Following the renovation of the San Paolo, Cozzolino and Procino decide to install the stadium old seats in their restaurant
Ribalta is one of the best representatives of Italian cuisine in Manhattan. The owners, Pasquale Cozzolino and Rosario Procino turned it into one of the most successful pizza restaurants in New York. They respectively brought in their mastery as a Neapolitan pizza chef and entrepreneurial vision. When he joined forces with Cozzolino, Procino restyled Ribalta as an Italian sports bar from the 80s. Recently he enhanced the atmosphere even more with original seats from the Neapolitan Stadio San Paolo.
Stadio San Paolo, the third-largest football stadium in Italy, is the home stadium of S.S.C. Napoli. Built in 1959, Neapolitans consider it the cathedral of football and they are deeply attached to it. The stadium underwent an important renovation in preparation for the 2019 Summer Universiade. This included replacing metal fencing with glass barriers and replacing the old seats. When Cozzolino and Procino, also president of the Napoli Fans Club NYC, heard about it, they decided to acquire some of them.
“Seeing the dismantling of these seats, we thought: we must bring them to New York,” said Cozzolino. “For a Neapolitan like me, it is an indescribable emotion: I shiver.” Procino commented: “For us, it is something important and beautiful. We brought another piece of Naples to the Ribalta Stadium. We want to set up a ‘tribunetta’ [small gallery]. In this way, who comes here to watch Napoli’s matches can sit on the original San Paolo chairs.”
Ilona Catani Scarlett