The Origins

First steps in Turin

Rizzoli Emanuelli has an ancestor, Tosi & Rizzoli: the latter opens in 1871 in Piedmont, in a city that at the time is Italian leader in the processing of fish preserves. Turin is located on the ancient Salt Road that connects it with the Port of Genoa, where the oily fish packed in wooden barrels arrives from, and where Luigi and Emilio Zefirino Rizzoli meet Romeo Tosi. But it is in the heart of the Emilia region that the tomato processing industry is making great strides and bringing it with it a functional railway system and fast communication routes: seeing the potential of the area, Tosi & Rizzoli moves to Parma in 1892.


Arrival in Parma

Masters of fish processing

Tosi & Rizzoli closes, but after thirty years of activity in Turin and the move to Parma, the Rizzolis are now masters of fish preserves. Within the company, Luigi Rizzoli deals with production, while his brother Emilio Zefirino is in charge of selling the finished product, touring Italy in search of new clients. On one of these trips he meets Antonietta Emanuelli, falls in love with her, and decides to start a family and a new adventure: thus Rizzoli Emanuelli & Co. is born.


Our symbol

Anchovies in Sauce: a product, a secret, a legend

Rizzoli’s Anchovies in Spicy Sauce in the now iconic golden tin are the symbol of our company. Its recipe is not written down, but passed down orally to the family’s first born. He or she are the only ones to know the ingredients, amounts and cooking times of the sauce that, once prepared, is aged for six months in numbered wooden barrels that previously contained Marsala wine. Today as yesterday, each step is performed according to the old tradition of craftsmanship. For over a century, the spices have been purchased from the same trusted suppliers, ground on-site using the same machinery, and weighed with the same instruments, which guarantee the same proportions as always. The fragrances and flavours of this symbol of Italian cuisine have never changed: there has been no reason to do so. Proudly, since 1906.


The choice of the logo

The gnomes: an auspicious symbol

At the end of 1800 Emilio Zefirino and Antonietta receive as a gift an excellent lot of fish preserved in packaging that depicts three smiling gnomes. Ever since then, these iconic figures have been the symbol of our company, chosen as a sign of good luck, health and longevity. A few years later, in 1907, the registration of the trademark at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kingdom of Italy reads like this: “The colour image of three old dwarfs with long beards, hugging and bearing on their knees a blue plaque with the words Eating well; underneath is the lettering Anchovies in spicy sauce - True Rizzoli Parma trademark.”


The ring-pull tin

Ahead of the times

Thinking about the future, always. Emilio Zefirino Rizzoli travels a lot, talks with clients and listens to them, because you improve by engaging in discussion with the people who buy your products. One of the requests he jots down is to make it faster to open the tins. This generates our very first modern, practical ring-pull tin. In 1913 we file our patent and this is probably one of the reasons why the company is chosen immediately as supplier of the Italian Army.


The Great War

The series of historical tins

Italy goes to war against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Rizzoli Emanuelli does its part: its sends its products to the front, pays homage with special tins to General Cadorna, Supreme Commander of the Italian Army during the First World War, and celebrates the reconquest of the cities of Trento and Trieste. These are tins as small works of art, often playing a political propaganda role, and one of these precious artefacts will be found in 1971 by chance, during the placement of a commemorative plaque by an elderly veteran.


The new production plant

A Liberty house in the city

The new Rizzoli Emanuelli headquarters, for years the symbol of Parma’s great industry, is opened during the Liberty-style period. The move is the result of an agreement with the Barilla family who, wishing to expand their production plant, ask the Rizzoli family to let them have their area in exchange for another one, in via Emilia 29. Hence the happy occasion of the opening of a building with an austere and elegant façade. In a newspaper of the time, Aldo Emanuelli refers to the exponential growth of the company, “born 23 years ago with 6 workers”, while the journalist observes and describes a small army of women and an imposing array of very modern machinery that prepare with automatic elegance and precision the deliciousness that satisfy our whims of gluttony.”


The boom

The female workforce

Some of the young women working in production at the time tell their memories of the period when Italy was recovering economically. Yesterday as today, the packaging of anchovies was done by women, who are portrayed in the period photograph together with Aldo Rizzoli. Out of our production plants would come swarms of women on their bikes, singing this refrain: “If you want to eat well, and enjoy nice days, eat the spicy Rizzoli Emanuelli!”


The ads

Appetizing, exciting, invigorating

We turn 50, an event celebrated by reprinting a special letterhead that talks about the iconic fillets of Anchovies in Sauce with the enthusiasm of the time: “APPETIZING because they awake and provoke the appetite; EXCITING because they have the effect of increasing the action of vital organs, stimulating them so that body functions take place with greater force; INVIGORATING because they are prepared with substances that restore strength thus reinvigorating the body.”


A new president

The baton passes to Antonio Rizzoli

After Luigi, Aldo and Clelia Rizzoli, the children of Emilio Zefirino and Antonietta, the baton is passed to the grandson Antonio Rizzoli. He is 31 years old when he is given the secret recipe of the Sauce. He represents the third generation at the helm at the company.


The first trade fairs

Exploration of new markets

Antonio Rizzoli makes the company grow with a new entrepreneurial approach. The company regularly attends the most important Trade Fairs in the international food sector: its markets expand and the Rizzoli anchovies travel further and further.


Aida Oscar

Creativity awarded at Cibus

“La Scorta del Buongustaio” (The Gourmet’s Provisions) is created: a small case containing a selection of our specialties together with a Recipe Book signed by great chefs. It is the ancestor of today’s gourmet selection, designed as a Christmas gift but extremely popular throughout the year The International association of food distributors, AIDA, awards at Cibus new market ideas which, according to a contemporary article in the La Stampa newspaper of Turin, “focus on the wishes and whims of consumers of the ‘90s, who compared with the past have a higher income and greater choice and, because of an ageing population, can rely on greater experience.” This is the historical context in which “La Scorta” won the Aida Oscar at Cibus ‘90.


Rizzoli Emanuelli becomes S.P.A.

Massimo Rizzoli new general manager

Antonio Rizzoli passes the baton to his son, Massimo. He has just turned 26 and represents the fourth generation to receive the secret recipe of the Sauce. To him tradition does not mean standing still, but rather combining experience with a strong innovative spirit.


The golden Sant’Ilario

An award for history and prestige

Antonio Rizzoli receives from his city the Sant’Ilario Award, a prize given by the Municipality of Parma to those who contribute to increasing the prestige of the city. The motivation: “At the helm of one of Parma’s oldest and most renowned food companies he has enhanced its prestigious tradition by revitalizing and renewing it with a modern entrepreneurial spirit.”


Tuna in glass

A revolution in packaging

A challenge that seemed impossible: changing the packaging of tuna, traditionally preserved in tins. An idea came to Massimo Rizzoli during one of his daily tours of the production area: the Rizzoli fillets are cut by hand and have such a unique colour - it’s a real shame not to show them. So it was that tuna in glass made its appearance on store shelves in Italy.


Single portion anchovy

The mini tray for indulging in a treat

We are the first in Italy to launch single-portion anchovies in innovative flexible packaging, which is available for both the Rizzoline and the iconic Anchovies in Sauce. For an aperitif, an outdoor picnic, to meet the needs of singles or of small families.


Anchovies, a transparent journey

Traceability in a click

A relationship of trust with the consumer first of all, or, in the words of the Rizzoli motto: “Ante lucrum nomen”. After obtaining the UNI EN ISO 22005 certification of the entire anchovy chain, the company develops an online traceability system that makes it possible to get full information about the purchased product. Just by clicking on the relevant banner and inserting the data of the purchased product, in a short time the consumer will receive an email with all the information: fish species, area, date and fishing method, the name of the boat, the date when the fish reached the production plant and all the information on controls.


Anuga Award

We offer, first in the sector in 2003, the flexible packaging for our anchovies. In 2015 we win the Anuga prize.

The first to do so in the sector, in 2003 we offer flexible, easy-peel, light packaging for our anchovies, with no risk of breakage and a high barrier against UV and O2 rays: practical and, once again, innovative. This leads us to win the 2015 Anuga Award as “Best international packaging” in the preserves category.


Food Award

We propose the Oblò del mare in search of transparency, always

We launch the Oblò del Mare line, tuna and mackerel fillets grilled on both sides and packaged in an exclusive tin with an easy-to-open, transparent lid that makes them unique in the Italian market This innovation leads us to win the 2018 FOOD Award.


The TV debut

What is the secret of Rizzoli's flavour?

We reveal it in these 15 seconds that you can see HERE and that mark our debut on the small screen. Starting from a vintage tin of Alici in Salsa, a few seconds of a sequence plan runs through 113 years of unique knowledge, taking the viewer on a discovery of a long family tradition. In closing, it is the eldest son in charge who thus expresses all his pride in our iconic product: I am Massimo Rizzoli and these are my anchovies in sauce.


Fresh anchovies from the Cantabrian Sea

Bringing anchovies to the chiller

Our best anchovies? We put them in the chiller! They are Fresh Anchovies from the Cantabrian Sea, the finest and fleshiest and MSC-certified. Processed entirely by hand, the anchovies preserve the high quality and intense flavour of fresh fish. The refrigerated storage allows us to reduce the salt content by up to 25% and to obtain a range of new products, increasingly responding to our customers' demand.

home / storia


Le Origini

La nostra storia inizia agli esordi del ‘900, grazie all’intraprendenza dei fratelli Luigi ed Emilio
Zefirino Rizzoli.

Maestri nell’arte della conservazione del pesce nel 1906 i due si trasferirono da Torino a Parma e, insieme a Antonietta Emanuelli, fondarono l’attuale Rizzoli Emanuelli Spa, specializzata nella filettatura e nel confezionamento di alici