The art of coffee in Italy
The coffee, for the Italians is not only a drink capable of giving you a boost of energy or to revitalize you after a long day’s work. To have a cup of coffee- at home or in the bar(cafe) is a ritual that can also be a perfect occasion to discuss politics, economy or culture. It is also a great way to make new friends, to make old bonds stronger or to bury the broken ones.
The Arabs who had an absolute monopoly on coffee since the beginning of 14th century, tried to stop the export of coffee beans because of the medicinal properties attributed to the drink, and therefore the patrimony of the “Arabic Medicine“.
The coffee had arrived in Italy, more precisely in Venice, in 1570, thanks to the biologist from Padova, Albino Prospero, who, after a long voyage to Asia, brought back a bag-full of precious beans, the success of coffee was immediate, but due to the high cost it was reserved for the Elite, and it was sold only in the pharmacies. For some time coffee was considered dangerous and some people called it The Devils Brew and even tried to ban the consumption of coffee in Papal States, but it was legalized when Pope Clement VIII tried it and fell in love with it. All this did not stop the spread of coffee throughout the Italian peninsula, and by 1763, there were over 218 coffee shops and cafes in Venice alone.
The coffee is not just a drink – The coffee is a huge part of Italian culture, favorite pass-time, coffee unites people and opens new horizons.