A NEW Italian restaurant has opened in York city centre.

Sapori has opened at 33 Shambles in the unit formerly occupied by L’Antica Locanda.

Owner Francesco Pischedda said starting his own restaurant was his dream and he has been saving up to open Sapori.

Francesco, from Sardinia, said: "I have lived in York for five years already. I also work as a delivery driver and DJ but I always wished to be a businessman and open my own restaurant.

“So I started to save up.

“It was a good opportunity to open on Shambles.

“We serve up Italian food - there are some dishes from Sardinia - I wish there were more but I can’t put everything from Sardinia on because of the ingredients we try our best to do as many as possible.

“All of the staff are from Sardinia, including the chefs.”

The venue serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as coffee and cakes from York’s Nelson Bakery.

Breakfast dishes include eggs, avocado on toast and asparagus on toast.

And the main menu features classic Italian starters and pastas.

The mains include fish and steak as well as some vegetarian options.

Francesco, who is 33, said he hopes to add some Sardinian specials to the menu in the future.

The restaurant also serves coffees and aperitifs.

And customers can stop in for a snack, with baked treats as well as homemade focaccia also on the menu.

L’Antica Locanda had been based on Shambles for about 15 years and was run by Giovanni Crobeddu. It closed down earlier this year. Bari Ristorante, another established Italian restaurant on the street based opposite at 15 Shambles, has now become Monty’s.

Traders on the street said earlier this year that council rent hikes threatened the ‘integrity’ of Shambles.