Caffè Greco is so much more than a café, it is also one of the largest private art galleries that are open to the public in the world. The walls of this café are filled with artistic brilliance, showcasing three hundred works of art.
Stellario Baccellieri, the resident artist who has worked in Caffè Greco for more than 40 years who paints canvases of its visitors and well-known patrons, tried to explain the spirit of this one-of-kind café claiming, “this place is not only a bar, it’s a museum.”
Opened in 1760 on Via dei Condotti, Caffè Greco has been like a second home to some of the most illustrious Italian personalities during its time including Giorgio De Chirico, Giacomo Leopardi, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Antonio Canova, and Arturo Toscanini. Here is where artists, philosophers, writers and musicians could find inspiration, discuss their works with one another, and engage in endless hours of intellectual and esoteric debates.
Other famous personalities who have passed though the doors range from Charles Dickens and John Keats, to Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana.
But it is not just the celebrities that are a drawing card, Caffè Greco has a life of its own and has lived through many meaningful periods in history. It has endured wars, economic turmoil, and countless political upheavals.
Still today, the café maintains its 19th-century charm complete with the original wooden tables with marble tops and its rich velvet furnishings.
Although it has lasted 250 years, never flailing in its popularity, it recently went through one of its hardest periods yet when the rent was raised from €18,000 to €120,000.
However, with its fighting spirit and the thousands of supporters who recognize the cultural and historic importance of the café, the future still looks bright. Not to mention that the furnishings and artworks of the café have been protected property since 1953, when the Italian government demanded the bar must always remain intact.
It seems this café, with its breathtaking art, its historical significance, and its delicious cakes, coffee and cocktails, is here to stay.