HAMBURG aise – There will be three next stages of #andarpercaffè, the new virtual project for the Italian Cultural Institute in Hamburg, which began on May 31, which aims to tell a fascinating piece of Italian history through some of the historic Italian cafes, places from free access and precious coffins of collective memory, which represented crucial meeting places and important places of cultural elaboration for artists and writers, as well as a basic stage for the definition of the new Italian bourgeois society.
Through its history, the original interior, the photographic and literary testimonies, the historic cafes provide an observatory on the country’s public sphere, on the definition and change of perception of leisure, on the history of family businesses and on the difficult. try to preserve the historical and cultural identity. At these meeting places, landmarks in small towns or iconic institutions in big cities, it is possible to enjoy a steaming cup of coffee, along with delicious regional delicacies, immersed in an atmosphere of other times. This is the case with Caffè Pedrocchi in Padua in the Veneto region.
Caffè Pedrocchi represents one of the historical symbols of the city of Padua, also known as the “Café without doors”, as it guaranteed its continuous opening, day and night, from 1831 (the year of its inauguration) until 1916. The existence of this great international café is due to Antonio Pedrocchi, famous coffee maker, mentioned by Stendhal in “The Charterhouse of Parma”, who dreamed of seeing a monumental café built in the Venetian city, with a representative and functional architecture, located right in the center of the city, in front of the university and the Austrian Gendarmerie. He then decided to entrust the construction to Giuseppe Jappelli, a famous architect and engineer of the Enlightenment ideas and a deep connoisseur of Habsburg taste. The place soon became a crossroads for intellectuals and writers, a meeting place for parties, dances, Masonic meetings and even commercial negotiations, a point of reference for the people of Paduan, but also for travelers and businessmen from all over the peninsula. The success was immediate and the café became a meeting place for artists and writers, including famous guests such as Stendhal, Théophile Gauthier, Gabriele d’Annunzio, Eleonora Duse, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and many others. Caffè Pedrocchi has now conquered a privileged position in the center and in the heart of Padua as the chosen place to sample coffee and cook.
From Padua we continue to Bologna, in Emilia-Romagna, and just to Caffè Pasticceria Gamberini.
The ancient confectionery Gamberini, which has always been a point of reference for Bolognese and the many passing tourists, became part of Bologna’s history in 1907, when it opened its doors and established itself as the first confectionery in the city, via Ugo Bassi. For over a century, the Gamberini patisserie has been an institution for scholars – the nickname of the Emilian capital – for its sweet and salty refinement. The creator of memorable banquets like the one for the film “My friends” by Monicelli, it has always been visited by all classes of society and is in the legend of Bolognese for serving pastries and brioches offered early in the morning even from kl. back door in the side street, where long queues always formed. Cozy and very elegant environment, with tables under the arcades, the restaurant still retains most of the original decor that has been restored over time. Since 2006, Caffè Pasticceria Gamberini has been recognized as a historic site in Italy, a place where traditional pastry production meets creativity, combined with a suggestion of haute cuisine and a selection of wines and cocktails of international taste.
After Emilia-Romagna, it’s Tuscany’s turn. Here is Caffè Pasticceria Gilli II in Florence. Born from the idea of the Swiss family Gilli, the most historic café in the city of Florence was inaugurated in 1733, a few steps from the Duomo, in Via dei Calzaiuoli, with the name “Bottega dei sweet bread”. Unsurprisingly, the restaurant soon stood out as a city lounge with a sort of aristocracy of “confectionery taste”: the original activity carried out at Caffè Gilli was in fact that of “Bozzolari”, producers and sellers of sugary monks. Then, during the second half of the nineteenth century, the café was moved to via degli Speziale, where it further increased its reputation. At the beginning of the last century, it was finally moved to its current location in Piazza della Repubblica, then Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, which at that time became the center of literary cafés. During the development of the artistic movement of futurism in Italy, Caffè Gilli was visited by intellectuals and artists, while from the post-war period onwards it became an exclusive meeting place for young Florentines, but also for the first tourists who began to visit the city. The restaurant, which is always known as an elegant stage and living room for city life, has throughout the 20th century maintained the style that has always distinguished it in its long history and which makes this the only example of Belle Époque café left in Florence with ivory walls, Murano chandeliers, frescoes on the ceiling, arches and the majestic bar counter. In addition, it is possible to access the tea room through the glass arch, where the room’s original interior is still intact. After about three centuries of uninterrupted activity, Caffè Gilli is still talked about all over the world thanks to the wide range of confectionery products, for processing chocolate and valuable essences, for exclusive jellies, candies, biscuits, the delicious single portions and sweets from anniversaries, like panettone and pigeons.
#Andar per caffè project is accessible via the institute’s social channels and uses an important image gallery, the result of the owners’ commitment, and the openstreetmap platform, to offer the public a “geographical” consultation of the stages (13 in total with a time until end of August once a week): another suggestion for the next Italian trip! On the institute’s website (www.iicamburgo.esteri.it) it is possible to read about the stages already described.
The project and the texts were edited by Anna Vittoria Aiello, a student on the master’s course in foreign languages for international communication at the University of Turin, who completed an internship at the Italian Cultural Institute in Hamburg. under the Maeci-Miur -Crui agreement. (aise)