A Neapolitan pizzaiolo tells his story and the story of Ristorante Pizzeria Figli del Vesuvio.
In the 90s, in Materdei, a child bought a loaf of pizza dough and played at kneading and rolling out it. A vocation, that of the pizza chef, which will lead him, at a very young age, to open a pizzeria abroad. Today Fabio lives in London with his beautiful wife Giovanna and their three daughters.
Together with Guglielmo, friend and business partner, he lets you taste Neapolitan food and authentic Neapolitan pizza at the Figli del Vesuvio. Their restaurant is recognized among the best Neapolitan restaurants throughout London.
Fabio experience as a Neapolitan abroad is absolutely positive. However, he remains strongly attached to Napoli and describes his feeling through the following verses from Mia Cara Città (My Dear City), a song by Nino D ‘Angelo.
[Sapisse quanto me manche, mia cara città
Me manca ‘a voce da ggente, me manca mammà
E tutto chello ca stà ‘nnanze a mme
Nunnè do mio comm’a tte ]
(If you knew how much I miss you my dear city
I miss people’s voices, I miss mom
And everything in front of me
It doesn’t belong to me as you belong to me.)
We have also asked Fabio to tell his story and he was so nice to kindly reply us with the following words.
Dear friends of Napulitanamente, I am happy to share my experience with you and so here it is briefly the story of my adventure abroad. As a boy I did a lot of jobs but my passion has always been catering. Especially the pizzeria field. When I was a child I used to go to the pizzeria near my place and I bought a stick of pizza dough with 1000 lire. Then I would go home and knead my dough like a real pizza chef. When I grew up and I have had different jobs. For nine years I worked as a waiter at the Santa Lucia Hotel, the Royal Hotel, the Continental Hotel after which I decided to make my childhood dream come true. One day, tired of being a waiter, I went to a pizzeria in Napoli, in the Museo area, and asked to work for free to learn. I was immediately hired and I worked in that pizzeria for 6 months where I learned the job of pizzaiolo as here they call the pizza maker .One day a friend suggested me to move abroad. He said that my art would be highly appreciated abroad. So he gave me the contact of a friend of his named Guglielmo, who lived in London and who would help me to find an accommodation. I followed my friend’s advice. Before that time I had been abroad for vacation. This time my departure was aimed at something different. I was looking for a continuous job that would allow me to build my life and raise a family. I had to leave my city because there was no alternative. Guglielmo, whom I did not know in person yet, helped me find aplace to stay. After three days that I was there I got a job. I didn’t speak English but Guglielmo always helped me a lot. I begun working as a baker and after a year I started working as a pizza chef. Then I tried something new. I moved to Barcelona for a year, where there was also my cousin and where I opened a pizzeria that I called “Mascalzone”. The first year the business went very well. But after a year I returned to London, because I didn’t like Barcelona very much, and I left the restaurant. Back in London I continued to work. A few years later I asked Guglielmo if he would like the idea of being partner in business. Guglielmo immediately answered positively. In 2015 we opened a cozy Neapolitan restaurant in Earlsfield, Wandsworth, where we serve authentic Neapolitan pizza and typical Neapolitan dishes prepared with ingredients that come from Napoli and other Italian cities with D.O.P. certificates. We have been recognized as one of the best and most authentic Neapolitan pizzerias and restaurants, not only in South West London but throughout London. We have a mixed clientele. Despite being the restaurant in a frequent moving area, we have an established following. There are also many Italians and Neapolitans, and this is a further proof that our dishes are authentic. I miss Napoli very much. I suffer for how Italy has made us become and if I hear someone speak ill of Napoli, I go crazy. Any time I meet someone I don’t introduce myself as an Italian but as a Neapolitan. And I can assure you that if in Italy the laws were like in United Kingdom then I would certainly go back home. I would go back in a hurry and I would not go to Milan or Florence, I would go back to Napoli. But until this happens I prefer to stay in London. Here I am fine. And I must say that so far I have not had any experience of racism. Just think that when Italy won the European Championships, at Figli del Vesuvio we had a great party. Many Englishmen came to congratulate us for the victory of Italy and they even toasted with us.