Updated on Feb.27, 2013
The Franciulli family has been making bread in São Paulo for a long time. The clan's first immigrants arrived from Italy at the end of the 19th century and Italianinha, in Bexiga, is considered São Paulo's oldest Italian bakery in continuous operation.
Founded in 1896, the bakery used to be called Luccania, in honor of the Lucca region in Italy. It was also much larger; in the 1960s, part of the building was reclaimed for the widening and reurbanization of Rua Rui Barbosa. The newly reduced place got its new diminutive name, the "Little Italian One".
Packed with salami, antipasti, fine cheese, such as Grana Padano, sweet pastries and virgin olive oil from Italy and other countries – and often smelling of fresh-baked bread – Italianinha has scores of regular customers and peaks of activity, such as lunch time on weekends.
The filone di pane (pão de filão in Portuguese, a hefty baguette with a delicious golden crust, R$5) is famous. So are the sweets, such as the cannoli (vanilla filling or chocolate filling). Sandra Franciulli and her siblings (one brother owns the 14 de Julho, another Italian bakery in Bexiga) have honored ancient family recipes and kept the sourdough starter alive - no chemical yeast is used here. The oven is the original.
Like other old, traditional Italian bakeries in this neighborhood - São Domingos, 14 de Julho, Basilicata - and in other parts of town, such as Famiglia Franciulli (www.famigliafranciulli.com.br) in the Glicério/Liberdade area, owned by another branch of the clan, Italianinha stays open long hours, giving locals and tourists plenty of opportunity to delve into São Paulo's Italian food universe.
Address & Contact Information:
Rua Rui Barbosa 121
São Paulo – SP
Phone: 55-11-3289-2838/ 3141-4166