Just a few steps from the Duomo and the Palazzo della Ragione, strongholds of temporal and political power, adjacent to the Teatro Sociale and the University, Caffè Cavour 1880 has breathed the history and culture of Bergamo for over a century. Even from the earliest evidence of its existence, which dates back to 1850, when nobility from Piedmont (this explains the reference to Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour) decided to open a restaurant. Since then, there have been many owners and the city has changed; it has been modernized, everywhere that is except for here. In this corner, everything is still as it once was. The name, the walls and most of the frescoes are originally from the 1800s and the soft lighting recalls the warm glow of candlelight, giving off a magical atmosphere so much that it would not be surprising to see a dame with a long dress or a gentleman with a cane emerge from behind a column.
The sophistication and elegance of the premises become alive with the cheerful and exuberant nature of the owner, Barbara Cerea who, together with her husband and the head pastry chef Simone Finazzi, have run the Caffè since the 1990s when Barbara’s father, Vittorio Cerea, already mentioned restaurateur, decided to also manage the Caffè Cavour.
This spot, thanks to its central location, is a real institution for the city. A meeting place for the poets of Bergamo of the Ducato di Piazza Pontida (a congregation with the aim of spreading the local culture and the dialect) was also popular with prominent personalities coming from the world of the theatre and opera, such as: Tieri, Lionello, de Filippo and the Maestro Gavazzeni. Even today, it has remained as one of the best known cafes in Bergamo and meeting up at the “Cavour” guarantees a reliable point of reference.
The high quality coffee products are made from the finest ingredients. Breakfast, lunch and brunch are only the backdrop to what is the flagship activity; the sweets and desserts of the haute patisserie. Among the most popular creations, in addition to the Torta Donizetti and Polenta e Osei, typical desserts from Bergamo, is the Torta Cavour, a soft chocolate sponge cake with a Gianduia (chocolate and hazelnut) cream and hazelnut meringue. All of which can be savoured and enjoyed with Barbara and Simone.
Barbara’s decision to work in this area was very simple as the whole family has worked in restoration since 1966, when her father Vittorio and mother Bruna, opened the famous Da Vittorio Restaurant with traditional cuisine from Lombardy. They have come a long way, and in 2010, the restaurant was awarded with the 3rd Michelin Star. The Da Vittorio name guarantees only the highest quality, so much so, that they have catered many important events, including the opening of the Teatro La Scala. The cuisine and kitchen of the Cerea Family does not stop at the Italian borders but has been exported worldwide. With an expertly equipped “mobile” kitchen, Enrico and Roberto, the sons of Vittorio in addition to being Star Chefs, travel around the world offering advice and explaining the secrets of their cuisine. The Maldives, Kazakhstan, Israel and Hong Kong are just some of the places they’ve brought their delicacies.
Via Gombito, 7 Bergamo