The history began in 1941... Irma Boni (born 1914 in Castelvetro, Modena), married Guido Ramini (born 1935, see picture) and found herself aged 27 a war widow with two small children: Antonio, 1yrs and 1/2, and Agnese, 4 months. After the death of the father and the uncle, a producer of local wines, especially Lambrusco and Trebbiano, she started working there; few years later she moved to Bologna, were, from 1950, runs a delicatessen in via Saragozza 71, just opposite the trattoria that she would later run. The family was living in via Saragozza 101, and run the delicatessen with her mother and her grandmother Agnese: the traditional tortellini, as well as Russian salad" (a specialty salad) and cold dishes were all hand made by all the members of the Boni family, the wines from the Castelvetro area..
In 1956 the Boni change activities, beginning to manage a dairy in Porrettana St., in the area of the cableway that connected Bologna at the Sanctuary of San Luca, is hard work: the 6 of every morning must be present in the store to get the milk then delivered in heavy cans of aluminium, which is sold in bulk to customers. And this all Sunday, since the milk is considered a food of primary need and there were certainly the methods of current conservation.
The running of the dairy shop lasted until 1961, when the then 22 years old son Antonio, that was also working for a food business, learnt that the owner of the Trattoria Atti in via Saragozza 88 was thinking of closing his shop: the Boni family decided then to take over the trattoria, and was then brought by Irma Boni (she still remembers all the bank drafts she had to pay for it!).Ê The kitchen was staffed by Irma, Alice Atti (the previous owner's wife), the cook Iole Righi and the daughter Agnese, (Agnese at this time got married Norio Serafini, a cheese salesman). Waiters was Antonio, Fernanda Console (later to become his wife) and, at the till, the son in law Norio plus other employees.
It was a traditional and cheap bolognese trattoria , popular with labourers, office workers, university teachers and students from the near Industrial Chemistry and Engineering University of Bologna. The customers have contributed to make this little restaurant world-famous.
The first set-menu in 1961 was Lit. 300.
Probably in the same site, an Osteria existed in 1800, where travellers from the countryside arriving on coach at Porta Saragozza (at the time a station for public and private transport) would stop at the osteria for relaxing and eating. From 1972 Irma Boni has thinned our her visit to the trattoria, handling over the running to her children Antonio and Agnese, assisted by her in-laws Norio and Fernanda, by that time graduated cooks from professional college.
As a recap, and a curious analogy of coming and going:
* First delicatessen shop in via Saragozza 71, 1950-1955.
* Second venture: dairy shop in via Porrettana 147 (now via Don Luigi Sturzo)
* Third venture: return to via Saragozza, this time at number 88, with the purchase of the permit and the listing that became famous of Trattoria Boni 1961-1999
* Fourth venture: return to the Funivia area with the purchase of the new building in via Don Luigi Sturzo 22 (previously via Porrettana) 1999