Time and History
1919 - It was in that year when Mrs. Emilia del Tufo the Bersagliera, started the activity of restaurant destined to become one of the most famous in Naples, present among the obligatory itineraries for the visitors of the city. Widow with six daughters, she married Luigi Chiosi, from whom she had another daughter and five sons. On the lower wharf Via Partenope, among boats, fishings, pots, and cloths hung up to the sun, Mrs Emilia prepared foods for her large family engaged in
And after she began also to prepare simple breakfasts with steaming vermicelli and pouring wine to sailors and to students.
And so, with modesty and resistance, with seriousness and politeness, she conquered her guests’ hearts and taste.
In that years the ancient suburb Santa Lucia was transformed according to the redevelopping plan: a rock bank gave to the area a new arrangement, accentuating its tourist vocation. On time among her clients both with her habitual guests it was becoming seeing famous people, staying in the big hotels.
1923 - In the photo, behind the cash, it is possible to see a little blond head. Agostino, Emilia’s first son, every day, on coming back from school, counts for his mother. For more than seventy years it will be his work.
- The Bersagliera faces modernizing works executed by contractor Galli’s workmen, at that time engaged in the buildings along Nazario Sauro Street. Finally also in winter the place can work.
- It is coming the period of war adventures, that from the achievement in Etiopia and from the intervention in Spain, on will bring to the Second World War. Also the dolk at Santa Lucia enlives of people in uniform.
- During to the full of the war, between August and September, the bombings force the family to leave the “aching” city and temporary to move to Montella. With Americans’arrival the work starts again, though great difficulty for lack of supplies. Englishmen commandeer the place during some months and transforming it in a place where soldiers find refresh (NAFI-EFI).
- The enthusiastic atmosphere after the war, the fascinated place as few, the simple and genuine kitchen, the harmony from songs interpreting by customers, all that participates to bewitch princes and soubrettes, actors and singers, politicians and journalists. Before that Gina Lollobrigida interpreted on movies “La Bersagliera”, Mrs Emilia had already done famous this name: she welcomes her guests with a ready smile and her grey hairs reapped on the scruff.
- The “Bersagliera” speed takes a stop. Agostino inherits the business with Antonio, Salvatore, Enrico, his brothers, who since several years was managing the activity under his parents’ watchful and grateful eyes. It opens a difficult decade, afflicted by the humiliation of the cholera in 1973, and by the fears from heartquake in 1980. The city lives a continuous and visible degradation: tourism feels the effects of this situation. Anyway “La Bersagliera” prevents and protects with proudness her place. Many years with patient work makes it a place where it’s an habit meeting friends.
To complete this period full of success, it arrives the captivating diploma from the “Accademia Italiana della Cucina” with the participation of the best authorithies of the city. The feast has the sponsorship of the unforgettable Gino Oliviero «to defend a symbol of our city and to call the attention of politicians on the Borgo Marinari». The recognition rewards Agostino «to have done to know to the entire world the best of our gastronomic culture».
1994 - The G7, the event that President Ciampi wanted, with happy intuition to take place in Naples, it was also determining for the raising of the city, doesn’t find “Bersagliera” unprepared. The secretaries of the Embassies of the great 7, contend themselves the space of the cheerful terrace on the sea, always fresh, also in torrid summer.
- With the accomplishment of the eightieth year of activity, the Bersagliera is plugged in the historical places in Italy. It’s a goal reached with Agostino’s devotion , that until Christmas in 1997 has continuated to go towards guests with a “smiling reception” as Raffaele La Capria has written. After the witness has passed at the third generation. His sons, his cousins, in the last ten years are present at the management of the activity, confirm the commitment to not waste the identity of this place, who remains in Italian and foreigner guests’s hearts.