At the Antico Caffè della Pace, in Rome, talking – and debating, if one should be so inclined – about art comes naturally. It started back in the 18th century, with Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen amongst others. Later, in the 1900s, there were the painters of the Scuola Romana – Scipione, Mafai, Trombadori –, and poets, Ungaretti and Caproni. Then directors like Monicelli and Bolognini followed in the tradition, as men and women of fashion and show business continue to do to this day.
After all, the location is more than ideal for art talk. The Antico Caffè is next to the church of Santa Maria della Pace, with its Baroque façade by Pietro da Cortona and famous cloister by Bramante – one of the most important examples of Italian Renaissance architecture, and one of the first designs the Marche-native architect created for Rome.
So sit ‘al fresco’, outside the ivy-dresses building, only a few meters away from piazza Navona, where Borromini worked on Sant’Agnese in Agone; a little further, the basilica of Sant’Agostino rises in Campo Marzio, with its famous works of art by Caravaggio, Raffaello e Sansovino.
All around the café, there is Rome. In this small square at the heart of the heart of the world, you cannot but be inspired to talk about art. And about much more.