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Restaurant's Italian experience

PUBLISHED: 16:11 04 February 2002 | UPDATED: 15:25 03 March 2010

IMAGINE sitting in a restaurant in Rome, admiring the historic, cultural and picturesque landscape, eating a classic Italian meal and sipping a nice glass of Chianti followed by the perfect after diner cappuccino - well you do not have to travel all the way to Italy for the experience.

IMAGINE sitting in a restaurant in Rome, admiring the historic, cultural and picturesque landscape, eating a classic Italian meal and sipping a nice glass of Chianti followed by the perfect after diner cappuccino – well you do not have to travel all the way to Italy for the experience.

Italy has come to Felixstowe and we are not just talking about a few pizzas and a bowl of pasta.

One restaurant has gone to great length's in order to bring Italy right to the customer.

Restaurateur, Sherino Mohammed who owns Bella Roma in Hamilton Road has gone that extra mile to ensure that customers really experience and get a feel for Italy while they dine.

Mr Mohammed, 45, has re-vamped the inside of his restaurant at a cost of thousands of pounds so that while you sit and enjoy your meal you can soak up some of Italy's history.

Famous Italian landmarks have been hand-painted on the walls and the menu has more than 200 dishes representing all the different flavours of Italy.

"I went on a whistle-stop tour of Italy last summer and have brought back all the old authentic roman recipes which have been passed down form generation to generation. I also picked up some historical antiques which are on display in the restaurant.

"We have dishes stretching from the top of Italy all the way down to the bottom.

"I don't just want my customers to get a taste of Italy I want them to experience the real thing," said Mr Mohammed.

Two of the artists responsible for painting the majority of the pictures are Felixstowe based artist Gareth Lee and Suffolk College art student, Caroline Brown.

Mr Lee of Gainsborough Road, spent more than a month hand-painting many historical sites and landmarks from all over Italy.

"I am absolutely delighted with how the restaurant looks.

"I really enjoyed painting all the different scenes and images as it is not often you get a chance to work on large murals," said Mr Lee.

Mr Mohammed says the murals were painted three dimensional at the back of the restaurant because customers would need to be a distance away to appreciate the full effects of the paintings.

The restaurant has more than 20 paintings and artistic treasurers including scenes from two ancient roman towns, Herculaneum and Pompeii, where the cities was preserved by ash and lava from a volcano; Flora the goddess of spring and birth; a roman farmer celebrating his good vintage and a illustration of life in Sorrento.

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