Benito Nava died recently at the age of 75. Benito was born in Forlì in Italy in 1936, but came to the Norwegian city of Trondheim in 1960. There he worked as a musician before starting a career in the restaurant business in 1978. His restaurants “Benitos” and “Zia Teresa” were local favourite hangouts for over 30 years. Benito gave this little Norwegian city at least three gifts; the taste of the Italian kitchen, his lovely and kind Italian personality, and his voice and artistry. He was indeed a very good musician, singer and entertainer. If you were lucky when visiting one of his restaurants, you could suddenly hear Italian popular songs or opera arias coming towards you. It was Benito, singing and serving you your Italian dinner at the same time!
Looking very much like the great Pavarotti he was many times mistaken for him. When seeing him walk thru the city you had to think for just a split second: “Is Pavarotti in town?” and a split second later: “Why is Pavarotti in town?”, and just for giving us these ideas in our heads he surely will be missed! However, Benito Nava weren’t just another Pavarotti lookalike. He could sing as well! Most of all I remember the visits to his restaurants and the great atmosphere he created there, with his food, his singing, and his great Italian personality. He was indeed a lovely man with a great Italian personality. He was a great ambassador for Italian culture. He will surely be missed. Benito Nava died on Monday 17th October 2011. He had three children and two grandchildren. Grazie, Benito!