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A Taste for History

Colin Caplan ('94) has carved out a niche as the most entertaining tour guide in New Haven.

He is the founder of Taste of New Haven, which hosts the annual Apizza & Eats Feast and offers more than 10 walking and biking tours of the Elm City’s increasingly famous restaurants. The tours range from the “Pizza Lovers Tour” (a five-hour walking tour of Wooster Square and beyond) to the “Live to Eat Tour” (which combines delicious food and drink with tips on healthy eating from a guide educated in nutrition and genetics.)

This year, he co-launched the Elm City Party Bike, a pedal-powered vehicle that lets visitors see the city (and get a workout) while sipping drinks. The bike was an instant hit when it debuted at New Haven’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade this past March, and is now booked two months out.

A history buff with a deep knowledge of New Haven lore, Colin sprinkles his tours with engaging history and bits of trivia. (For instance, there is not, in fact, a secret tunnel under College Street from the old Taft Hotel to what later became the Anchor Bar.)

“We bring people in with the food and give them the history so they get the full experience,” says Colin. “People come away with a feeling of New Haven as a cultural place but also as an important place in America’s history.”

Colin’s path led him from New Haven (where he grew up) to Maine, Los Angeles and back again. He earned a master’s in architecture at Tulane University and worked as a designer and historic consultant for Neighborhood Housing Services in New Haven, helping restore some 100 homes to their former glory. He’s the founder of Magrisso Forte, a firm specializing in historic restoration, historic building consulting and archiving, and has written six books about local history and New Haven pizza.

Colin’s driving motivation is to share his love of food and history while giving a boost to New Haven’s economy by showcasing what makes the city special.

“The way I see it is that the entire city is my history book,” Colin says. “If people are now walking through the book with me, we’re on an illustrated tour together.”

Learn more about Taste of New Haven at www.tasteofnewhaven.com. Learn more about Elm City Party Bike at www.elmcitypartybike.com.

Since 1916, The Foote School has provided child-centered education that nurtures creativity, excellence and joy in learning.

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