My dearest, here I am, at Caffè Pedrocchi, Padua’s historic café and one of its landmarks.
I often come to Pedrocchi’s because I love being pervaded by history, admiring the beauty of the premises and the furnishings and tasting a zabaione or a Pedrocchi coffee, which are both a speciality of the house.
SHORT HISTORY OF PEDROCCHI
Caffè Pedrocchi was founded by Mr. Pedrocchi, a coffee maker from Bergamo, in 1772 on a strategic spot in Padua: next to the University and the Town Hall and close to market squares and the theatre.
In 1816, a customer, architect and engineer Giuseppe Jappelli, was entrusted by the son of Mr. Pedrocchi to design the building as we see it today, which was inaugurated in 1831.
Caffè Pedrocchi consists of three rooms: the red, the green and the white room.
The Red Room is the central one, the largest and it hosts the magnificent marble counter designed by Jappelli.
The Green Room, overlooking Piazza Pedrocchi, hosts a large mirror over the fireplace. Traditionally, this room has always been reserved to those who want to sit and read the newspaper without having to order. For this reason, in the past it was the favourite meeting place of penniless students.
Today, many use the Green Room for a stop, to have some rest, to wait for someone or to read the newspaper.
The White Room, at the opposite end, overlooks the Bo Palace. On one of the walls in the White Room, you can still see the hole left by a bullet shot in 1848 by Austrian-Hungarian soldiers against students who were protesting against Hapsburg domination.
“I personally love the Red Room because it is furnished with red velvet seats which, besides being très chic, highlight my Valier bag, no matter what colour. In addition, in the Red Room there is a grand piano and the Jappelli counter, which is pure beauty.”
ILLUSTRIOUS CUSTOMERS AND DOORS ALWAYS OPEN
Caffè Pedrocchi has welcomed many illustrious customers: Stendhal, George Sand, Théophile Gauthier, Gabriele D’Annunzio. Until 1916, the café was open day and night; for this reason, it was renamed “The café without doors”.
A SPECIALITY TO TASTE
Today at Pedrocchi’s I have ordered a Pedrocchi coffee, a speciality of the house. It is an espresso with a topping of cream mixed with mint syrup and sprinkled with cocoa powder.
It is served without the spoon because you are not supposed to add sugar and because it should be “layer-tasted”. It is indeed a symphony of tastes.
On Jappelli’s counter, the recipe is displayed. Here it is:
100% Arabica espresso
An emulsion of fresh cream and mint syrup
A sprinkle of cocoa powder
“You may wish to try and make it at home, my dearest, but my suggestion is that you come to Padua and taste it while pervaded by history!”
We’ll be in touch soon!