In Verona, Ziga is a bohemian bistro, inspired by the Parisian bars of the late 19th century, a meeting place for artists and intellectuals, which offers a colorful vegetarian cuisine amidst works of art and vintage furniture.
Opened in 2018 in the Borgo Trento district of Verona, for her “dream” restaurant, Marcella Bianchi was inspired by a symbol of bohemian Paris: Au lapin agile (the quick rabbit), a small bistro famous for being frequented by famous artists of the time, from Pablo Picasso to Roland Dorgelès, from Apollinaire to Modigliani. A tribute that can be read in the logo of the eatery, a lively bunny, and in its name: “zigare” is, in fact, the verse in Italian of this cute animal.
The choice of the rabbit as a symbol of the venue is also a tribute to the philosophy of life that accompanies Marcella, that of a world in which all living beings live together according to the rules dictated by nature, choosing the path of harmony and beauty.
Ziga embodies my dream, of a world in which man, animals and nature coexist happily, under the banner of beauty and shared emotions.
(Marcella Bianchi, owner)
The large mural that occupies an entire wall of the main room could not better describe this concept: created by the Veronese artist, and partner of Marcella, Giovanni Motta in collaboration with Massimo Soprano and completely hand-painted on wooden panels, it describes a group of animals in celebration who feast happily.
Faithful to this belief, Ziga’s cuisine is vegetarian and completely based on the search for suppliers who observe the same philosophy, such as the rice from the Zaccaria farm in the Vercelli area, organic eggs from Lake Garda, or Tuma Persa, a Sicilian cheese produced on the island only by one cheesemaker. It is to the cook Alessandra, Sicilian by origin, that we owe, in particular, the search for products of excellence from the south of Italy that she loves to transform into cheerful, tasty and colorful recipes like her homeland looks like.
All the aromatic herbs come from the Orto dello Ziga, a project started in 2021 thanks to the collaboration with the Gianiculum Association, which saw the shared cultivation with natural methods of a plot of land in Parona, in Valpolicella, from which Marcella gets the herbs that she uses for her bistro.
Even the wine and drink list follows a “holistic” approach with a well-stocked cellar of natural labels from the area, such as the biodynamic farm Musella, and from all over the world, such as the main European wine-growing regions, including those less known as Transylvania in Romania and Moravia in the Czech Republic.
Also with regard to drinks, Marcella has started collaborations with local ventures, such as the American bitter created especially for Ziga by I Liquori delle Sirene, the company founded by Elisa Carta that gives life to artisanal drinks born from completely natural botanical infusions made with spontaneous herbs from Lake Garda.
And cheerful just like the nature that inspires the menu, the decor of Ziga is a party of reuse and colors among tables inspired by the bistros of the late nineteenth century, crystal chandeliers, gilded mirrors and walls decorated with many green plants and ceramics, Marcella’s passion.
Ziga is an ever-changing environment, welcoming at all hours, just like the Parisian bistros that inspire it, from morning to after dinner. If for breakfast and brunch (served every Saturday and Sunday), it is the kingdom of centrifuges, ultra-vitamin bowls and homemade cakes, starting from aperitif time the place is transformed for dinner; as lights get dimmed and the glare of candles gives a more intimate and romantic atmosphere.
The perfect moment to enjoy a menu based on the now-famous Sfincione of Ziga, a typical Sicilian dish with natural leavening of Tumminia flour stuffed with vegetables and cheese, and tasty and balanced dishes such as Crepes Primavera with spinach with stracciatella cheese, colorful cherry tomatoes, capers, olives, oregano, fleur de sel de Bretagne and edible flowers from their garden, or gourmet burgers such as Fujiko made with organic ancient grain flour bread, veg burger with legumes, sliced avocado, shitake mushrooms in teriyaki sauce and homemade veg maio with wasabi.
A place to bring friends, or find new ones, because at Ziga it is easy to feel at home from the first moment, especially thanks to the smile of its “crew”: in addition to Marcella and Alessandra in the kitchen with her brigade composed of Giulia, Michele and Gianluigi, are part of the Ziga’s Family: Elisa who manages the pastry shop, Giacomo who selects the wine list, Darix who welcomes customers in the evening and takes care of the craft beers, as well as Maria and Safy who help managing the service.
Many of the objects that decorate Ziga come from the house of Marcella’s beloved grandmother; she keeps them with great love in the memory of the principles that her family taught her: things of value must, in fact, be preserved in order to be handed down to the next generations, just as we should do with the world we live in.