As we have already published in previous articles – changes were in the air.
Ten days ago those change took place as Aristo’s, the famous bar in Barga Vecchia which has been without a doubt the unofficial cultural centre of Barga and run by the Casciani family for three generations officially closed its doors and is no longer a Casciani family business.
Aristodemo Casciani had appeared many, many times on barganews – in fact he has his own category here on the site, his own comic strip DA ARISTO here and even a group playing Italian swing from the 30′s, 40′s and 50′s named in his honour – The Aristodemo’s can be seen and heard here.
Aristo actually retired in 2002, passing on his famous bar to be run by his son in law – Marino but for many years he could still be found inside playing his battered keyboards and thumping out his own particular style of syncopated Italian jazz floating out of the bar and into the piazza.
So lets jump back in time using the barganews archives of 26th March 2002 –
Not quite 10 o’ clock on a crisp spring morning in Barga Vecchia. 26th March 2002. Aristodemo has not yet arrived but already his bar is open for business. There are three people seated eating breakfast and two standing chatting at the bar. So, it’s true, the changing of the guard has taken place!
Please welcome Marino, Aristo’s son in law, who is carrying on the family tradition. The bar has been given a new breath of life, a new direction and Aristodemo can at last, start to take a well earned rest…except that nobody seems to have told Aristo! He is still there each day making music, playing his wonderful mix of post war Italian popular songs with that unique Aristo Jazz touch that has bewitched his clients for generations. A warm welcome from barganews to Marino and Aristo “may your shadow never lessen”
And now 12 years later, the guard is changing once again as Marino has retired and handed over to Lorenzo Togneri.
Lorenzo has been Moreno’s apprentice for the last 5 years and so is remarkably suitable for carrying on the traditions that have been part of daily life at Casciani’s bar for three generations.
At the start of this month the clients of Marino filled the tiny bar, flowing out into the piazza as The Aristodemo’s and friends gave a final concert for Marino to thank him for his work over the past dozen years or so. – article here
The door to the bar was shut for the next 10 days then finally this afternoon, the changeover was completed, all the formalities had been sorted and signed and the bar opened up once again for business ….. except that tradition dictates that on the first day for a new bar, all the drinks and food should be on the house, so very little business actually took place.
At 4.30 this afternoon the piazza was filled with friends, family and well wishers all enjoying themselves and there to give a good start to the proceedings as the tape was the cut and the festa started in earnest.
Five hours later, it was still in full swing.
All the staff at barganews wish Lorenzo and his family the very best in their new venture. Bravi !