of cake and an experience you won’t find outside of her four walls.
If there’s any country still known for holding onto its cultures and traditions – it’s Italy. And nobody is more passionate about her country than Melissa Forti – a renowned baker, businesswoman and author who quite possibly owns the most unique tea room in the world.
It’s called ‘Melissa’s Tea Room’, an apt name for this small yet unforgettable café nestled in Liguria on the northwest Italian Riviera. But this isn’t just any old café – it’s an experience that people come from around the world to savour, creating memories they’ll never forget.
“My goal is to embody the world in a single café,” explains Forti, who has travelled around the globe collecting experiences, recipes and techniques that she employs in her tea room. “You experience the best of Italy the second you walk through the door, when you’re greeted by historical and traditional Italian artefacts that have been passed down through the generations, and see my paintings on the wall. If you could show someone one room that captures everything Italy and its heritage stands for, then this would be it.”
Continuing, “And that’s before you even get to the food! I wake up and bake by what inspires me the most on that particular day. It starts with me going out and hand-selecting the freshest, most apt in-season ingredients from local vendors, before locking myself in at the early hours to bake fresh goods ready for sale that day. Everything is always 100% fresh and, if ingredients are out of season or not of the very finest quality, I simply don’t incorporate them. You can taste the freshness of my cakes and other baked goods with every bite – you’re literally tasting everything that’s great about Italy.”
Forti first started to bake a decade ago, starting a cupcake and wedding cake business before opening up her tea room in 2010.
“I can’t believe how things have grown in just six years!” Forti admits. “I never imaged such a small tea room could be so profitable, or become so well-known around the world. As mentioned, it’s also inspired me to travel across continents and oceans to collect inspiration for my “one world” vision for the place. I’ve also branched out, too, into writing. My debut book, ‘The Italian Baker’ is currently being published by Quadrille Publishing in the UK, and shares many of my recipes as well as familial history and cultural showcases. It’s an extension of the tea room and is yet another chapter in Italy’s boundless beauty and heritage.”
Melissa’s Tea Room can be visited at: Domenico Fiasella, 33, 19038 Sarzana SP, Italy.
Purchase her book, here
About the Author:
Born in Rome and having lived in Los Angeles and London, Melissa Forti taught herself to bake and started to collect baking books old and new to learn about the art of baking through the ages and throughout the world. After settling in the magical town of Sarzana, situated between Cinque Terre and Tuscany, she opened a boutique bakery and tea room, Melissa Tea Room and Cakes, where both locals and visitors enjoy her incredible, freshly baked cakes every day.
Content and images provided by Melissa Forti