A 90-Year-Old Roman Bakery, Which Served the Popes Shuts Down

In a hard turn of events, the iconic Panificio Arrigoni in Rome's charming Borgo Pio neighbourhood will be bidding farewell to its loyal patrons this Saturday, marking the end of an era that spanned over 90 years. This beloved establishment has been a staple in the community, delighting both tourists and locals alike with its delectable bread offerings. From humble beginnings to serving even the esteemed Popes, Panificio Arrigoni has left a lasting impact on the culinary landscape of Rome. As its final hours approach, the air is filled with a mix of nostalgia and gratitude for the cherished memories and mouthwatering delights that this historic bakery has provided. 

For almost a century, the Arrigoni bakery has supplied the popes with everything from rosetta rolls to whole wheat loaves. However, the rise in tourists has been disastrous for the business, and no amount of prayer will save it now. 

In 1930, when Pius XI was pope, Angelo Arrigoni's father founded a little business and would personally deliver loaves of bread to the papal household. "We turned the oven off on Tuesday," said Arrigoni, now 79 years old. The "Panificio Arrigoni" in Borgo Pio, a mere five minutes from St. Peter's Square, would always be ready to serve the newly elected head of the Catholic Church. 

The Polish Pope John Paul II, who was elected in 1978, "said he wanted the bread his workers ate," according to Arrigoni. Workers ate "rosetta rolls" and "ciriolas," large traditional Roman loaves that are rarely baked today, he told AFP. 

So, during the whole of his nearly 27-year papacy, we presented him with five 'ciriola' and five rosetta rolls. According to owner Angelo Arrigoni, the major reasons for the decision were a lack of consumers and growing energy expenses. 

"For the residents of this area, since it is convenient to give houses to foreigners, they have given them all to agencies that rent them to foreigners, understand? And so the type of work has changed, but the municipality is obtuse. If things change in such an area, you must be the first to protect it. This street here used to be full of artisans, it was beautiful, but now they have all left", tells bakery owner Angelo Arrigoni to a daily.