ASCOLI PICENO – It was March 2020 when filming “Shadow of the day”with obvious predominance of scenes taken – after the choice of the director of our house Giuseppe Piccioni – in the historic restaurant in Ascoli, “the largest historic café in Italy”.
There was everything the organization needed, from the old beliefs, dug up for the moment and then left on display, to the atmosphere, seemingly light and ostentatiously lavish, on which, however, the shadow of the drama inexorably spread during World War II.
For months, Caffè Meletti was the home of the staff led by Piccioni and whom he saw Riccardo Scamarcio actor and producer. After two years, after the double presentation of the film (exclusively for Ascoli and Ascoli, at the cinemas Odeon and Piceno, February 23), Caffè Meletti and its history are among the warhorses of the city race and Piceno as the cultural capital of 2024, a source of pride and a choice for rebirth.
The mayor of Ascoli points to us Marco Fioravanti who, after the screening of the film, accompanied the director and the actors to the dinner in the traditional café. To welcome them, citizens in period clothes, ready to return “on stage” for the next meetings, scheduled for Saturday, February 26 and Tuesday, March 1. A dinner where citizens can also show up in masks or in period clothes, if they wish (for booking and information 366 3192078).
So he did, on Wednesday, Anna Monini, vice chairman of the new board of “Caffè Meletti srl”: «The film – explained the architect Monini – takes place in the 1930s. Caffè Meletti had been active for some time, in his Art Nouveau style, and was perfectly suited to cinematic needs. It was an opportunity to highlight original objects, such as ancient beliefs, which have now remained available to the citizens, who in this way can breathe these atmospheres again, well restored in the scenes. The tables, the waiters’ uniforms, even the tablecloths are from the period.
The interior of the Caffè Meletti is, to 95%, the original, always well maintained and subject to continuous restoration, some recent. Additions have been made to keep up with the times. As for the film, for example, the tables were used, also the original ones and bound by the Superintendent, but some completely redone in copy using digital technology ».
Nothing would have been possible without the will of the Cassa di Risparmio di Ascoli Foundation, which wanted to return Caffè Meletti to citizenship, with an investment and promotional work, to confirm it in its role as the city’s pulsating heart, showcasing the launch of Piceno and springboard on an international scene, in the wake of the visibility that will give Ascoli “The shadow of the day”.
Thus the chairman of the Carisap Foundation, Angelo Davide Galeati: «Caffè Meletti remains, in the foundation’s intentions, a structure that must be the beating heart of the city. We believe that an activity of this kind is also an attraction for the whole community, Ascoli and its surroundings. And for tourism, which, although still “hit and run”, can receive a dignified welcome in the living room of the city, which remains Caffè Meletti, in which the Foundation continues to invest. He does so – continues President Galeati – by focus on quality people, such as those who make up the new board, starting with President Longino Carducci, selected for his leadership qualities and who is already delivering excellent results ».
In addition to President Carducci and Deputy Monini, the members of the new board are also Roberta D’Emidio, Oreste Curi and Pino Ciabattoni.
“The patisserie has reopened – adds Galeati – now we will focus on catering. What can we say at this point, we are waiting for the summer, with the arrival of tourists, to give us great satisfaction ».
What is expected of the motif in Piccioni’s film, apparently from Caffè Meletti?
“The film, which provides an effective image with a strong emotional charge, really represents a beautiful showcase for the place, as well as for Ascoli.”
“Culture – says the chairman of the board of” Caffè Meletti srl “, Longino Carducci is what you do not want to forget, what a community wants to maintain, nurture and enjoy.
Events such as these contribute to raising the perception of Caffè Meletti as an invaluable legacy of the city of Ascoli and of the “widespread city” that is our entire territory.
I and my entire board are proud of this and we dedicate our commitment and good will to preserve and develop this heritage.
Impossible to forget the days when the scenes were filmed, while Ascoli and Piazza del Popolo were immersed in silence and desolation. The only background was the tragic news that came to the Covid front.
“The he resumed – he says Valter di Felicethe then administrator of “Caffè Meletti srl” – began in connection with the closure, in March 2020, after a preparatory phase in February.
Unconsciously, we found ourselves in a new situation, where enthusiasm was intertwined with concerns about an uncertain future, the effects of which, I’m also talking about the blow to the catering industry, but only to stick to the subject, were still unknown.
The moment – is still Di Felice’s words – was lived with great passion inside Caffè Meletti, where the awareness day by day grew that something important was being done for the city and for the citizens, something that would remain in the time after, when the terrible moment would pass .
It was not easy, due to the very strict protocols introduced by anti Covid restrictions.
The situation required an even greater commitment, every day the entire staff had to undergo a swab and wait for the exit before entering the set.
The production had put a Covid manager and Caffè Meletti a doctor, to protect the employees. We also had a disinfection machine that was constantly in use ».
Your impressions after watching the movie?
“A very strong feeling. And a feeling that has materialized: the whole world will see Ascoli. I admit, the tears fled us.”
The employees at Caffè Meletti, among the extras in the cinematic work. Between them Vanessa Angelinihead of the patisserie, in the film “a persistent customer at Caffè”, he reports and admits that he has not yet had the opportunity to meet him precisely because he was on duty on the day of the preview: “It was an unforgettable experience and a great feeling that participate, even more so in the difficult period of lockdown. I was struck by the incredible work behind each scene. For a few minutes of filming, hours and hours of preparation ».
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