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Caffè Pedrocchi

It was 1772 when Francesco Pedrocchi opened a coffee shop in Padua.
This new drink quickly became popular, right between the two centuries. Having inherited the property from his father, Antonio decided to purchase the entire street and the nearby buildings to build a proper factory to roast, store and blend coffee. The project, presented to city authorities in 1826, was entrusted to the Venetian architect and engineer Giuseppe Jappelli. In 1831, he delivered an eclectic neoclassical building that looked like a gallery that developed parallel to the very central via 8 Febbraio. Two doors to the north and to the south were intentionally left wide open both day and night (until 1916).
‘Pedrocchino’ was built in 1839, in a neogothic style and intended to house a pastry shop; in 1842, on the occasion of the IV Congress of Italian scientists, the upper or “noble floor” was inaugurated for parties, meetings and shows and to house the Museum of the Risorgimento and Contemporary Age.
In 1891, left to one of his helpers’ sons, Caffè Pedrocchi became property of the city council and of all the residents of Padua to satisfy the wishes of its owner.

From the very beginning, this elegant building, one of the most famous historic and literary cafes of 19th century in Italy, was used by Italian and European artists and writers.
Its three rooms, Bianca (White), Rossa (Red) and Verde (Green), pay tribute to the Italian flag; it was the meeting place for the middle class of Padua, but everyone was welcomed here.
The Green Room, still intended nowadays for those who want to stop with no obligation to purchase, also welcomed penniless students who stopped here without drinking to simply read a newspaper. This seems to be where the popular saying “restare al verde” (to have no money) originated from, and it is still used to this day.
The white room, instead, still preserves the hole of a bullet exploded on 8 February 1848 during the warfare between the students, the residents of Padua and the Austrian army. This room is also well-known because it was chosen by Stendhal for his novel ‘ La certosa di Parma’ (The charterhouse of Parma). Finally, the red room is the heart of Caffè Pedrocchi, which is still home to the original counter built according to Jappelli’s drawing.