Italian Antonio Spanu, a chef who lived in the Netherlands for 25 years, moved to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and opened a pizzeria where he prepares pizzas according to an old family recipe, in Banja Luka, the hometown of his girlfriend Sanja Brkovic.
Antonio, or Toni for short, has been in Banja Luka for a year and a half, and he comes from Cagliari, municipality at the Italian island of Sardinia, Nezavisne writes.
”She came to the Netherlands for love, to visit me and my restaurant there and so on,” says Spanu, talking about why he came to Banja Luka.
Sanja and he met in the Netherlands when she visited his restaurant, and since she spoke Italian, they exchanged contacts and started chatting. In the beginning, rarely, later more often, so Sanja visited him in the Netherlands, and he also came to Banja Luka.
He is thrilled with the city on the Vrbas and says that it was not difficult for him to get used to life in Banja Luka.
“We probably have the same mentality, the Mediterranean mentality, especially in the south of Italy. The similarity is that I’m home here, people are the same, we say something cannot be done, so we say let’s do it, let’s make it possible, while the Netherlands is a totally different planet. So I say – I’m home here, and it’s hard to live there, so after 25 years I say anything is possible, ” Spanu says.
He got the pizza recipe from his uncle, who has had a pizzeria in Italy for more than 60 years. Antonio has been preparing pizzas following this recipe for 27 years now and he is glad that people in this area also like it.
“I was a little scared considering he was coming to live here and I wondered what I was going to do with him now. However, my friends accepted him very well, as if he had always been here. He adapted very quickly,” Sanja states.
Sanja believes that Tony’s pizzas are the best and most special she has ever tasted, and she is glad that the customers also have positive reactions.
“I’m really happy with our life here and I think it’s nice for him too. Since we opened the pizzeria, he also got friends who come because of him and really like to hang out with him. He has made a new life for himself here,” Sanja says.