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SINCE 1834

Discover the history of Antica Focacceria San Francesco through the people, the events and the flavours that turned an ancient chapel into a place of worship for the palate. A veritable melting pot of ideas, recipes and dishes that have their roots in centuries of Sicilian, Greek, Arabic, Spanish and French culinary traditions.

  • 1834


    After 25 years as a master chef serving the Princes of Cattolica, Salvatore Alaimo receives the gift of the deconsecrated chapel, an old building in the heart of Palermo. On the front door, he hangs a wooden board with the engraving "Focacceria" and starts cooking for the people.

  • 1848


    In honour of Sicily celebrating the independence from the Borboni, the first governor of the new Kingdom organizes a banquet right at the Focacceria, based on sfincioni, flat bread and Marsala wine.

  • 1851


    Alaimo creates the "focaccia maritata" (Married flat bread) to allow even the poor people to eat meat: a cheap cut, but cooked in a refined way, is added to the traditional "focaccia schietta" (Nubile flat bread).

  • 1860


    Before ascending Italy to unify it, Giuseppe Garibaldi stops in Palermo, camping in the square of the Focacceria, which for ten days becomes his daily canteen.

  • 1861


    The nobility of Palermo inveighs against Focacceria S. Francesco, as it reveals and spreads to the public the good pasta ch'i sardi, a recipe reserved for royal tables until that moment. Today, the recipe is still the same.

  • 1890


    From Pirandello to Sciascia to Guttuso, dozen of famous writers and artists regularly meet at Focacceria, which thus becomes a literary café, a sort of cultural circle.

  • 1901


    The architect Ernesto Basile, sitting at a Focacceria’s table together with the famous Vincenzo Florio, draws the current logo on a napkin, the perspective drawing of the room, the tables in cast iron and the wrought-iron chairs.

  • 1902


    60 years after its opening, the place is definitely called "Antica Focacceria San Francesco" and new delicious dishes enter the menu, still present today: arancini, panelle and sarde a beccafico, to name a few.

  • 1919


    Nino Alaimo dies and his daughter Ermelinda takes on the family business, together with several sisters and grandchildren. A passionate and numerous family to carry on the tradition.

  • 1939


    Mario and Nunzia D'Accardio begin to support her aunt Ermelinda in the management of the Antica Focacceria. These are the moments in which a schietto and well prepared food wins over the people of the district. When his cousin Nino Conticello inherits the venue, this is already a veritable reference spot for the city of Palermo.

  • 1950


    From Nuvolari to Vaccarella to Gendebien, each edition of the Targa Florio race sees the pilots celebrating with Vincenzo Florio at Focacceria. The historic inventor of the race has always been a frequent customer and there is still a room dedicated to him.

  • 1970


    From Mattarella to La Malfa, from La Torre to judges Falcone and Borsellino: public people and politicians of all alliances meet at Focacceria. They enjoy some "pani e panelle" or a "maritata", in a friendly atmosphere.

  • 1984


    Vincenzo and Fabio Conticello, the last heirs of the founder Salvatore Alaimo, take on the management of Antica Focacceria San Francesco in Palermo. They have a dream: bringing the family business outside Sicily, opening stores throughout Italy and abroad, through a brand known for decades.

  • 1988


    There are numerous confirmations and important attendances. Even in New York, where - on Columbus Day - Antica Focacceria San Francisco is chosen to organize the official banquet at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel. A unique opportunity and a great success.

  • 1989


    Antica Focacceria works hard to refine its recipes and bring the tradition to excellence levels. At the same time, there is a growing willingness of an ethical and civic respect for the employees and for the Customer. From the selection of raw materials to the selection of its workforce, Antica Focacceria is on the side of fairness.

  • 2009


    The first Antica Focacceria S. Francesco store, outside Palermo, opens in Milan, right close to the Duomo. Thus begins a plan to expand throughout Italy, to spread the tradition of Sicilian comfort food and Palermo’s specialties.

  • 2011


    Antica Focacceria S. Francesco opens a new store in the Fiumicino airport (Rome), inside the international passenger terminal. A small kiosk that all customers appreciate, taking away a sweet memory on board.

  • 2012


    4 more restaurants open in Milan and Rome. New stores are coming soon, new corners of Italy where to spread the scents of this beloved tradition.

  • 2013


    Culture meets food, Antica Focacceria San Francesco and Feltrinelli Group join forces for a quality catering. The alliance between Antica Focacceria San Francesco and the Feltrinelli Group comes from shared values such as ethics and civic engagement and develops in the common desire to promote and spread culture, also through food.

  • 2015


    anno 2015

  • 2020


    Antica Focacceria S.Francesco passes entirely to CIRFOOD s.c. which celebrates the acquisition with the opening of the third store in the Milan areas.