First Cafe in Europe

Do you know what was the first cafe in Europe? Where did it open and what is the story behind it? If you didn’t, I’m here to tell you about it…

The first cafe in Europe was, and still is, Cafe Pedrocchi. You probably already recognized it’s located in Italy by its name. But some of you may suppose it’s in Rome, maybe Venice…but it’s not. It is in Padua.

Cafe Pedrocchi from the back side

This is Cafe Pedrocchi from the back, right from the building with gotic arches, the one with doric order.

Tourist agencies usually combine Padua and Verona, since they are close, as one trip and leave less than a day in Padua. But that doesn’t mean that is anything less worth the visit. There is the inevitable statue of venetian knight Gattamelata by Donatello, Donatello’s house (he lived in Padua), Basilica di St Antonio di Padua with the oldest Magnolia tree in Europe in the court of the monastry….

Cafe Pedrocchi is a result of bringing together two incredible talents; the ones of Antonio Pedrocchi and Giuseppe Jappelli. Antonio Pedrocchi inherited a little cafe from his father. In just a few years he succeeded in accomplishing his ideas, combining art and architecture. He invested in an ambitious project of his friend who was an architect – Giuseppe Jappelli. Pedrocchi wanted to create two different places in this amazing neoclassical building. One that would be a cafe, open 24 hours a day and be open to all guests, and another, reserved for “la creme de la creme” of Paduan society. It would be a place where parties and balls were hosted, same as mason and other business meetings. Very exclusive and luxurious.

Cafe Pedrocchi

Antonio Pedrocchi succeeded, he made his dream come true. And even more that a decade later Cafe Pedrocchi is still a successful cafe with the closest philosophy and is well-known as one of the biggest and best cafes in Europe. It really looks amazing when you see it with your own eyes.

It’s incredible how a story always enriches every place…don’t you think? Sometimes it seams like we travel to hear stories…

Stella – European Travelling Advisor

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5 Responses to “First Cafe in Europe”

  1. January 27, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Kudos! Loved the story with it’s history…but how was the food?

  2. 2 Stella Stopfer
    January 28, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Hey foodwise,

    I’m glad you did. I have to admit I didn’t try any food when I was in Cafe Pedrocchi. The trip was more pleasure than business. But I did have lunch in a restaurant just a minute away from the Cafe. It was delicious, of course. Northern Italy, what can I say…

    Stella – European Travelling Advisor

  3. January 28, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Hi Stella .. how interesting to hear about the two aspects to the Cafe .. once again you’ve inspired me to add Padua to my list & in particular the Cafe .. thanks

  4. January 30, 2009 at 4:36 am

    Stella, Ive been reading through your posts…great writing, beautiful pictures. Kudos indeed. Ah, to constantly travel the world…if there is an opening, I’ll apply for that job. I shall keep posted on your page for updates and new stuff. So, tell me are you partial to Italy over France (for lets say food?) Would love to hear your opinion…


  5. 5 Stella Stopfer
    January 31, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Foodwise,

    first of all, thanks, I’m really glad you like it. You question is great…

    Well, there is an obvious distinction between French and Italian food. If we forget for a second the differences between regions and that restaurants that are more expensive, no matter where they are in Europe, have partially lost their traditional note because of fusions and experimentation, I would say that with Italians you can feel that strong sens of tradition while the French are more bold. What always pops when I think about the French food are subtle and sweet flavors and smaller portions, everything has it’s precise why. On the other hand, Italian cuisine is primarily risotto and home made pasta. There is nothing like cooked fresh! pasta. Maybe I’m more Mediterranean oriented because my cuisine is mostly Mediterranean too, and since I’ve spent more time in Italy, I can tell you that I like north more than I like central, and that the far south is completely different than anywhere else in Italy. I can’t give you the precise answer which cuisine I like more but I know that I like the traditional aspect on Italian cuisine and the boldness of French. But I would also like to steer your attention to Spanish cuisine, that’s a big wow…

    Actually, you have given me a great idea. I will probably write a post next week as a reference to your question. It was my intention to write about food, local eating habits, where to eat and what to try…so why not do it sooner. It would be great to hear your opinion.

    Thanks Foodwise!

    P.S. There is an opening every day, you just need to decide. ;)

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