6 April 1966 - 6 April 2016
Half a century of history narrated by Bruna Cerea.
Not just telling stories but a taste tour of the dishes that have made the restaurant famous.
6 April 1966: a special day.
Brusaporto, 6 April 2016 – On this day, fifty years ago, the restaurant called Ristorante Da Vittorio opened in Bergamo. A great triumph for the Cerea family. A story of passion and courage engendered by a visionary - Vittorio Cerea - who was gifted with “seeing the bigger picture”, painting new horizons in the foodservice industry, discreetly innovating, creating a timeless style, constantly rejuvenated, regardless of the passing fads, which his children have pursued in the same spirit. A story of hard work and constant effort, but also of great joy and delight. A successful family saga, emblematic of innovative and fine quality "Made in Italy" style. A virtuous example in the foodservice industry and beyond. Known by most as a 3-star restaurant, Da Vittorio is actually a comprehensive system of foodservice and hospitality, ranging from the Relais & Château (boutique hotel and gourmet restaurant), to external services, to major events, to the bistro in Orio, to the Cavour patisserie in upper Bergamo, to catering. A large, united family of twenty-seven. Chicco and Bobo at the stove top, Rossella in the dining room and reception, Francesco at external events, Barbara at the Pasticceria Cavour in upper Bergamo, Mamma Bruna at “the management helm”, also controlling the family equilibrium - wives, husbands, grandchildren all helping in the kitchen, in the dining room and in the patisseries. Da Vittorio is a real going concern, with a world-class reputation and high ethical standards - all resulting from a love story.
Bruna e Vittorio Cerea
Interno del ristorante in Bergamo
Ingresso del ristorante in Bergamo
50 years of history, 50 years of passion
The timeline of a narrative, of an experience, of a family.
The story of Signora Bruna
Mrs Cerea is moved as she thinks about the past 50 years. In Bruna's words: “Vittorio and I decided to open our own restaurant. I was panicky, and despite his great courage, he was a bit scared too”. Now Vittorio is no longer with us, but Bruna brings him to life with her every word, "because he was special. He put his life into his work”.
Their love story began with a hot chocolate at the Bar Orobica in Bergamo. Mrs Cerea used to go into her future husband's venue after the movies. She confesses: "I saw Vittorio and it was love at first sight. I won him over with his mother's help". Two years after that meeting, Bruna was standing at the altar, wearing her wedding ring. After a while, the two of them decided to open their restaurant in viale Roma (now viale Papa Giovanni XXIII), in the heart of Bergamo. She made the cakes and the "cannoncini" (pastry horns), he worked in the kitchen. The major innovation that Vittorio brought to Bergamo was “fish” - an unknown ingredient there at the time.
In the meantime, their children were growing up and when they weren't studying they were working in the restaurant. Mrs Cerea explains: "They used to get home from school, throw their school bag in a corner and go into the kitchen or the dining room". As they grew older, they ventured out into the world: Chicco travelled a lot, Francesco a bit less, Bobo went to France for a while. In the meantime, the two youngest were also growing up: Barbara - who now runs the Cavour café - and Rossella, who wanted to be a doctor because she took care of her grandma.
Many years after opening their business in Bergamo, the Cerea family moved to Brusaporto. A few weeks after they moved, Vittorio passed away. Bruna gets emotional: "I'm happy he was able to see the new restaurant. I loved my husband so much, my feelings for him are so strong that I still feel his presence alongside me". Now her grandchildren have also joined her children. But, as Mrs Cerea says: "I'd prefer them to go their own way. I'm happy for them to help out on Saturday nights, but they need to follow their dreams".
How the dishes of Ristorante Da Vittorio evolved
"My husband's dishes were very beautiful, my sons' dishes are more studied". Mrs Bruna Cerea is clear. On the one hand, putting into practice the gastronomic tradition of Italy, on the other the evolution towards modernity served up by the heirs. A mix that cannot be separated, and which is now the trump card in the cuisine of the Da Vittorio restaurant.
The celebratory dish for the fiftieth anniversary, dedicated to Vittorio
Baby octopus in green sauce by Vittorio
These baby octopus are available only twice a year. This dish combines the traditions of Venice and Bergamo. Vittorio's Venetian aunts were responsible for his strong passion for fish and seafood. When he travelled to the city of lagoons he learnt to appreciate octopus served with polenta. The choice of this food denotes the refined, precious nature of the recipe. This is the favourite dish of Bruna and her children, the one that brings back the flavours and sensations of their early days, when the polenta was cooked in the fireplace and released that unforgettable crispy-amber aroma.
The 50thanniversary cake: Gioconda
The Cerea family children decided to dedicate this cake to their mother. Everyone knows her as Bruna, but her name is actually Gioconda. Chicco, Francesco, Barbara, Bobo and Rossella decided to name this cake after their mother because she was always the expert in desserts both at home and in the old restaurant. She used to hand make the cannoncini pastry horns in a corner of the kitchen and baked them three times a day. The Gioconda cake is a leavened cake based on natural years, with dark chocolate, hazelnut chocolate cream, hazelnut praline paste and candied orange peel.
Fifty: the cocktail of the 50o
Green apple, cardamom, cinnamon, lime, agave and rum These are the ingredients used to make the special cocktail created by Alessandro Zana, Da Vittorio barman to celebrate the restaurant's 50th anniversary. A refined, warm taste that really communicates all the passion and creative flair of the Cerea Family.