Seeing actor Stanley Tucci speaking Italian is one of the many joys of Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, the CNN show that just aired its second season. After all, this is an actor we know and love from English-language roles in The Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia, and The Hunger Games — and here he is on CNN with la lingua Italiana rolling off his tongue.
And then, of course, there’s all that food — including spaghetti all’assassina, pane carasau, Alghero lobster, fregola, Apulian blue cheese.
But we’ll have to savor those two seasons of Searching for Italy, because it seems like they might be the only two seasons we’ll get. Read on to learn more about Stanley, his CNN show, and the show’s uncertain future.
Does Stanley Tucci speak Italian?
Tucci does speak Italian, after learning the language as a kid.
“My grandparents were Italians from Calabria, and I lived in Florence for a year as a kid when my father, now a retired art teacher, had a sabbatical and studied at the [Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze art museum],” he told Cultural Daily in November 2020. “So it was there that I learned Italian and a great appreciation for the culture. I have been back to Italy quite a few times since, and I worked there.”
In a January 2021 interview on Late Night, Stanley told host Seth Meyers that he speaks Italian “well enough” but isn’t as fluent as he once was. “I used to speak it fluently, but of course, I spoke like a 12-year-old because that’s how old I was when I lived there,” he said. “So now I speak like a very old 12-year-old. But I’ve been taking lessons over the last year and a half and getting a bit better.”
What is ‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’?
Searching for Italy follows Stanley “as he travels across Italy to discover the secrets and delights of the country’s regional cuisines,” CNN said in a press release for Season 1.
“Viewers will go along with him as he enjoys the luxurious creamy carbonara of Rome, the delicious simplicity of Sicily’s pasta alla Norma, the saffron-infused silkiness of risotto in Milan, the crispy tenderness of bistecca alla fiorentina, the perfect classic ragu alla bolognese and the world’s best pizza in Naples,” the network added.
In the eight-episode second season, Stanley journeyed to yet more Italian cities and regions, including Venice, Piedmont, Umbria, Sardinia, and even his ancestral homeland of Calabria.
Is ‘Searching for Italy’ coming back for Season 3?
Searching for Italy is one of the CNN series that could be in jeopardy. On Friday, Oct. 28, Variety reported that CNN is pulling back on production on original series and movies, leading AV Club to think Stanley’s culinary travelogue “is being put on the back burner” at the cable network.
“Our long-term plan will no longer rely on commissioned projects with outside partners,” Chris Licht, chairman and CEO of CNN, wrote in a note to employees Friday, per Variety. “This was a very difficult decision to make, and it was based, in large part, on the ever-increasing cost of commissioning third-party premium content.”
Our response? È molto triste.