Caffe Italia is beautiful. So imagine my surprise when I read a newspaper article the cafe had framed on the wall where they talked about the instructions they gave their renovators. “Keep it ugly,” the instructions read. “Update the place, but it’s got to stay true to its roots”.
So the renovators went about their job, diligently updating the look to ensure the place would be in keeping with its working-class roots. The tables are formica. The bar is stainless steel. The espresso machine is a solid old workhorse. The walls are covered in images of Ferraris, race cars, and local soccer teams. The televisions are tuned to Italian sports or soap operas.
But there is this too – Caffe Italia has been popular with artists and media types and Italian families for decades, and it never lost the homey feeling. The coffee is delicious. The vibe is welcoming and loud.