Newsstand “Robi” Cinque Vie

Newsstand “Robi” Cinque Vie

Description

In Largo delle Cinque Vie in the city centre, "il Robi" is an institution.

 

His newsstand has been a “window overlooking the courtyard” of Bergamasco peoples’ lives for over fifty years. It was opened by his father Pietro, a marble worker, and his mother Serafina, who insisted on starting the business but unfortunately passed away when Roberto was just eleven years old.

 

Together with the Urban District of Commerce, we wanted to meet him to learn the story of his business.

 

Already from a very young age, Roberto found himself helping his father. “I folded the newspapers and went to deliver them. But then I got lost amid the children’s magazines and the trading cards!"

 

Every day the newsstand opens at seven in the morning, but until the end of the 90s it started at five thirty and ended at seven in the evening.

 

Robi was the first meeting of the day for many, from night watchers to retirees, already awake and spritely in the early hours of the morning. For each one a smile and a joke. For many, a good neighbour to ask for information or help if needed.

 

He placed a chair in front of the newsstand, so people can put their bags down. On that same chair a few years ago, a lady expecting her first child went into labour.

 

He thought: "Oh my gosh, what do I do now?". Then he stopped an ambulance that happened to be passing by at that moment and the woman gave birth an hour later safely in the hospital.

 

Robi is alert and attentive and in many years "on the road" he has really seen it all.

 

"If I had to start again I wouldn’t do this job anymore, but something that leaves you a little more freedom. But I like contact with people. I have lived more with them than with my parents!" He adds: "People distract you from your problems."

 

And those who live in the neighbourhood sometimes return kindness by bringing him a bottle of wine, a salami or a celebratory dessert.

 

He is always there.

 

In thirty-five years he has closed only three days. When he had an allergic reaction to aspirin and when his first child was born.

 

"The second was more prepared, he was born on a Sunday when the stand is closed."

 

He is so well-liked that when he became a father for the first time, on his return to the newsstand, he found it covered with congratulatory messages. Many were fellow traders with whom the relationships - he says - are of great collaboration and friendship.

 

They exchange small favours and some fun jokes, like when some of them thought it was funny, on a morning when Roberto arrived strangely later than usual, to stick a note on the closed door with the words "He left us prematurely". It caused panic in the street and then relief upon his arrival. In the meantime, he had also received a call from the "liar" about the funeral announcement to be published in the newspaper.

 

Robi tells the story, laughing. He is one of those people who made irony a true lifestyle, made necessary also by the many weird questions that he’s asked: "Excuse me, is Porta Nuova always there?", "No look every now and then it goes for a walk!"

 

Or looking at the newsstand: "Hello, are you the newsagent?", "No, the pharmacist. I work part time, a little here and a little there!".

 

Roberto has a wide gaze, sees incoming customers at a distance and prepares the package of newspapers with a quick gesture. He remembers everyone’s favourite thing to read.

 

"It's just that sometimes I like to try and be cool to surprise them!"

 

It began under the great snowfall of 1985 and, since then, has witnessed snapshots of the lives of thousands of Bergamasco people, to whom he has never forgotten to say good morning.


Continue

In Largo delle Cinque Vie in the city centre, "il Robi" is an institution.

 

His newsstand has been a “window overlooking the courtyard” of Bergamasco peoples’ lives for over fifty years. It was opened by his father Pietro, a marble worker, and his mother Serafina, who insisted on starting the business but unfortunately passed away when Roberto was just eleven years old.

 

Together with the Urban District of Commerce, we wanted to meet him to learn the story of his business.

 

Already from a very young age, Roberto found himself helping his father. “I folded the newspapers and went to deliver them. But then I got lost amid the children’s magazines and the trading cards!"

 

Every day the newsstand opens at seven in the morning, but until the end of the 90s it started at five thirty and ended at seven in the evening.

 

Robi was the first meeting of the day for many, from night watchers to retirees, already awake and spritely in the early hours of the morning. For each one a smile and a joke. For many, a good neighbour to ask for information or help if needed.

 

He placed a chair in front of the newsstand, so people can put their bags down. On that same chair a few years ago, a lady expecting her first child went into labour.

 

He thought: "Oh my gosh, what do I do now?". Then he stopped an ambulance that happened to be passing by at that moment and the woman gave birth an hour later safely in the hospital.

 

Robi is alert and attentive and in many years "on the road" he has really seen it all.

 

"If I had to start again I wouldn’t do this job anymore, but something that leaves you a little more freedom. But I like contact with people. I have lived more with them than with my parents!" He adds: "People distract you from your problems."

 

And those who live in the neighbourhood sometimes return kindness by bringing him a bottle of wine, a salami or a celebratory dessert.

 

He is always there.

 

In thirty-five years he has closed only three days. When he had an allergic reaction to aspirin and when his first child was born.

 

"The second was more prepared, he was born on a Sunday when the stand is closed."

 

He is so well-liked that when he became a father for the first time, on his return to the newsstand, he found it covered with congratulatory messages. Many were fellow traders with whom the relationships - he says - are of great collaboration and friendship.

 

They exchange small favours and some fun jokes, like when some of them thought it was funny, on a morning when Roberto arrived strangely later than usual, to stick a note on the closed door with the words "He left us prematurely". It caused panic in the street and then relief upon his arrival. In the meantime, he had also received a call from the "liar" about the funeral announcement to be published in the newspaper.

 

Robi tells the story, laughing. He is one of those people who made irony a true lifestyle, made necessary also by the many weird questions that he’s asked: "Excuse me, is Porta Nuova always there?", "No look every now and then it goes for a walk!"

 

Or looking at the newsstand: "Hello, are you the newsagent?", "No, the pharmacist. I work part time, a little here and a little there!".

 

Roberto has a wide gaze, sees incoming customers at a distance and prepares the package of newspapers with a quick gesture. He remembers everyone’s favourite thing to read.

 

"It's just that sometimes I like to try and be cool to surprise them!"

 

It began under the great snowfall of 1985 and, since then, has witnessed snapshots of the lives of thousands of Bergamasco people, to whom he has never forgotten to say good morning.


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