The story of our pizzeria is a tale of families and migrations; it is the story of a village, Agerola, where true wealth was not based on selfishness but on helping one another. On this page and the related ones, we trace the history of the entire De Rosa family, which in the 1960s played a significant role in bringing pizza to Northeast Italy.
The history of the pizzeria "Da Rosalba" begins in the village of Agerola on the Amalfi Coast and involves three families: the De Rosas, the Vanacores, and the Mansis. The founding members were Alfonso Mansi, Francesco (Ciccio) De Rosa, and Ferdinando Vanacore. They arrived in Treviso and established the pizzeria "da Fausta" in 1957. A few years later, they went their separate ways, with Ferdinando returning to Agerola, and Francesco opening his pizzeria in San Donà di Piave in 1959.
Among the anecdotes from those times, it is said that the first pizzeria had only one table, and due to suspicion toward southerners, they couldn't find a place to stay. As a result, they were forced to live inside the establishment during the early days and sleep under the oven to keep warm.
Alfonso Mansi, born in Scala (SA) on March 14, 1927, and Fausta Vanacore, born in Agerola (NA), emigrated from the Amalfi Coast, where they had already opened a pizzeria, to Treviso. They learned that there were no pizzerias in the area thanks to a friend, Federico Ammaturo, who worked at a dairy in Quinto di Treviso. Ammaturo had moved north to produce mozzarella for the very first pizzerias in the region. He met Tarcisio Tonon, founder of Caseificio Tonon, and taught him the art of mozzarella production. Alfonso Mansi already had experience in baking and pizzerias, so he convinced Francesco De Rosa and Ferdinando Vanacore to join him on this journey.
They first opened a pizzeria in Conegliano on Via XX Settembre, but it didn't do well. They decided to move to Treviso and opened the future pizzeria "Da Fausta" in an old shoe store on Via Portico Oscuro 10, near Piazza dei Signori. A little anecdote from those early years is that Alfonso would ride his bicycle every two days to buy a sack of flour from the Rachello Mill in Quinto di Treviso. He was the one who provided the first knowledge on how to make pizza flour, as its composition is different from that used for baking.
Their hard work paid off, allowing them not only to open more establishments ("Itala Pilsen" in 1960) but also making Alfonso Mansi the president of Treviso Calcio (Treviso Football Club).
These individuals paved the way for other Agerola families, including Alfonso's sister Armonia Vanacore and her husband Alfonso De Rosa. In the pizzeria "Da Fausta," Michele De Rosa learned the craft of a pizza maker in late 1961. Michele was Alfonso's eldest son, the older brother of Francesco and Armonia. Michele, who learned the art from these pioneers, would become the pizza maker for his family, and the following year, Pizzeria "Da Rosalba" was born.
Alfonso De Rosa, born in Agerola on January 16, 1921, had a butcher shop at Via Matteo Renato Florio 70 in Agerola and was married to Armonia Vanacore, born in Agerola on October 26, 1924. Alfonso had inherited the family butcher shop from his father Michele, born in Gragnano in 1890, who tragically passed away in 1939, likely due to an infection acquired while working with meat. Alfonso, just eighteen years old at the time, had to shoulder the responsibility of supporting his family and his children by continuing his father's work.
Alfonso married Armonia, and they had five children in Agerola: Michele, Assunta, Antonia, Annamaria, and the youngest, Rosalba. Later, they had a sixth child, Liberato, in Sacile (PN).
In 1962, they decided to emigrate to northern Italy and chose the town of Aviano (PN) as their destination. They opened the first "Da Rosalba" pizzeria, named after their youngest daughter Rosalba, at Via Padre Marco 2, drawn by the increasing number of American military personnel from the nearby base.+
Alfonso had a sister, Maria, and five brothers: Catello, Mario, Vincenzo, Francesco, and Giuseppe, each of whom played a part in opening a pizzeria in different parts of the northeast.
A small memory: Alfonso and Armonia also had another daughter, Maria, who unfortunately passed away at the age of one in the 1950s.
The first "Da Rosalba" pizzeria at Via Padre Marco 2 in Aviano was a rented property and was eventually transferred to an acquaintance's family, who changed its name to "Pizzeria da Conni." Over the years, this establishment changed ownership, losing all ties and associations with the De Rosa family and "Da Rosalba" pizzeria.
Alfonso De Rosa continued his entrepreneurial ventures with a pizzeria in Pordenone on Via Colonna, which was managed by his son Michele, and a pastry shop on Via Oberdan. Unfortunately, Michele passed away prematurely on May 6, 1992, at the age of 46.
On January 8, 1976, he opened a pizzeria in Marsure (PN) on Via del Bel, which was run by his daughter Assunta and her husband Giancarlo Borgna. They ceased operations in 2020 after 44 years.
The Pizzeria "Da Rosalba" in Pordenone was transferred years after the owner Michele De Rosa's death, who was the son of Alfonso De Rosa and passed away in 1994. Currently, the establishment is still a pizzeria but has changed its name to Pizzeria Amalfi.
In 1966, the family decided to move to Sacile (PN) and open the third "Da Rosalba" pizzeria.
The first "Da Rosalba" pizzeria in the city was located on the corner of Via Gerolamo da Sacile and Via Virgilio Fasan. Alfonso was motivated by the desire to provide a home and a livelihood for each of his children, so as soon as business started to pick up, he invested in additional establishments.
In April 1970, his sixth child, Liberato, was born, and with him came his hotel in Roveredo (PN) at Via Pionieri dell'Aria 60, which is currently managed by his youngest son, Liberato. Shortly after the hotel's opening, the family moved to Roveredo, and the pizzeria in Sacile remained under the management of Annamaria and Assunta, his daughters.
In the basement of the pizzeria-hotel in Roveredo, they opened the "Maxim Club" discotheque, which remained in operation during the 70s and 80s and is fondly remembered by many.
On November 4, 2019, Liberato De Rosa was awarded a recognition by Asco-Confcommercio Imprese per l'Italia in Pordenone for his 50 years of business.
In 1974, Alfonso and Armonia opened a pizzeria in Casarsa on Via Orcenico. Currently, it is no longer managed by any family member.
The current location of Pizzeria Da Rosalba in Sacile was reached only in 1984 when Alfonso De Rosa decided to purchase Villino Molinari at Via Galeotto Carli 3, a villa dating back to the early 1900s. The management of the establishment was in the hands of his daughter Annamaria De Rosa and her husband Renato Doretto.
In 1989, the pizzeria came under the current management of Rosalba De Rosa and her husband Natale Naclerio, born in Agerola in 1964. Shortly after getting married, they decided to continue the family tradition and took over the management from Rosalba's sister, Annamaria.
On April 28, 1990, Alfonso De Rosa passed away at the age of 69, and his wife Armonia followed on November 1, 1998, at the age of 74.
Currently, Rosalba and Natale, affectionately known as Lino, manage it with passion and dedication, assisted by their children Pasquale, Michele, and Carmen, as well as the long-time collaborator Katiusca and Michele's wife, Cristina.
For over 50 years, the people of Sacile have known the pizza of Pizzeria Da Rosalba, and now our business is a vibrant part of the community, with two generations who have appreciated our pizza and our ability to convey that familial warmth that characterizes our entire history.
Our story continues....
text and research by Pasquale Naclerio