Giulio Signorelli

Bergamo-born Giulio Signorelli is a collector and one of the world’s finest connoisseurs of cheese. He inherited his passion for cheese at an early age from his father and grandfather, spending time in the family cellar to scrape the rind from the cheese wheels and then rub them with a linseed-based dressing, as is still done today for certain types of cheese.

Gastronomy and Wine Cheese

In 1958 he began working as a shop hand at the Ernesto Marchesi shop in Bergamo. However, his dream was to open his own business, which he did in 1969 with Ol Formager, in same spot where his father used to have his cheese cart. Today Ol Formager is a site of pilgrimage for many cheese gourmets from Italy and around the world, who come to find the shop’s wide range of Italian speciality cheeses. Modernised over the years, the shop has a tasting corner, a video screening area recounting stories of cheese-making excellence, and a well-furnished library of books about cheese.

The shop sells over 150 varieties of cheese, all selected by Signorelli and sold on a seasonal basis—from the alpine cheeses of mountain dairies in the Taleggio, Sassina, Brembana, Seriana, Scalve, Camonica, and Sabbia valleys to cheeses from Piedmont and central and southern Italy.

Signorelli is untiring in his efforts to source excellent cheeses for his discerning clientele. He sells other gourmet delights as well, such as cured hams and sauces, but his true passion is cheese, overseeing the maturing of his products with incredible patience. It is also thanks to Signorelli that certain relatively unknown local cheeses have now become renowned and widely appreciated.

Signorelli has received numerous awards and honours over the years and has long been mentioned in specialist guidebooks and publications. His most famous customers include celebrated chefs such as Gualtiero Marchesi and Gianfranco Vissani. He regularly holds tasting courses in his region and throughout Italy.

Awards and Honours

  • 2006
    Premio Cacio&Passione awarded by ONAF–Italian Association of Cheese Tasters.
  • 2008
    Rotary Club Bergamo West Award.
    Ol Formager has been awarded and widely mentioned as a venue of fine taste and fine cheese by Slow Food.