Non esiste piu – No longer in existence (1): Osteria di Camugnone, Vergato, Bologna, Italia

Rubble after the explosion in OSteria Camugnone
Rubble after the explosion in Osteria Camugnone

The “Non esiste piu – No longer in existence” series

A year ago, in the early hours of 14th August 2012 a huge explosion obliterated a building in the area of Vergato, near Bologna.

This building housed “Osteria di Camugnone”.

This article is the first in a series of objects that no longer exist.

Today’s object is an “osteria” near Bologna, in Italy.

An “osteria” is an aggregate or assemblage object, and as such it is made of parts.

Aggregate objects are irreducible to their parts.

The existence of all of its parts is a necessary condition for the existence of the aggregate object.

Therefore, the destruction of one of the aggregate object’s part results in its non existence.

Osteria di Camugnone
Osteria di Camugnone

Local Press clipping (translated from Italian)

14 August 2012. At 0039 hours as a result of an explosion due to a gas leak in Pioppe of Salvaro, around one o’clock, destroyed the old restaurant Camugnone.

The building, which is at the outskirts of Porrettana Pioppe of Salvaro, home to a historic dining hotspot, has been completely razed to the ground. The tremendous roar woke the inhabitants of the houses  of the nearby village of Pioppe and surrounding townships. Debris from the explosion has blocked both the state road and the railroad tracks Porrettana that are within a few meters of the building.

Gas that leaked from the mains at the inn, has filled one or more rooms. Then something has triggered the explosion which was of such a violence that not one stone was left upon another.

Fortunately there were no people inside the building. The osteria was currently undergoing an renovation, pending the resumption of activities by new proprietors.

Osteria di Camugnone
Osteria di Camugnone

The Osteria

Quite a busy place, most of the clients were local.

Service was fast and polite.

The prices on the very low side.

Value for money extremely high.

I had a mixed salad, garganelli, and pasticcio.



I visited the OSteria back in the Summer of 2006, on my way from the hills around Bologna to Firenze.

It was listed on the Michelin guide as a “good value for money” place.

The first dish that I tasted was the garganelli, local pasta with a veal ragu sauce. Absolutely divine!



The word pasticcio comes from pasta and means “pie”, and has developed the figurative meanings of “a mess”, “a tough situation”, or a pastiche.

The pasticcio that I tasted in the Osteria had flat pasta sheets (most likely lasagne), cheese, prosciuto and mushrooms. Extremely rich and tasty!


Causal chains 

If the gas explosion caused the destruction of the Osteria, what caused the gas explosion?

Let us assume that the gas explosion was caused by a leaking valve.

What caused the valve to leak?

Some possible reasons come to mind:

  • Valve breakdown due to poor maintenance of the Osteria building.
  • Valve breakdown due to material failure, not attributable to poor maintenance.
  • Valve breakdown due to human action. The fact that the building was undergoing renovation makes it quite plausible that a worker inadvertently damaged a gas valve, causing it to leak.
  • Valve breakdown due to superhuman or supernatural action.

I will not pursue the causal chain any further. I leave this investigation to the insurance companies, the fire department, the local administration.

As far as I am concerned, the Osteria no longer exists, and that is that.

Sala da mangiare, Osteria di Camugnone
Sala da mangiare, Osteria di Camugnone

What is the meaning of “non existence”?

Instead of a conclusion, I would like to offer some thoughts on the state of “non-existence”.

These thoughts do not claim to be anything but thoughts.

Is “non-existence” equivalent to an irreversible change?

Is it may be the epitomy or even the definition of irreversibility?

Does it make sense to talk of (ir)reversibility?

Is it at all possible during a lifetime to regress from one state to another and do so on multiple occasions over time?

If this is the case, irreversibility might wotk as a definition.

The notion of “non-existence” is temporal.

The Osteria does not exist today, but it existed one year and one day ago.

So existence, reversibility, regression, are all temporal.

Now that everything has come together like this, is time reversible?

Why would the temporal be going only in one direction?


There is another dimension of the “non” existence state.

From a realistic point of view, the Osteria today does not exist.

It does not exist in the real world, the world that exists outside of me and you.

However, from an idealistic point of view, the Osteria may exist as an ideal form.

But these questions need to be taken up in another article, on the ontology and metaphysics of restaurants.

Until then, “salve”!


  1. (here’s what I see in the article:) The Schrödinger’s cat, the theory of relativity and a fine lunch at an italian restaurant!! It was a real pleasure!

  2. Στην απαρχή της επιστήμης ο Παρμενίδης είπε: Παν δ’ εμπλεον εστιν εόντος τω ξυνεχες παν εστιν, εον γαρ εοντι πελάζει.
    Το μηδέν, το μη-ον, το ανύπαρκτο, αναδύονται όταν βγάλουμε τον εαυτόν μας από το κόσμο, όταν ξεχάσουμε ότι οι ιδέες μας, οι πεποιθήσεις μας, οι αναμνήσεις μας, είναι η δική μας συνεισφορά στο είναι. Όταν ξεχάσουμε τα όρια μας και δεν μπορούμε να ξεχωρήσουμε το μέσα από το έξω.

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