Milan patisserie offers suspended panettone

Free Christmas cake for those in need.

Borrowing from the Neapolitan tradition of the caffè sospeso, Milan’s historic patisserie Vergani is suggesting that customers leave a panettone sospeso for those who can’t afford the Christmas treat.

In Naples it has long been a grassroots social solidarity gesture for generous customers to pay for not only their own coffee, but also for another one for a needy guest – the “suspended coffee”.

Now Vergani, who have been producing Milan’s favourite Christmas cake since 1944, are inviting customers to leave a “suspended panettone” for those whose festive cheer is marred by lack of funds. Customers can support the initiative in the patisseries in Corso di Porta Romana and in Via Mercadante.

The initiative will run until 22 December, supported by Onlus Pane Quotidiano, the non-profit NGO dedicated to helping those in need find their daily bread.  And on the last day of the operation, Vergani will double the number of cakes and give them to Pane Quotidiano, who know where there is most need.