HUNDREDS of people gave Devizes cafe owner Giovanni Campanella the sort of send off he would have loved to be part of and now they are determined to keep his legacy alive.

Friends, family and regulars at Dolcipani coffee shop gathered at West Wiltshire Crematorium to say their last farewells and then returned to Old Swan Yard to share memories of a man who meant so much to so many.

There was music, laughter, tears and pizza as the afternoon turned to evening and Mr Campanella, who lost his fight with lung cancer on May 20, was remembered.

His partner Daniela, first wife Susie, children Tina and Alex, along with uncle Enzo, Gianni’s mother and sister Sandra were all bolstered by the outpouring of love.

Gianni’s last wish as his family gathered at his bedside was for Dolcipani to continue and the family are determined it will flourish.

Susie said: “We will all work together to make sure that happens. We know that is what he wanted and we think the people of Devizes want it too.”

She thanked everyone who made donations to Dorothy House Hospice in Gianni’s memory at the funeral on June 7..She said: “We tried to make the ceremony special. There was a huge basket of bread, his favourite music and so many people were there.”

His ashes will be returned to the family grave near Milan in coming weeks and his uncle Enzo Bua who is a professional musician and shared a love of music with Gianni is planning a charity music night.

Gianni, died aged 60, but lived life to the full gathering friends wherever he went. He was first taught to bake by his great grandmother Paula in Sicily as a boy.

As a teenager his father wanted him to join the family tyre business in Milan and for a while he did. But his spirit of adventure meant he did not stay for too long and as a young man he arrived in Guernsey.

Here he met Susie and young love blossomed. He took her to meet his parents and she quickly endeared herself to them by quickly picking up the Italian language.

The couple married and worked together in Guernsey. Susie said: “Even though we later split up we remained the best of friends.

“When we knew he was very ill we all came to be with him. He was supported by Dorothy House but he did not want to go into hospital or to a hospice.

“Dani was wonderful for him for these last five years and we all now want to work together.”

Gianni arrived in Devizes in the 1990s and gained a reputation for his food and friendly service at first Franco’s restaurant, Dolcipani and restaurant Isola Bela.

‘There was a huge basket of bread, his favourite music and so many people were there’