In truth, I never paid it much attention, but I must admit that each time I enter Hershey, be it for business or pleasure, the words to that song stream into my head and I think to myself, “this truly is one of the sweetest places on earth.”
And it has nothing at all to do with the commercial’s intended message.
Other menu items include – specialty pizzas, strombolis, wings, burgers, soups, a kids menu and that strange, but wonderful, Upside Down Pizza.
A personal favorite of mine is the Italian Wedding Soup, which is made daily with baby meatballs, pulled chicken, pasta and vegetables.
The Upside Down Pizza was a creation of the DeAngelis family and believe it or not, was actually the first pizza ever served in Hershey.
The pizza is like no other in the fact that the ingredients are first spread atop the pizza dough and then it is covered with pizza sauce; hence, upside-down.
It has absolutely nothing to do with chocolate and everything to do with the beauty I see encompassing the township, and the appreciation I’ve developed for the fabric of everyday life in Hershey.
It’s the sweeping, rolling countryside that tucks you into its green folds and isolates you from the coldness of typical highway travel. It’s viewing a Spring wedding in in progress while passing the Hershey Gardens; magnificent colors bursting forth in bloom, each reaching skyward grasping at the sun’s warmth.
It’s the splendor and elegance of the 80 year-old Hershey Theatre; exquisitely standing as the sculpted beauty of a golden age and still hosting Broadway style productions that rivals any modern venue.
I'm not naive. It's not all peaches and pumpkin pie. As with most of places in this day and age, a lot has changed in Hershey. But surprisingly, although Hershey is rife with change, here, change always seems to be for the better. It always seems to be an improvement as opposed to a detriment.
For the next 53 years, served generations of residents and visitors alike a consistent quality of terrific food, becoming not only a regional tradition, but a community landmark for decades to come.
He eventually struck upon an idea, and as sales increased, the H.B. Reese Candy Company rented the basement of the DeAngelis Building (mordern-day Fenicci’s), and from 1923 through 1926, used the building’s basement to produce those little treats we’ve come to know as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
But if Mr. Reese was the building’s most famous tenant, the most enduring tenant would have to have been Erwin’s Jewelry Co. that occupied the restaurant’s current-day Veranda Room from 1947 through 1988. For forty-one years, Erwin’s was an enduring fixture in the community.
In addition to the great food and ambiance, Finicci’s also offers live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night, 9:30-11:30 PM.
It’s that way as well for a little restaurant that stands on the corner of West Chocolate Avenue and Linden Road; Fenicci’s of Hershey. A lot has changed over the years at this corner establishment, but as seems to be the Hershey way, if anything, the change has been for the better.
To its credit, the building itself, which was built in 1921, has a storied existence of enough worth to warrant a page or two in the annals of Hershey history. In addition to housing a variety of businesses since the 1920’s, including a grocery store, soda fountain and news agency, there’s also the building’s connection to a gentleman by the name of H.B. Reese.
By 2006, Fenicci’s changed hands for the third time. This time, the restuarant was purchased by Phil Guarno.
Guarno came to Hershey via New York and as General Manager for Marriott. He cites hospitality, good friends, family and delicious food as his passions. He also views Fenicci’s, less as a restaurant and more as an extension of his home, and that attitude is easily recognizable by the manner in which he runs his establishment and greets his guests.
He also terms himself, “Present Custodian of a Hershey Tradition since 1935”.
Phil may have made several improvements to restaurant’s interior such as the Veranda Room for banquets and the renovated bar and lounge, but in no manner did he alter the tradition set by his predecessors in terms of the food.
Since 1946, Hershey residents have enjoyed the Upside-Down Pizza and nothing else here will do. In Hershey, it is tradition.
And Phil Guarno has carried on the tradition. In fact, when he bought the restaurant he proclaimed to anyone who’d listen, “The sauce and the pizza will not change!” And to his credit, it hasn’t.
Fenicci's of Hershey
102 West Chocolate Avenue
Hershey, PA 17033