For nearly a century, the Panificio Arrigoni has been operating on Borgo Pio in Rome, which is a short five-minute walk from St Peter’s Square. During that time, it has served consecutive popes.
“We turned the oven off on Tuesday,” Angelo Arrigoni (79) told Agence France-Presse, referring to earlier this year, July 4, when the bakery that was founded by his father in 1930 finally stopped production.
When the bakery first began, during Pius XI’s papacy, Angelo’s father would hand-deliver the bread to the papal household. This dedication to the craft and to serving the sitting popes continued all the way until now, with the bakery preparing for each new pope’s tastes upon each new election.
Now though, Pope Francis will have to go elsewhere for his bread, with the decline in local customers and the increase in energy prices edging Angelo out of business.
“The district has changed,” Angelo said.
“All the houses that used to be full of people have become rentals for tourists.”
Loyal locals have expressed outrage that an icon of the city has now been lost.
Main image: Angelo Arrigoni closes the door of the Panificio Arrigoni. Photo by Andreas Solaro / AFP