The Caffé Greco, or the Antico Caffé Greco, is located in Rome‘s prestigious and expensive shopping street the Via Condotti. It is the oldest cafe in Rome and, according to people who have sampled at least one cappuccino in every coffee bar in the Eternal City, it is in this cafe that you can get the best one of all of them.
Antico Caffé Greco Rome
Address and opening hours
Address: Via Condotti, 86, Roma (tel. +39 06 679 1700). Opening hours: 09.00 till 21.00.
History and description
The Caffé Greco was opened in 1760. Casanova was a habitual visitor during his stay in Rome.
The cafe got its name because of their way of preparing the coffee. Before the espresso machines were invented coffee was brewed in the Greek manner. This is not surprising since the first owner and founder of the Caffé Greco, Nicola della Maddalena, was himself a Greek.
According to one legend, when a Cardinal sits down in a specific chair in the Caffé Greco, he will later become Pope. This could of course just be a trick by the owners to get cardinals into the place.
The cafe owes much of its fame to the famous people who have sipped their espresso’s here in the past. These include Henry James, Orson Welles and of course Casanova and Buffalo Bill.
More than 300 works of art can be seen inside the cafe, which is itself the subject of a 1976 painting by the artist Renato Guttuso. Unfortunately this work cannot be seen in Rome itself, but in the Madrid Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.
In 2018 the famous cafe risked closure when the owners of the building wanted to up the rent. 18.000 Euros a month was clearly not enough to live on.