D. Villa / Profumo
Domenico Villa began selling “colonial spices” in the former stables of Palazzo Lercari - Parodi in Via Garibaldi in 1827. The shop expanded with the extension of a production facility specifically added to satisfy the demand for sophisticated patisserie which, until the early 20th century, was the prerogative of the aristocracy. The establishment was managed by the Villa family until 1957, when a family member, Enrico Gadola, took over the business before selling it in 1968 to Mario Profumo, who came from a family of confectioners and trained at “Horvath”, a Hungarian-owned chocolate and mint factory in Salita delle Fieschine. Despite some changes, the interior decoration – consisting of shelving, display cabinets, and wooden and glass counters – is the original from the first half of the 19th century, as are the marble floor and the ceiling with cruciform vaults frescoed with floral motifs. Within these walls oozing with history and amidst all the goodies on display, there are ancient moulds and other items of equipment as well as old photographs. Since 1990 Marco and Maurizio have been running the business together with their mother Elena. In addition, in the premises in nearby Vico Superiore del Ferro, where their grandfather Giuseppe Armando opened the first “Profumo” patisserie, in 2006 they opened the Gelateria artigiana where the family’s vocation and passion give rise to delicious inimitable flavours of ice cream.
In a blaze of colour that changes according to the season, the sweets on display include dragees with chocolate fillings, classic “Avola” sugared almonds, pralines, marrons glacés, almond paste biscuits, candied fruit, fruit pulp, the original chocolate olives, “mini patisserie” and pandolce genovese, a traditional cake laced with candied fruit and nuts.