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The Journey of AQUA Forte – From Italy to Sri Lanka

Anything born from passion has the capacity to be great and memorable. Combining that passion with love for Italian food and the charming Galle Fort, Paolo, Ian and Roberto brought AQUA Forte to life.

Set to open in May 2019, AQUA Forte is an authentic Italian restaurant determined to give diners a true taste of little Italy.

Our First Impressions about the Island

Since the first time we visited Sri Lanka about 10 years ago, we fell in love with the lush green island, its welcoming people and the mouth-watering food. We have all travelled to many places before, but we all felt something special about the atmosphere of this country. After our initial trip, we visited Sri Lanka again after a few years, and that’s when we seriously considered making the island a place to start our hospitality business.

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We Instantly Fell in Love with Galle

Galle immediately impressed us with its laid back, relaxing atmosphere, beautiful beaches surrounding the city and the hospitality of its people. The nature in and around the city reflects the lush rich environment of the South Coast region. The colors of the vegetation and the ocean fill your eyes. The vibrant touristic scene provides a nice contrast with the relaxed country atmosphere, making the city an interesting destination in all seasons.

Galle Fort – Just Like the Small Villages in Italy, a Home Far from Home

Galle Fort is the heart of Galle and one of the best places in the entire country. Its special atmosphere is the result of a combination of old colonial charm and local vibrant culture, variegated crowd filling the small alleys and the always present colors and scents of Sri Lanka. The first impression was like feeling home far from home. A welcoming warm cozy little town so different from Italy but also similar to what you may feel when you visit some of the small villages in Italy.

Galle Fort was the Natural Choice for Our Restaurant

Sri Lanka always kept a special place in our mind as one of the most interesting countries where we could start our hospitality business thanks to its growing economy, talented and welcoming people and booming touristic reputation. Galle Fort was the natural choice for our Italian restaurant. Although it is so far and so different from Italy, it has some very deep and subtle connection to some of our small villages or “borghi” where old architecture and charm of the past are the protagonists and set the special stage for some of the best culinary experiences.

Italian Food is All about Art, Passion, Love for the Ingredients and Respect for the Tradition

Food in Italy is very deeply rooted in everyone’s culture and most of our memories and life’s important moments are always connected directly or indirectly with food. Something also very special about Italian food is that, thanks to our variety of climates and environments around the peninsula, we have a huge variety of dishes and preparations that reflects regional character, availability of ingredients and seasonality. We often say that if you travel around the country, you can eat something different every day without eating the same food twice.

A Little Bit of Italian History in Galle Fort

The first time we stepped into the building that has now become AQUA Forte, the connection with Italian art and architecture was clear. Galle Fort’s Dutch colonial architecture shares commonality with Italy, as during the Renaissance period, Italian and other European artists travelled across the continent and similar structural elements were adopted quickly through Europe and subsequently to the colonies like Sri Lanka. In fact, some of the elements like the arch, so present in our premises and in the Galle Fort, date back from the Roman architecture. Therefore, it came naturally to play with those elements (especially the arch) and incorporate them in both our brand identity and the artwork displayed in our restaurant.

AQUA Forte is Opening in May 2019

AQUA Forte provides an atmosphere that is cozy and warm, elegant yet informal, sophisticated but unpretentious. The overall experience is like stepping into a modern restaurant in Italy but rooted in the historic heart of Galle Fort. This is achieved by architectural elements and several decorative blending together. Everything in the restaurant, from the etchings on the wall, to the artisanal handmade copper tableware and the high-quality plates and glassware, will convey a sense of modern Italian sophistication, setting the perfect stage for the real protagonists of AQUA Forte, our authentic Italian food and wine.

We are opening in May 2019.

Do you want to know more about authentic Italian cuisine, best wine pairings and secret offers at AQUA Forte? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to-date!

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