Il caffè come protagonista culturale nella storia italiana
Silva, Raquel Maria
The link between coffee (particularly that of espresso) and Italy seems to be among the more prominent, if at times stereotypical, associations with the Italian culture. Interestingly enough, the concept of espresso is a relatively recent phenomenon, with its origins in the twentieth century. Still, after its introduction and subsequent spread in Italy at the end of the sixteenth century, coffee and the coffee house have proved to be integral parts of the Italian culture, which is reflected in the literary and artistic movements throughout its history. The coffee house, particularly from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, has played an especially significant role in the diffusion of artistic, literary, and philosophical thought, and can be thought of as a cultural protagonist in Italian history.The thesis will attempt to highlight this contribution of the coffee house as a meeting space in which various important Italian cultural figures gathered to discuss and develop artistic, literary, and philosophical thought. The project will highlight Carlo Goldoni's theatrical reform and his comedy La bottega del caffè in 1750, the intellectual circle of Milanese Enlightenment thinkers and their publication Il Caffè from 1764-1766, coffee houses in the world of figurative art during the nineteenth century (specifically the Caffè Greco in Rome and the Caffè Michelangiolo, home of the artists known as i Macchiaioli), and, lastly, the Futurists in the Florentine Caffè delle Giubbe Rosse. In essence, the coffee house will serve as a constant point of reference, a common denominator of sorts, through which an analysis of these four cultural turning points in Italian history can be explored.
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