Our Story

Celebrating the natural meeting place of the table, C'era Una Volta is less about a philosophy of eating and instead a celebration of the spirit of the authentic Italian regional cultures and cuisines in relation to whatever walks through our doors!

Talented and knowledgeable in local market fresh foods, Chef Rudy brings to the table 30 years of experience in and a lifelong passion for food and wine.  We make every plate as a testament to our commitment to
community minded consumption.
C'era Una Volta, or Once Upon A Time, is a hidden treasure in a quiet corner of the island city of Alameda.  Please join us soon for your next meal or wine tasting and nourish your body and soul with a Taste of Italy!



Central to C'era Una Volta's mission is community participation. We proudly sponsor local Alameda community organizations, non profits, events and activities as well as Bay Area events that promote a healthy, vibrant community.
To learn more, click on a name below.

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"There is no disputing good taste."

cera una volta italian restaurant logo

A Philosophy of Taste 

While growing up just after World War II in Livorno, Italy, we had few luxuries. Though our town had been destroyed, we were determined to laugh, love and live well with what little we had. I learned to take pleasure in the sensation of being alive, and my appreciation for taste rose above all else.

Food is more than just fuel that feeds our bodies – it is the universal and indispensible means of conveying our traditions and shared community. Food with tradition and with “soul” is the central expression of special occasions in cultures around the world.

The culinary arts celebrate our sense of taste, creating the meals that not only nourish our bodies, but also create experiences that become a true part of us by remaining in our memories.

Taste, in this sense, is a reflection of our culture, our society, our humanity. Taste is what anchors us to the traditions of our past, and becomes the path to preserving our future culture.

In my philosophy, food maintains our bodies – taste sustains life.

I dedicate my work to my mamma, Floriana, whom I appreciate for teaching me simplicity. Dedication is also due to Luciano Grapsa and Renato Porciatti who gave me lessons in life and passion for the culinary arts.

Chef Rutilio “Rudy” Fanetti-DurĂ¡n



C'era Una Volta - Awards



C'era Una Volta - Certifications

    • Greenopia - Certified Green business
    • Accademia de la Cucina Italiana

C'era Una Volta - Memberships