Journey into Art

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PisaWhile working for his uncle in Dallas in 1979, Chris Victoria met Giovanni Palomba. They quickly became friends.

After Chris started his franchise in Wausau, he contacted his friend Giovanni to come and paint that establishment.

When he finally opened Victoria’s in Appleton, it was Giovanni’s talent that would be tapped again.

When Giovanni took on the job, he asked Chris how he wanted it to be painted. Chris’ only response was “to paint the facility like it was his own restaurant.”

And Giovanni did.

Giovanni commented in an interview, “Here I can create. They ask me nothing. I use my own brains and go about my work.”

Giovanni Palomba hand-painted every mural a customer sees in Victoria’s. All of it was done without sketching. It was all freehand. The archways were even designed by the contractor to complement the artwork.

Giovanni reproduced on one mural the Florence skyline. On another, there is the Bay of Naples.

Patrons would watch him paint while they ate. Some would walk up and talk to him. It even added to the relaxed atmosphere for the customers.

When visitors from all over the world come to the EAA AirVenture show, held in Oshkosh every summer, many will stop in at Victoria’s for some authentic Italian cooking.

They can’t believe there is a restaurant in Appleton with this much artwork on its walls.

However, as owner Chris Victoria has said, “people don’t come here for the paintings; they come here for the food.”

Certainly.

But they enjoy what they see while they eat.