Cafe Pedrocchi: Finest CoffeeHouse in Padua, Italy
During the latter half of the 18th century and the early 19th century Padua, Italy saw the establishment of many coffee-houses used for literary and social gatherings. There were close to forty coffee-house keepers fisted, one of whom was the Bergamasque, Antonio Pedrocchi and it is due to him that one of the most important European coffee-houses was built, the Pedrocchi Café.
Antonio Pedrocchi, the entrepreneur, founded the Café Pedrocchi during the first half of the 19th century. Now considered the finest and most beloved coffeehouse in Italy, Café Pedrocchi embodies the Neoclassical style of architecture crafted by the Venetian architect Giuseppe Jappelli. Jappelli studied at Clementine Academy in Bologna and has also designed such buildings as the Garden of Sommi in Torre de' Picenardi and Pedrocchino in Padua. His best known work is the Pedrocchi Café in Padua.
Situated near the university and Main Square, where stage coaches once dropped off passengers, Café Pedrocchi became the hub of cultural and social life in Padua. Nobles, artists, students, and patriots alike flocked to Café Pedrocchi to be seen and heard. In the latter half of the 19th century, Giuseppe Jappelli added the neo-Gothic addition to the Café Pedrocchi -the Pedrocchino-to serve as a confectioner’s shop. The second floor rooms are exquisite to say the very least, built in different styles around a great ballroom and dedicated to composer Rossini. Rossini composed chamber music and 39 operas, the most notable being the (The Barber of Seville).
In 1848, the Café Pedrocchi experienced the Risorgimiento uprising in Padua and the tapestries of the ground floor boast the colors of the Italian flag. Originally the ground octagonal room housed the Stock Exchange and has welcomed artists, writers, and poets such as Lord Byron and Dario Fo.
The Café Pedrocchi was coined the “the Café Without Doors” because “from 1831 onward it was always open-day and night-for eighty five-years.” In 1852, Antonio Pedrocchi passed and the squares of Padua paraded his coffin as a sign of respect. His nephew and heir, Domenico Cappelatto , died in 1891, leaving Café Pedrocchi to the city of Padua.
At the end of the 1940’s, Café Pedrocchi suffered a setback when renovations altered the initial beauty of the building. It wasn’t until 1998 that the Café Pedrocchi, completed by Giuseppe Jappelli, was fully restored to the original design. Those who travel to Café Pedrocchi in Padua will experience an unmistakable artistic privilege in the form of rich and delightful coffee.