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De Blasio to depart, in search of the best eggplant parm

Mayor Bill de Blasio departs Friday for a 10-day family vacation to Italy with a mission: to find an eggplant parmigiana as delicious as his late mother’s.

“Eggplant parmigiana is my all-time favorite Italian meal,” de Blasio said at an unrelated event Thursday in Canarsie, Brooklyn. “My mother, Maria de Blasio — may she rest in peace — still no one has come close to an eggplant parmigiana as great as hers. So I will search all of Italy to see if I can find one.”

De Blasio, his wife, Chirlane McCray, and their teenage children, Chiara and Dante, will visit Rome, Venice, Capri and de Blasio’s grandparents’ villages. The mayor, who is proficient in Italian, has said he will fly coach.

He said Thursday that he had yet to pack for the trip.

The vacation also will include official visits with Italian government representatives.
De Blasio will foot the bill for him and his family, but taxpayers are picking up the tab for his three aides and his security detail. His spokesman did not have a cost estimate for the trip.

The mayor leaves as the LIRR unions and the MTA, with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, averted a strike Thursday and spared the city from crowded subways and packed roadways. De Blasio had earlier said the city has a dependable contingency plan and that Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris is ready and able to lead the city in his absence.

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