Postcard from... Milan


An Austrian café’s decision to name its sandwiches after victims of Mafia murders has sparked a diplomatic incident between Vienna and Rome.

Patrons of Vienna’s Don Panino café can order a “Peppino Impastato” – named after the activist killed by the Cosa Nostra in 1978, who is described on the menu as “a big-mouthed Sicilian, cooked by a bomb like a chicken in a barbecue”.

Customers can also opt for a “Giovanni Falcone” – named after the celebrated magistrate who was assassinated in 1992 in the Capaci bomb attack. The menu bills him as “the greatest nemesis of the Mafia in Palermo, but unfortunately grilled like a sausage”.

Mr Falcone’s sister, Maria, who tipped off politicians and anti-mafia campaigners, has called Don Panino’s menu “vulgar and blasphemous”.  Meanwhile, Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it regards the shop’s activity as “unacceptable” and “offensive”.

It has emerged that the proprietors of Don Panino are themselves Italian. Marco and Julia Marchetta opened the shop in 2009 when they found that they missed their southern-Italian food and cooked up the idea of selling sandwiches “full of the delights typical of our own country”.