When you arrive at Girasole in Shadyside, there is a feeling of family — a welcoming into their home. This tight-knit, family business invites you to taste its take on traditional Italian cuisine, which is still innovative and fresh. Dynamic duo Vito Gerasole and Jennifer Gerasole have been with the restaurant for more than a decade now and are tackling other projects, too. Vito’s Red Ribbon Soda, produced by Natrona Bottling Company, is the latest local success. (With 10 flavors for choosing, the soda can be purchased across Pittsburgh!) We couldn’t wait to quiz these business savvy individuals on what they love most about the city they call home.

By Veronica Cheng + Jessica Klimczyk, Advertising Production Interns

Jennifer Gerasole:

1 / The people. Pittsburghers are very proud of their city, and so am I.
2 / Shadyside. The quaint neighborhood is welcoming to everyone. I like how the businesses and residents support each other in making the area a better place to live, shop, and eat.
3 / Red Fin Blues. Gino and I love taking the kids on the bike trail and ending with a scenic meal.
4 / The Steelers!
5 / All of the great bakeries. The lily cake at Food Glorious Food, prosciutto sandwiches at La Gourmandine, red velvet cake pops at Bella Christie & Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique, lemon ice at Moio’s, mini Burnt Almond Tortes at Prantl’s, shortbread at Jean-Marc Chatellier’s, etc.
6 / The great selection of unique cards and gifts at Kards Unlimited.
7 / Buffalo mozzarella at Il Pizzaiolo.
8 / The Twin Hi-Way Drive-In theater by the airport makes for an awesome family night.
9 / Duane Rieder’s wine room at Engine House 25 in The Clemente Museum.
10 / Lunch in the Strip District — the Lomo sandwich at Gaucho and the quinoa/couscous at Thin Man Sandwich Shop.

Vito Gerasole:

1 / Page’s Dairy Mart on East Carson Street. They have the best soft-serve ice cream around.
2 / Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in the Strip District. It has every type of candy you can think of, and they play Willy Wonka all day, every day in the store!
3 / Labriola’s Italian Food Market. When I walk into any one of the stores, the aromas are consistently amazing and exactly what I remember as a child. It’s a fine, family-run grocery store, and a legend in Pittsburgh.
4 / Pittsburgh’s history. It’s a very integral part of American history.
5 / The Cathedral of Learning. The beautiful Gothic Revival skyscraper is a Pittsburgh landmark. It’s also the tallest building on a college campus in the country.
6 / Kennywood. Over 100 years old, Kennywood continues to thrill children and adults alike. I’ll put our wooden roller coasters up against any steel behemoth!
7 / The Steelers. The team is one of the best run organizations in the NFL, and is owned by a wonderful Pittsburgh family.
8 / The people of Pittsburgh. Jennifer and I agree that Pittsburghers are typically friendly, caring, and helpful.
9 / The bridges. Our impressive bridge structures make us “The City of Bridges.” We even have more bridges than Venice, Italy!
10 / The landscape. With our valleys, the three rivers, hillsides, and surrounding small neighborhoods, our landscape is beautiful and anything but boring.

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