Great bread making at Colombo’s in Varese

A Lombard family of bakers since 1933: after the debut in Busto Arsizio, they now have 12 shops locally

by Luciana Squadrilli
Colombo 1933 currently has 12 branches: 6 in Bust

Colombo 1933 currently has 12 branches: 6 in Busto Arsizio, 2 in Gallarate and then there are those in Olgiate Olona, Marnate, Castellanza and Dairago (info: The establishment has become a member of the exclusive Petra Selected Partners.

The name of the establishment – Colombo 1933 – leaves no doubt: it’s been almost 90 years since Giovanni Colombo opened his bread making laboratory in Busto Arsizio, a populated town in the province of Varese, and once famous for its fabric industry. But he was already a professional of bread making, at work in a bakery in a nearby village.

A historic image of the Colombo bakery

A historic image of the Colombo bakery

Today his grandsons Giovanni and Matteo continue the family tradition which since the Nineties, thanks to their father, grew with the building of a large workshop and the opening of a second shop; and so on, until they reached the current 12 shops: 6 in Busto Arsizio, 2 in Gallarate and then one each in Olgiate Olona, Marnate, Castellanza and Dairago (for info: The establishment has also joined the prestigious Petra Selected Partners group.

Bread is of course the many protagonist. Every day they bake many different types: from the sliced bread – made with rye, buckwheat or multi-fibre with walnuts and raisins – to the loaves and ciabattas, also available already filled for lunchbreaks and snacks. And there’s the panettone gastronomico, in the classic version or the regional ones, with specialties from the different regions of Italy, such as the Sicilian one with a tartare of red prawns from Mazara, cream of saffron, wild fennel and pine nuts, or the Lombard one with salame di Varzi PDO and crescenza with green peppers.

A delicious panzerotto

A delicious panzerotto

There are also cakes – from tarts to Christmas and Easter typical cakes – and croissants, pastries and breakfast sweets, as well as focaccia with figs or with grapes. And, of course, pizza: the one “spicchiata” [sliced], round and thick and soft, richly topped – from the classic Margherita to the one with smoked salmon – and sold in halves or in slices. And then there are delicious stuffed, baked panzerotti. 

All these products are based on high quality ingredients, starting from the flour – mixed and prepared specifically for each type of bread – as well as the seasonal organic fruits and vegetables.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso