The beautiful Fendi Caffè – which recently opened in Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome – is an ironic complement to the famous inscription carved in the travertine of the four sides of the monumental white cuboid, also known as the “Square Colosseum”:
Un popolo di poeti di artisti di eroi / di santi di pensatori di scienziati / di navigatori di trasmigratori (“a nation of poets, of artists, of heroes, of saints, of thinkers, of scientists, of navigators, of migrants”).
The bombastic definition given by Mussolini is placed at a height of approximately sixty meters and is usually quoted by Italians with playful antiphrasis, underscoring the many – albeit not all terrible – weaknesses of their people.
The Fendi Caffè enjoys a splendid, industrial-design location that evokes the feel of a postmodern bistro – and reminds us of the pleasant Italian habit of sitting down in good company for a volatile chat, perhaps about the infinite expression of beauty that luckily cannot all be celebrated with eternal monuments.
Around the recycled wood counter designed by Controprogetto, under the horizontal lights by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, between vintage furniture, collectibles and the “Botanical Bottles” created by Japanese flower artist Azuma Makoto, Maison Fendi’s guests from Italy and abroad can find proof of the elegance and love for detail the Italian people are known, and admired for all over the world – perhaps getting a glimpse of their true best.