All About Italy (USA) - - Historic Premises - Via Roma, 1r, 50123 Florence www.caf­

Opened in 1773 in Florence by the Swiss Gilli fam­ily, it has the charm­ing at­mos­phere of a place fre­quented by in­tel­lec­tu­als, schol­ars and artists through­out more than two cen­turies. In 1890 the cafe passed to the Friz­zoni fam­ily - also Swiss. The rooms and fur­nish­ings, per­fectly pre­served, date back to those years and it is the only sur­viv­ing ex­am­ple of a Belle-époque caffè in Florence. Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est is the main bar/ counter, dec­o­rated with neo-clas­si­cal pati­na­tion bronzes cast in Coppedè’s fa­mous stu­dio. The Art Nou­veau fur­ni­ture, ivory col­ored walls, lamps and ac­ces­sories of Mu­rano glass, the fres­coed ceil­ing and the arches still give an idea of what Gilli was like in its early days.

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