Tijuana

Tijuana

Description

This is the story of a long trip, of going and coming back. It is the necessary adventure of two families, one from Liguria and the other from Veneto, who left shortly after the unification of Italy in search of a bit of luck in another country - Latin America - which represented the dream of a new life. It is also the story of their return, through their descendants.

 

Together with the Urban District of Commerce we met Enrique and Berenice, owners of Tijuana, who told us about the birth of their restaurant.

 

For five generations their families lived, worked and raised their children in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay, dedicating themselves with tenacity and commitment to the agro-food sector. Then, in the early nineties, a profound crisis and a great economic instability in South America forced the Raffo family to undertake a journey backwards, towards their origins but also towards making a future.

 

Enrique, his wife Berenice and their three children - Valeria (8 years old), Camila (6 years old) and Giancarlo (4 years old) - left their home, work, family, friends, beloved Curitiba and from the south of Brazil left for Bergamo.

 

In their suitcase only one certainty: "We were sure of winning!".

 

Telling us with eyes that exude courage is Mrs. Berenice who, sitting next to her daughter Camila, smiles proudly and serenely retracing her life story: “To survive you have to put yourself out there. And we've always done it. All five together.”

 

They arrived in Bergamo because here they had the contact of a dear family friend, Gianni Balduzzi who generously helped them to take their first steps in the territory. They managed to find their first rental house in Roncola San Bernardo where the children grew up serene surrounded by greenery. Within a month they already spoke Italian. Berenice and Enrique worked hard in two different places. He learned to make pizzas. She worked shifts in a bar. For a while the children came with her and the car was equipped so they could rest. When they were a little older, she left them at home with food ready and the three children, responsibly, took care of each other. They all knew they were part of the same project and that being a family means above all teaming up to face challenges.

 

When the distance from the children became too tiring Berenice "asked" - and she says raising her gaze full of confidence to the sky - "I need a job that will let me stay with my children".

 

And, so it happened that, while her husband continued to work as a pizza chef to perfect his skills and to have a secure income, she opened a small takeaway pizzeria right in Borgo Santa Caterina.

 

Her husband woke up early and prepared the dough, the children joined her after school and helped by spreading the pizzas and taking care of the cash. It was 1997.

 

"The Brazilian dough was a success and after only six months Enrique was also able to quit his job to devote himself to our restaurant. We were all together again and we haven’t separated since."

 

Camila has the same eyes as her mother and recounts her experience with joy. “I was a very quick pizza maker! The place was small and we had to take turns at the counter because there wasn't space for two of us. At one point, we had ten guys taking care of pizza delivery at the same time!".

 

Shortly thereafter, in 2001, a new possibility also arose and the family did not hesitate, once again, to roll up their sleeves and pick up yet another gauntlet. Thus, the Tijuana Ristorante Argentino was born with gastronomic influence from all over South America and also from Italy.

 

"My husband and I both have an adventurous spirit and the certainty that life always opens many doors". Camila who, with a degree in psychology, manages the two family restaurants with her brother Giancarlo (the second is in Spirano) adds “Dad taught us to take risks and mum sent us her unstoppable determination and we have a balance of the two".

 

The two women look at each other with a mixture of tenderness and amazement, then Berenice adds: “I had three wonderful children, a gift from heaven. I stood by their side so they wouldn’t fall."

 

Mrs. Berenice recounts, carefully choosing each word. Sometimes she apologises for her imperfect Italian, but she knows it well. She studied philosophy and loves poetry, particularly that of Goethe and Alda Merini.

 

It is 12.30pm and the first customers arrive in the restaurant. Berenice interrupts the story to greet them and ask how they are doing. "For me they are like my grandparents and when they arrive I tell them: leave the sadness aside, sit comfortably and eat well."


La carne utilizzata viene acquistata direttamente in Argentina.

Continue

This is the story of a long trip, of going and coming back. It is the necessary adventure of two families, one from Liguria and the other from Veneto, who left shortly after the unification of Italy in search of a bit of luck in another country - Latin America - which represented the dream of a new life. It is also the story of their return, through their descendants.

 

Together with the Urban District of Commerce we met Enrique and Berenice, owners of Tijuana, who told us about the birth of their restaurant.

 

For five generations their families lived, worked and raised their children in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay, dedicating themselves with tenacity and commitment to the agro-food sector. Then, in the early nineties, a profound crisis and a great economic instability in South America forced the Raffo family to undertake a journey backwards, towards their origins but also towards making a future.

 

Enrique, his wife Berenice and their three children - Valeria (8 years old), Camila (6 years old) and Giancarlo (4 years old) - left their home, work, family, friends, beloved Curitiba and from the south of Brazil left for Bergamo.

 

In their suitcase only one certainty: "We were sure of winning!".

 

Telling us with eyes that exude courage is Mrs. Berenice who, sitting next to her daughter Camila, smiles proudly and serenely retracing her life story: “To survive you have to put yourself out there. And we've always done it. All five together.”

 

They arrived in Bergamo because here they had the contact of a dear family friend, Gianni Balduzzi who generously helped them to take their first steps in the territory. They managed to find their first rental house in Roncola San Bernardo where the children grew up serene surrounded by greenery. Within a month they already spoke Italian. Berenice and Enrique worked hard in two different places. He learned to make pizzas. She worked shifts in a bar. For a while the children came with her and the car was equipped so they could rest. When they were a little older, she left them at home with food ready and the three children, responsibly, took care of each other. They all knew they were part of the same project and that being a family means above all teaming up to face challenges.

 

When the distance from the children became too tiring Berenice "asked" - and she says raising her gaze full of confidence to the sky - "I need a job that will let me stay with my children".

 

And, so it happened that, while her husband continued to work as a pizza chef to perfect his skills and to have a secure income, she opened a small takeaway pizzeria right in Borgo Santa Caterina.

 

Her husband woke up early and prepared the dough, the children joined her after school and helped by spreading the pizzas and taking care of the cash. It was 1997.

 

"The Brazilian dough was a success and after only six months Enrique was also able to quit his job to devote himself to our restaurant. We were all together again and we haven’t separated since."

 

Camila has the same eyes as her mother and recounts her experience with joy. “I was a very quick pizza maker! The place was small and we had to take turns at the counter because there wasn't space for two of us. At one point, we had ten guys taking care of pizza delivery at the same time!".

 

Shortly thereafter, in 2001, a new possibility also arose and the family did not hesitate, once again, to roll up their sleeves and pick up yet another gauntlet. Thus, the Tijuana Ristorante Argentino was born with gastronomic influence from all over South America and also from Italy.

 

"My husband and I both have an adventurous spirit and the certainty that life always opens many doors". Camila who, with a degree in psychology, manages the two family restaurants with her brother Giancarlo (the second is in Spirano) adds “Dad taught us to take risks and mum sent us her unstoppable determination and we have a balance of the two".

 

The two women look at each other with a mixture of tenderness and amazement, then Berenice adds: “I had three wonderful children, a gift from heaven. I stood by their side so they wouldn’t fall."

 

Mrs. Berenice recounts, carefully choosing each word. Sometimes she apologises for her imperfect Italian, but she knows it well. She studied philosophy and loves poetry, particularly that of Goethe and Alda Merini.

 

It is 12.30pm and the first customers arrive in the restaurant. Berenice interrupts the story to greet them and ask how they are doing. "For me they are like my grandparents and when they arrive I tell them: leave the sadness aside, sit comfortably and eat well."


La carne utilizzata viene acquistata direttamente in Argentina.

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