Nello Ghezzo was an inspirational local restaurateur, the owner of Ristorante Italiano in Fore Street, Topsham. He grew up near Milan but came to London to work as a chef. In 1986, he moved to Devon and Nello’s Ristorante opened the following year, soon scooping an important national award. In 1997, Nello took time off to cycle to Venice to raise money for Force, a local cancer charity. Two years later, Nello himself died of cancer. In his memory, two magical community events are highlights of the Topsham calendar:
The Nello: a mass cycle ride through 100 miles of Devon countryside, ending at Topsham
Nello’s Longest Table: every other year in mid-summer, tables stretch from end to end of Topsham. People pile out of their houses with chairs and picnic baskets and sit down to feast together.
These events have raised tens of thousands of pounds for cancer charities.