MIMMO

Description

Together with the Urban District of Commerce we met the Amaddeo family, owners of the restaurant-pizzeria “Da Mimmo” in the Upper Town. Here is the story of their business:

 

This story took place and still takes place in the superb setting of Bergamo’s historic city.

 

It was here that in 1956 Mr. Mimmo Amaddeo and his wife Lina arrived from Calabria. It was here that the first pizzeria in the upper town was opened in the same year: Da Mimmo restaurant.

 

More than the experience of emigration, Mimmo had experienced war and illegal immigration.

He had seen the cruelty of which human beings were capable and at the same time he had experienced the grace of being saved by the enemy.

 

All this entered his flesh to the point of transforming him, in the following years, into a gentle cheerful man, who fought evil with lightness and gratitude.

 

He lived in the post-war period with the wisdom of those who understood that "making it" could not be the result of one person, the best or the smartest, but rather represented a collective dream in which everyone participated to "do it together", not alone.

 

In a small autobiographical book Mr. Mimmo writes: I thank those who exploited me, because they taught me not to exploit.

 

If someone passed by the pizzeria, they were hungry and could not pay, he and Lina fed them, taking in return what everyone had to give: the painting of an unlucky artist or the promise of a payment that would come.

 

They were certain that every person had something to give and on this they built their unconscious subsidiarity.

 

The restaurant gave everyone an opportunity: strangers, poor, ex-prisoners, foreigners, because everyone was in the same boat and because those who were hungry, had more desire to learn and more need for a job that would restore dignity and the courage to show themselves to their family members.

 

Lina and Mimmo - who in the 1950s regularised everyone - paid no attention to the labels but to the results. They asked everyone for commitment, asked for people to give their best, held a joint responsibility agreement with each worker and then urged them to grow. They urged them to go home, to build families, to obtain a driver’s license, they continually urged them to go forward. They did it by asking a lot to those who worked and sharing the same table every day: "because that is where the best things happen".

 

Mr. Mimmo passed away in 2017. Today his restaurant is run by two of his seven children, Roberto and Massimo. About 80 people work there, coming from more than 20 different nationalities: there are northern and southern Italians, Moroccans, Senegalese, Ethiopians, Albanians, Argentines, Croats, Slovenians, Peruvians, Dominicans, Tunisians, Brazilians, Syrians, Bengalis, Russians, Poles, Malagasy, Bolivians, Ukrainians, Gambians, Rumanians, Nigerians, Serbs, Egyptians and Sinhalese.

 

Even today, they all sit at the same table and are still evaluated based on their work and the people they are. Whatever life they had before, here they find a home to start over.

 

Lina continues to accompany everyone's life with a maternal gaze. Cumba, 50, from Senegal is moved when telling how 'grandma Lina' takes just a “good morning” to understand how you are ("she always understands everything, even before you. She is a mother to all of us").

 

Alem, who escaped from war in Ethiopia, remembers gratefulness during the first years of work. They allowed her to bring in her child (today she is 26 years old) and, while she worked, 'grandma Lina' took care of her, letting her colour in books on a restaurant table.

 

She also remembers the time when a customer asked not to be served by her, she remembers that one of Mimmo's sons joined her saying: "I will take the order but she works for me and is here next to me". It was then that she realised she had finally found a home.

 

Then there are those like Nizaar, a Tunisian exile with an odyssey trip behind him. Thanks to his tenacity and desire to learn he has become an extraordinary pizza maker and has had his chance at rebirth. When asked about Mimmo he stops, he takes a breath, because talking (and writing) about this man asks for great care. Then, all in one breath, to hold back the emotion, he says “he was a man of heart. It really is true, gentlemen are born."

 

Mr. Mimmo was undoubtedly a great entrepreneur but his most important innovation - according to his son Roberto - was to trust people.

 

Trust was also a requirement but, for the sake of truth, it must be said that things did not always go well. Sometimes someone took advantage of the good received and betrayed the trust placed in them.

 

Mimmo, however, who had seen bigger things and who, despite the fatigues, never stopped saying yes to life, proceeded determined and generous, strongly arguing how important it was to keep making mistakes. He used to say "let go, good comes back" and often turned into that merciful father who could welcome again, always putting his hand on the shoulder of those who returned.

 

Today his children carry on this story with the will that they inherited and made it their own, which never ends. They have learned - growing inside - the great value of shared knowledge, of educating each other by standing next to each other, perhaps kneading a pizza and investing daily in the independence of another.

 

When we ask Roberto, Mimmo and Lina's eldest son, which is the greatest gift of this experience for him, he answers with certainty: “to see one of our employees in front of a clothing store for children and to know that they will be able to realise their dream of buying something for their daughter" or, he continues, " to participate in one of their weddings, to accompany those who open their own business or those who buy a house. See that everything circulates: the good and the economy.

Because the most extraordinary things happen in ordinary life, where responsibility and trust are effective only if mutual”.

 


THE RESTAURANT

It is one of the first pizzerias in Bergamo and it is located in the Upper Town’s main street, in a 1357 building considered the most splendid palace of the city at that time, which later became the headquarter of the Venetian Postal Service.

Think local, dream bigger. This is the philosophy of Da Mimmo, which offers a menu featuring family recipes, “Bergamo – the city of the thousand flavours” products, Slow Food Presidia and seasonality of the ingredients.  Don’t miss the PDO Margherita pizza, prepared with buffalo mozzarella, Pachino cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil: simple and excellent ingredients creating a delicious and genuine pizza.


In front of Da Mimmo Restaurant you can also find Mimì – La Casa dei Sapori, a shop established in 1998 in order to let everyone enjoy Da Mimmo’s specialities at home. Mimì joined the initiative “Trentacinqueuro.it”.

Continue

Together with the Urban District of Commerce we met the Amaddeo family, owners of the restaurant-pizzeria “Da Mimmo” in the Upper Town. Here is the story of their business:

 

This story took place and still takes place in the superb setting of Bergamo’s historic city.

 

It was here that in 1956 Mr. Mimmo Amaddeo and his wife Lina arrived from Calabria. It was here that the first pizzeria in the upper town was opened in the same year: Da Mimmo restaurant.

 

More than the experience of emigration, Mimmo had experienced war and illegal immigration.

He had seen the cruelty of which human beings were capable and at the same time he had experienced the grace of being saved by the enemy.

 

All this entered his flesh to the point of transforming him, in the following years, into a gentle cheerful man, who fought evil with lightness and gratitude.

 

He lived in the post-war period with the wisdom of those who understood that "making it" could not be the result of one person, the best or the smartest, but rather represented a collective dream in which everyone participated to "do it together", not alone.

 

In a small autobiographical book Mr. Mimmo writes: I thank those who exploited me, because they taught me not to exploit.

 

If someone passed by the pizzeria, they were hungry and could not pay, he and Lina fed them, taking in return what everyone had to give: the painting of an unlucky artist or the promise of a payment that would come.

 

They were certain that every person had something to give and on this they built their unconscious subsidiarity.

 

The restaurant gave everyone an opportunity: strangers, poor, ex-prisoners, foreigners, because everyone was in the same boat and because those who were hungry, had more desire to learn and more need for a job that would restore dignity and the courage to show themselves to their family members.

 

Lina and Mimmo - who in the 1950s regularised everyone - paid no attention to the labels but to the results. They asked everyone for commitment, asked for people to give their best, held a joint responsibility agreement with each worker and then urged them to grow. They urged them to go home, to build families, to obtain a driver’s license, they continually urged them to go forward. They did it by asking a lot to those who worked and sharing the same table every day: "because that is where the best things happen".

 

Mr. Mimmo passed away in 2017. Today his restaurant is run by two of his seven children, Roberto and Massimo. About 80 people work there, coming from more than 20 different nationalities: there are northern and southern Italians, Moroccans, Senegalese, Ethiopians, Albanians, Argentines, Croats, Slovenians, Peruvians, Dominicans, Tunisians, Brazilians, Syrians, Bengalis, Russians, Poles, Malagasy, Bolivians, Ukrainians, Gambians, Rumanians, Nigerians, Serbs, Egyptians and Sinhalese.

 

Even today, they all sit at the same table and are still evaluated based on their work and the people they are. Whatever life they had before, here they find a home to start over.

 

Lina continues to accompany everyone's life with a maternal gaze. Cumba, 50, from Senegal is moved when telling how 'grandma Lina' takes just a “good morning” to understand how you are ("she always understands everything, even before you. She is a mother to all of us").

 

Alem, who escaped from war in Ethiopia, remembers gratefulness during the first years of work. They allowed her to bring in her child (today she is 26 years old) and, while she worked, 'grandma Lina' took care of her, letting her colour in books on a restaurant table.

 

She also remembers the time when a customer asked not to be served by her, she remembers that one of Mimmo's sons joined her saying: "I will take the order but she works for me and is here next to me". It was then that she realised she had finally found a home.

 

Then there are those like Nizaar, a Tunisian exile with an odyssey trip behind him. Thanks to his tenacity and desire to learn he has become an extraordinary pizza maker and has had his chance at rebirth. When asked about Mimmo he stops, he takes a breath, because talking (and writing) about this man asks for great care. Then, all in one breath, to hold back the emotion, he says “he was a man of heart. It really is true, gentlemen are born."

 

Mr. Mimmo was undoubtedly a great entrepreneur but his most important innovation - according to his son Roberto - was to trust people.

 

Trust was also a requirement but, for the sake of truth, it must be said that things did not always go well. Sometimes someone took advantage of the good received and betrayed the trust placed in them.

 

Mimmo, however, who had seen bigger things and who, despite the fatigues, never stopped saying yes to life, proceeded determined and generous, strongly arguing how important it was to keep making mistakes. He used to say "let go, good comes back" and often turned into that merciful father who could welcome again, always putting his hand on the shoulder of those who returned.

 

Today his children carry on this story with the will that they inherited and made it their own, which never ends. They have learned - growing inside - the great value of shared knowledge, of educating each other by standing next to each other, perhaps kneading a pizza and investing daily in the independence of another.

 

When we ask Roberto, Mimmo and Lina's eldest son, which is the greatest gift of this experience for him, he answers with certainty: “to see one of our employees in front of a clothing store for children and to know that they will be able to realise their dream of buying something for their daughter" or, he continues, " to participate in one of their weddings, to accompany those who open their own business or those who buy a house. See that everything circulates: the good and the economy.

Because the most extraordinary things happen in ordinary life, where responsibility and trust are effective only if mutual”.

 


THE RESTAURANT

It is one of the first pizzerias in Bergamo and it is located in the Upper Town’s main street, in a 1357 building considered the most splendid palace of the city at that time, which later became the headquarter of the Venetian Postal Service.

Think local, dream bigger. This is the philosophy of Da Mimmo, which offers a menu featuring family recipes, “Bergamo – the city of the thousand flavours” products, Slow Food Presidia and seasonality of the ingredients.  Don’t miss the PDO Margherita pizza, prepared with buffalo mozzarella, Pachino cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil: simple and excellent ingredients creating a delicious and genuine pizza.


In front of Da Mimmo Restaurant you can also find Mimì – La Casa dei Sapori, a shop established in 1998 in order to let everyone enjoy Da Mimmo’s specialities at home. Mimì joined the initiative “Trentacinqueuro.it”.

Á la carte

TRADITIONAL DISHES

  • Local quality starter
  • Tasting of: Agrì di Valtorta cheese served with Parco dei Colli honey, Bergamo small polenta with Stracchino all’Antica delle Valli Orobiche cheese, local salami, wood oven-toasted bruschetta with rosemary-flavoured Bergamo lard. € 13,00
  • “Casonsèi de la bergamasca” with local pancetta – Bergamo traditional ravioli filled with meat with pear and amaretti biscuits. € 12,00
  • Vegetables ravioli filled with Agrì di Valtorta cheese seasoned with mountain butter and sage. € 12,00
  • Creamed stockfish with polenta (with Gandino’s “spinato” corn) € 16,00
  • Local rabbit skewer with polenta and Maresana’s fox grapes sauce. 
Speciality

Don’t miss the PDO Margherita pizza, prepared with buffalo mozzarella, Pachino cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil: simple and excellent ingredients creating a delicious and genuine pizza.

Menu

35 EUROS MENU

HYPER-TYPICAL MENU

Small appetizer:

  • Tiny Bergamo polenta with Stracchino all’Antica delle Valli Orobiche cheese and local salame.

First Course:

  • “I Casonsèi alla bergamasca”: Bergamo’s traditional ravioli filled with meat with pear and amaretti biscuits, seasoned with Orobie mountain butter, Formai de Müt cheese and local pancetta.

Main course:

  • Rabbit skewer with Bergamo’s lard and baby spinach seasoned with mountain butter.

Dessert:

  • Agrì di Valtorta cheese served with Parco dei Colli honey

Water and one glass of Valcalepio Rosso PDO wine - Az. Agricola Medolago Albani-2012

Continue

Small appetizer:

  • Tiny Bergamo polenta with Stracchino all’Antica delle Valli Orobiche cheese and local salame.

First Course:

  • “I Casonsèi alla bergamasca”: Bergamo’s traditional ravioli filled with meat with pear and amaretti biscuits, seasoned with Orobie mountain butter, Formai de Müt cheese and local pancetta.

Main course:

  • Rabbit skewer with Bergamo’s lard and baby spinach seasoned with mountain butter.

Dessert:

  • Agrì di Valtorta cheese served with Parco dei Colli honey

Water and one glass of Valcalepio Rosso PDO wine - Az. Agricola Medolago Albani-2012