Padova is home to so many historic treasures that it is hard to pick out the most significant, but the ornate Pedrocchi Café has to be one of them. This opulent café has been open for many generations. Come here to sip its signature mint-flavored coffee in the sumptuous rooms where George Sand, Stendhal and many others once did the very same. Head upstairs to experience culture in the Risorgimento Museum.
Though a café has stood here since the 18th century, the current palatial building was completed in 1839. Stand outside and notice the beauty of its distinctive exterior. Admire the solemn stone lions flanking the elegant columns along the front of the building. Historically, this spot has been a hub of culture and intellectual discourse, a place where students, artists and would-be revolutionaries mingled throughout the night.
Step inside these opulent surroundings. Explore the three famous rooms on the ground floor, with furnishings matching the colors of the Italian flag. The Green Room is a place for all visitors to relax, even if you don’t want to buy a drink or food.
Venture into the Red Room to see the original marble coffee counter. This is the main room and the perfect place to sit and enjoy a Caffé Pedrocchi, the establishment’s indulgent specialty coffee, which is made with mint cream and topped with cocoa powder. The recipe is a closely guarded secret.
Finally, the White Room is the dining room, where lunch and dinner are served. Look for the plaque indicating where a bullet struck the wall. This is a relic of unrest in 1848, when soldiers stormed the café to prevent the revolution they suspected was being planned here.
When you are finished eating or drinking, head upstairs. Here, the Risorgimento Museum is a beautifully curated collection of local history and contemporary art.
Find the Pedrocchi Café on the picturesque Piazzetta Cappellato Pedrocchi. The café is open from early morning to late night. You may want to plan your visit for non-peak hours, as this is one of Padova’s most popular spots and it can get very busy.