The ancient Caffè Greco: from D’Annunzio to Orson Welles: the oldest intellectual “bar” in Rome

Published: Wednesday, 09 June 2021 – Giulia Bertotto

ROME (current affairs) – Just to get an idea of ​​how ancient it is, this place prepared its coffees even before the French Revolution and Alessandro Volta had not yet invented the electric battery – ​​exclusive content

The most exclusive and literary historical café in the capital is located in the splendid Via dei Condotti, come founded in 1760 by Nicola della Maddalena who apparently was an Italo-Levantine (Italian community that took root in Turkey) therefore linked to the Greek colonies. It is also the second oldest coffee in Italy, after the Florian of Venice.

This historical element is learned from the “State of Souls”, an ancient register that reported the data of the payments.

Just to get an idea of ​​how old it is, this place was preparing its coffees even before the French Revolution and Alessandro Volta had not yet invented the electric battery.

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In the nineteenth century the prestigious living room welcomed the meetings of famous intellectuals, especially Germans, as the drawings by C. Philipp Fohr testify. One of the frequenters of the Café was Schopenauer, philosopher who fed on enlightenment, but also on oriental spirituality and romanticism, who brought with him his white poodle named Atman, (Soul of the World).

Even the writer Silvio Pellico, D’Annunzio, Pope Leo XIII, the sculptor Canova, the poet Baudelaire, the painter de Chirico and Orson Welles they sipped their coffee here amidst creative ferment and political debates.

Even today it is the meeting place of the “Group of Romanists”, which is based in the Antico Caffè Greco. The Romanists were born after the First World War to enhance the city of Rome beyond any political color.

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In its velvety nineteenth-century style rooms there are over 300 works on display: this makes the Caffè Greco the largest private art gallery open to the public. The place where the business is located has been recognized “Cultural Property of Particularly Important Interest”. Currently the property belongs to the Israelite Hospital. The Antico Caffè Greco is portrayed in awork by Renato Guttuso, exhibited in Madrid.

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The Sala Rossa del Caffè also appears on the single by My Martini Minuetto / You are so from 1973. A symbol of culture, a fascinating place, rich in aromas and suggestions.

Photo taken from the website

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