“There have been a lot of Italian premieres in the region that no longer exist.
“It’s sad, there is no representation in an area that people went to first. “
Pockets of culture still exist in some of the world’s toughest cities, such as New York – home to Little Italy and Chinatown, among others – while closer to home, Fremantle’s iconic South Terrace is still packed with restaurants. traditional Italians.
Over the past decades, Northbridge has gone from over a dozen trattorias to zero.
One of them, La Tavernetta, run by the great Ben Di Dio at the corner of James and Lake streets, was the naughty scene of a Perth who’s who, no matter the time or the day of the week.
“All the bigwigs in Perth, from construction to lawyers, including Alan Bond’s company, were there all the time,” Perroni recalled.
On William Street, the famous Abata brothers pioneered the first real pizzeria in Perth, while almost half a century ago across from the Re Store Perth got their first serving of chili mussels at the famous Uncle Vincent’s.
While Melbourne still captures Italian cuisine, Northbridge has lost its original Italian roots, nourished post-war with the introduction of the first wave of cultural restaurants in greater Perth.
“Could anyone imagine that Lygon Street in Melbourne doesn’t have an Italian restaurant?” These are the restaurants that existed in Northbridge, ”said Perroni.
“These places used to attract families.
In the CBD, the state of Italian is equally dire, with only one remaining – Simple Italian – on Murray Street, run by three generations of the Costanza family.
Owner Francesca Costanza, whose family moved to Perth in 2012 from Rome – where she had worked in the culinary industry since 1950 – was sad to see industry icons like Sorrento close their doors.
“We pride ourselves on always being the last remaining serving and providing traditional Italian cuisine in WA,” she said.
“We sincerely appreciate that everyone understands our culinary culture and supports us, including our owner. ”
Her father Antonio, from the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy off the coast of Sicily, started cooking at age 11 and recently returned to work in the kitchen after a COVID-induced staff shortage.
“We encountered a huge global problem when COVID-19 hit. Especially with the closure of our borders and the absence of tourists… the city has become empty and full of bad activities, ”said Francesca.
Roaming was an issue there as well, with Francesca forced to relocate many street sleepers from the venue’s cozy outdoor area on Murray Street, where a wall installation serves up breakfast snacks and coffee at from 6 a.m.
“I hate being rude, and it’s embarrassing to have to ask, but they dissuade customers from dining there and stopping for coffee,” she said.
Second and third generation Italians still cook the right things through the suburbs, without the traditional elements of trattorias, run by people like Mummuc ‘in Wembley, Acqua e Sale in North Perth and Pappagallo in Leederville, a few hundred yards away. from one of the remaining trattorias inside Perth, Siena.
But for a real slice of Little Italy to the west, it looks like we end up with Fremantle, who is no stranger to the magic of festivities and Mediterranean cuisine.
RIP: Old Northbridge Trattorias: Restaurant Sorrento, The Romany, La Tosca, Ristorante Italiano, La Pergola, Vino Vino, Positano, Mama Madeira, Mama Marias, Ridolfo’s, Le Parrain, Bouna Serra, Botticelli’s, La Tavernetta, Nunzio’s Woodfired Pizza