the picciotto truck brings traditional sicilian street food to New York City in a modern-day carretto siciliano

Image courtesy Joe Zarba

Image courtesy Joe Zarba


Sicilians have been selling their wares from carts, trucks, and carriages for hundreds of years. The "Carretto Siciliano" (Sicilian Cart) has long been out of commission for transport, but lives on as a cultural symbol of the island and a way to keep Sicilian history alive.

The Picciotto NYC food truck combines modern technology with nods to the traditional art of the classic Carretto Siciliano. The carretto is a mobile storybook of sorts, depicting images from local lore as well as personal signatures of the artist. Picciotto has stayed true to the roots of carretto with a unique vehicle to bring Chef Alessandro Ancona's Sicilian food to the masses.

Anatomy of a Food Truck

On the truck's canopy, you will find a checkerboard pattern, a popular look for a carretto. On the Picciotto truck, the pattern colors are red, white and blue as a loving nod to Chef Alessandro's adopted homeland. Also on the canopy, you will find the sun and moon merged together with an unbroken chain surrounding it. The sun/moon combo is a popular theme in Sicilian ceramics, and represents the circle of life as well as rebirth or new beginnings. While Alessandro's connection with his homeland of Sicily remains unbroken, he is starting on a new path with his truck.

As you walk around the truck, you will find repetition of both the checkerboard pattern and a floral tile pattern, another typical Sicilian concept. In another nod to the traditional style of carretto, all around the cart you will find traditional artworks depicting historical battles of Sicily and folk art images of traditional carretti. On one side of the truck you will see three panels of knights fighting, images of old Sicilian tales that are often depicted in art and in the traditional puppet theaters. On the other side, three panels with the old carretti.


On the top of the truck, festive red and blue circular patterns repeat all around the front and sides. Along the bottom of the front and back sides of the truck, you will see the lower pattern continue. On the back, you will see a representation of the vintage Palermo area license plate. Here, the license plate on the truck reveals numbers that are meaningful to Chef Alessandro: the birthdates of his two children, the driving forces for his ambition and passion for success.