For over a century, Pasticceria Taverna e Tarnuzzer has been welcoming delighted patrons in the city center of Vercelli, on the famous Piazza Cavour that has always been the Piedmontese city’s heart of business and leisure. The 19th-century venue is steeped in the air of the young Kingdom of Italy, still wrapped in the regal atmosphere of its first decades.
Born in the Canton of Grisons, Cristiano Taverna and Nicola Tarnuzzer made fine pastries, liquor and candy; they came to Vercelli to take over the business of their colleague and fellow Swiss, Nicola Melthier.
It was 1889, the same year Raffaele Esposito invented the great “pizza Margherita” in Naples; according to legend, Esposito used basil, mozzarella cheese and tomato to represent the Italian flag in the most traditional of the country’s dishes. Of course, he named the concoction after Margherita of Savoy, wife of King Umberto I, dedicating his specialty to the queen consort.
In 1890, Umberto of Savoy granted Nicola Tarnuzzer permission to use the Royal House’s crest in the trademark of his pastry shop; a few years later, he even officially made him “Supplier of the Royal House”.
This is where the wind of Italy’s Unification blew sweeter than ever.