In 1892 Giovanni made the long journey to Newcastle with his son Antonio, aged only 7. At that time many Italians were embarking on this brave step into the unknown, leaving family and friends behind to travel to far away places in an effort to improve their poor existence. Many travelled to America, and many came to England, sometimes walking huge distances to come up through Europe. Some who came by boat to Britain believed they were going to America, but were duped and landed on British and Irish shores instead!
Most of the Italians who came over at that time came from the same small part of Italy between Rome and Naples around the Monte Cassino area, and settled throughout the British Isles, many of them making it up to Scotland. Giovanni and his son settled in Newcastle because, as the story goes, they travelled from the south up country, and Newcastle was as far as their fare would take them!
Giovanni’s ice cream was soon bringing a taste of Italian sunshine to the streets and markets of Newcastle. At first he sold his ice cream himself from a handcart with the help of Antonio but his business grew quickly and he was soon able to employ a team of fellow Italians as street vendors while he concentrated on making his delicious ice cream.