You might notice a bullet lodged in a wall of Padua’s Caffè Pedrocchi. It was shot by an Austro-Hungarian soldier in February 1848, during a revolt against the Habsburg domination.
The “door-less cafè” – the nickname refers to the fact it was open 24/7 until 1916 – was the habitual hangout for the patriots who started the uprising that sparked Italy’s Risorgimento.
And not only. University students, directors and editors of literary and satiric journals, professors and politicians met in the halls of this neo-classic building, constructed for the Bergamo-born Antonio Pedrocchi by architect Giuseppe Jappelli between 1831 and 1842.
Caffè Pedrocchi, according to a description published in a 1905 issue of “Lettura” – a supplement of the national newspaper “Corriere della Sera” –, was the place where “every business transaction and every motion of daily life reverberates and develops […] The place for minute society news gossip and for great negotiations meant to impact on land management and on farmers’ livelihood; a place for political debate and, in times of crisis, for daring – and extremely daring – decisions […] Every table at the Pedrocchi has heard the most varied thoughts, reasons for joy, and human miseries, both big and small.”
And to this day, this is the place where the heart of Padua beats.