La Rondine Christmas advert, just like Nonna used to make

Festive feels from La Rondine and Limelight TV.

An Italian bakery which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, has made a heartwarming Christmas advert this year capturing the love and magic of the festive season.

The advert, a collaboration between La Rondine on Queen Street and Limelight TV, sees a nonna (grandmother) take her granddaughter to the traditional bakery, where they are greeted by the owner, Salvatore Garganese, and some mischief-making elves, played by La Rondine’s staff.

Carlo, Salvatore’s son, came up with the idea and approached Don Weerasirie of LimeLight TV to help him make it a reality.

Santa Salvatore! Image: La Rondine/LimelightTV
Santa Salvatore! Image: La Rondine/LimelightTV

“I wanted to show how La Rondine is not just a bakery but an ‘experience’, which is our unofficial slogan”, said Carlo. “We wanted to show that through the love and magic of Christmas.”

Don Weerasirie told the Bedford Independent: “We’ve always wanted to create a John Lewis-style Christmas ad, so we were delighted when Carlo at La Rondine reached out to create a festive video.”

“We worked closely with Carlo to create a storyline that some people would find relatable but still incorporated the cake shop and bakery at its heart.”

Director and DOP, Don, worked with a small crew of three: Steadicam operator Charlie Manley, first AC Camron Buckle and Second AC Tanya Cristina.

“We had just one day to film all eight scenes, so time was of the essence. It was a great experience not only filming but also working with the amazing people who work in around La Rondine. They are lovely people and great fun to be around.”

Liz and her granddaughter, Amira. Image: La Rondine/LimeLightTV

The cast was made up of Liz Di Paolo – Salvatore’s sister – as ‘nonna’ and Amira, her granddaughter, aged nine. Father Christmas is played by Salvatore, with the elves made up of Carlo Garganese, Michele Di Paolo, Guiseppe Milioto, Vinnie Borsellinio, Kevin Hefford and Hatice Omer.

Around the dinner table, cast members include Liz’s husband, Vince and family members Sonia and Kyan.

“We all had such a good laugh during the filming,” said Carlo. “While we were trying to convey the joy and laughter that Christmas at La Rondine brings, we ended up dousing each other in so much icing sugar that we almost ran out. Poor Vinnie looked like a snowman by the end of the day!”

Sonia, Amira’s mum, said: “Amira had never been on film before but she loved it so much that she now wants to be an actress.”

This Christmas, La Rondine will be serving up mince pies and Christmas cake, alongside their traditional Italian delicacies including cannoli, Rum Baba, Sfogliatelle, eclairs, Zuppette and cream horns, plus the Bedfordshire speciality, chocolate toothpaste.

The bakery is opposite Queen Street car park which has two hours’ free parking every day.

“We hope that our festive film brings Bedfordians some Christmas cheer and we look forward to welcoming everyone into the bakery on Queen Street – although we can’t promise you’ll see Santa and his elves…”

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