“My grandfather was a confectioner with a passion for herbology: he tried and tried, concocting many different combinations of herbs to create the perfect liqueur.
After much trial and error he finally found the ideal combination that would become Amaro Lucano.”
[Pasquale Vena, President and founder's grandson]
Allow me to tell you a story
A story that begins in Pisticci, at the end of the 1800s. It was here in this small Lucanian town in the province of Matera, where my grandfather Pasquale Vena was born in 1871. Once he grew up he moved to Naples with his brothers, ready to set sail for America and seek their fortune. My grandfather however, driven by his passion for confectionery, decided not to leave and started working in a famous shop, to study and to learn more about the subject he loved so much. As is well known, you can take a Lucanian from Lucania, but never Lucania from a Lucanian. He missed the colours, the aromas and the emotions of his home town Pisticci: he felt so homesick that he went back and opened a biscuit factory.
My grandfather was a confectioner with a passion for herbology: he tried and tried, concocting different combinations of herbs to find the perfect liqueur. In 1894, after much trial and error, he finally found the ideal combination that would become Amaro Lucano, thus sealing his own fate and that of his entire family. The choice not to follow his brothers proved wise: Amaro Lucano quickly became well known and even ended up on the tables of the House of Savoy. The King liked it so much that my grandfather was named a member of the Order of Merit where the title Cavaliere comes from and his small company became official supplier to the Savoy Royal family at the beginning of the 1900s.
After a period of expansion, production was halted due to the Second World War, but this did not stop my grandfather Pasquale. My father Leonardo joined the company, mainly taking care of administrative matters, along with my uncle Giuseppe who travelled around the country in a small van to sell Amaro Lucano and other products from the Vena Company, and would not return home until he had sold every last one. Together they set up a cottage industry under the stairs in their home in Pisticci, and in the 50s production reached 3000 bottles per year. Printed in gold letters on the label are the principles that my family have always stood by: “Work and Honesty”.
The turning point came in 1965: production moved to the new plant in Pisticci Scalo where production reached a record 117,000 litres of Amaro Lucano per year. My father and my uncle Giuseppe, worthy heirs to my grandfather, transformed Pasquale Vena’s dream into a successful business that I now have the honour of leading, aided by the invaluable contribution of my wife Rosistella and my children Leonardo, Francesco and Letizia, the fourth generation Vena family. I am the only person privy to the Amaro secret recipe, and I will hand it over to my heirs when the time comes. Since 1894 we have always known what else we wanted from life.