The oldest bar in Rome, Caffè Greco, opened in 1760 and today is a historic landmark of the Eternal City. Located in the center, precisely in via dei Condotti, it is also the second oldest bar in Italy, after Caffè Florian in Venice. In these years it has served coffee to countless prominent figures from all walks of life writers, politicians, artists, and notable Romans.
From Hans Christian Andersen to Casanova, from Stendhal to Arthur Schopenhauer, from Byron to Goethe. However, after 259 years of activity, this piece of Rome’s history risks closing due to an eviction procedure.
The owner of the building, the Ospedale Israelitico (OS), initiated the procedure because they didn’t reach an agreement with those of the establishment. The latter, for the past 12 years, has paid a monthly rent of €17,000. But when the lease agreement expired, OS increased the request to €180,000 for the same 350 sqm. This, according to recent real estate appraisals, would be a figure below the market value.
The eviction was scheduled for this week, however, the bailiff did not ask the police to intervene. In fact, Caffè Greco presented an appeal against the procedure, which may be, at least, postponed for a few months. Because the outcome of the appeal will not be known before November 14th, when the hearing is scheduled for.
The possible closure of Caffè Greco saddens many patrons, but several luxury brands offered to take the bar over. Among them, there is also the well-known clothing brand Moncler, which has a shop nearby in Piazza di Spagna. Because of contractual constraints, the intended use of the premises cannot be changed. This means that Moncler, like many other clothing brands, could be opening its first café.