The Confetteria Baj in Piazza del Duomo
After its move from Via Broletto, the Confetteria Baj quickly became a distinctive feature of the most famous Milanese piazza, the Piazza del Duomo. Not only was it a meeting place among the city’s beau monde, but it came to be a destination for tourists and visitors as well.
Many an anecdote tells the story of Giuseppe Baj and his wife, Teresa Campiglio, who worked aside her husband and often delighted the customers with her piano play.
Milan was home to a group of people with a remarkable profession, called “freguiatt” (derived from freguia, “crumble” in Milanese dialect). They collected the leftovers from the baker and pastry shops and tried to resell them. Legend has it that Baj used to donate his crumbles to the poor, thus leaving the “freguiatt” empty-handed.
A favourite “haunt” of Futurists
Artists, musicians and literates were regular customers of the Confetteria Baj, which was quoted and described in several of their works.
One of the regulars was Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the founder of the Futurist movement (see the Manifesto, created using kinetic typography), who every Christmas treated his friends to a Panettone Baj together with issues of his magazine “Poesia”, nowadays a rare collector’s item.
In his memoirs, Marinetti describes his desire to build a six-meter’s wide and two-meter’s high “giant delicious and highly digestible panettone, with the intention of dislodging the prehistoric pasta”.
He also yearned to eating panettone flying in a Caproni.