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History and Media Details


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A brief History of the Mad Italian Trattoria in Durban North. How we came to be.... where we have come from. A Cook, a Pope and an Immigrant ship....

A brief History of the Mad Italian Trattoria in Durban North. How we came to be.... where we have come from. A Cook, a Pope and an Immigrant ship....

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  • 1. A Cook, a Pope and an Immigrant ship… Our History! Sit back, grab a glass of Vino, and Relax, as we share our story with you…. Grandmother (Bisnonna) Orsolina Ossoli was employed as a cook in the houses of Counts in Urago d’oglio, in the Province of Brescia, which is a Region of Lombardy, Italy. Traditionally, Italian Recipes and cooking practices are passed down from Generation to Generation, and Orsolina passed her recipes and cooking practices down to her daughter Carmen. The Biassoni Family lived in the town of Desio, which is in the Province of Monza & Brianza, near Milano in Lombardy. While Europe was still recovering from the horror of World War 2, Carmen Bertocchi and her husband Guido Biassoni, made the decision to leave Italy for Africa, in search of a better life for their 5 Children. Not knowing what to expect, Carmen and Guido were given a special favour by a priest named Giovanni Batista Montini. He allowed them to have their twin boys Angelo and Mario to have their first Holy Communion and their Confirmations on the same day, in the town of Bergamo. (That same Priest, later took the name POPE PAUL VI on 30 Jun 1963) In 1953, the Parents and 5 children left their home on a train headed for Venice. Little Angelo Biassoni was only 7 years old, when he boarded “ The Europa” in Venezia, Italia, and set sail for Durban. They eventually settled in Johannesburg. Nonna Carmen continued the practice of her mother’s cooking, not only for her siblings, but for their families, which had grown in numbers, to 21 family members. Sunday Lunch at the Biassoni’s was a very busy and noisy affair. The family would be found hungrily and happily feasting around the Family table.A number of years later the Family re-located once again, to the beautiful coastal “village” of Umhlanga Rocks, where, Angelo, Gilda and Son, Michael went on to open their first Trattoria / restaurant in Umhlanga Rocks in 1993. The Trattoria was a Huge Success!After taking a few years off, for Family time, the restaurateurs Angelo and Michael Biassoni, opened the doors of their newest edition in the busy Durban North Community , And, in 2006, The Mad Italian Trattoria” was born! Find, Follow , & Check in! We’ll keep you updated on Specials and Competitions!Check-in on Foursquare Website & Blog