About Caffe del Doge
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Founded by Sir Ermenegildo Rizzardini in the spring of 1952 in Venice, a stone's throw away from the Rialto Bridge, the Venetian artisan roasting company (then called ExtraDoge) was immediately distinguished for the production of very fine blends of coffee for espresso, as well as for the delicious coffee for homemade moka, quickly becoming a point of reference and service for hundreds of cafes and shops in Venice and for lovers of freshly roasted coffee to be enjoyed at home.
Coffee, from a medicinal infusion to the most popular drink in Venice.
The history of coffee in Europe began in the city of Venice: it was the first city in Italy that experienced the delicious aroma of coffee towards the end of the 17th century. Historical records report that the ambassador to Constantinople Gianfrancesco Morosini was the first to mention coffee, in a report to the Venice Senate in 1585.
The merit of the discovery of one of the most drunk drinks in the world goes to the Venetian merchants, who, following the sea routes that linked the East with Venice and Naples, brought the first bags of coffee to Venice.
Some ancient documents from the early 1600s testify that, in Venice, coffee was sold at a very high price and was considered a precious medicine (it was prepared in an infusion with roasted and ground coffee beans). Towards the end of the century, the infusion of coffee was so much appreciated and strongly requested by the inhabitants, that the Senate issued an order to procure and import larger quantities for the city of Venice.
The coffee shop in Venice, a meeting place.
With the spread of coffee, the history of coffee shops also begins; in fact, not long after its discovery, coffee became very popular: the most desired and sought after drink by the Venetians.
In 1683 an event of great importance forever marked the social and cultural history of the city of Venice: the first coffee shop was born under the new procuratie, in Piazza San Marco.
From that moment an unstoppable phenomenon began: first in San Marco and then in many other parts of the city, dozens of coffee shops open.
The "Cafes" (as they were called) were both commercial and meeting places for people from all walks of life: intellectuals, academics, politicians, students, artists and ordinary people. The atmosphere of the cafes resembled the living room at home, and the coffee was mainly drunk at the table.
As Antonio Lamberti described them in 1802: "The coffee shop had become like the home of people of all classes, of all ages, of all social conditions. The rooms were low, modest, unadorned, without glass, poorly lit by a flickering and uncertain light, but inside they brought in like a breath of elegance the varied and happy crowd in graceful robes that divided into noisy groups, including gossip slander flourished and raged, while in some secluded dressing rooms the fervor of risky chefs was stirred in the meantime".
In 1750 Carlo Goldoni, a very famous Venetian playwright, wrote and performed the famous comedy "La bottega del caffè" at the Sant'Angelo theater in Venice, drawing on reality to create situations and characters and transpose them onto the stage, thus painting a picture of the eighteenth-century bourgeois society of Venice . We therefore understand the social importance that the coffee shops had for the city of Venice: a place of everyday life that combined perfectly with the spirit of the inhabitants of the city.
In the following centuries, the fame of Venetian cafes attracted artists and intellectuals from all over the world; to name a few: Ugo Foscolo, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Charles Dickens, Goethe, Byron, Eleonora Duse, Amedeo Modigliani...
Why the Doge? Who was the Doge of Venice.
The Doge was the supreme magistracy of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, established in 697 and lasted until the fall of the Republic on 12 May 1797; over a period of one thousand and one hundred years, one hundred and twenty Doges succeeded one another in Venice.
He originally had enormous power, which was then limited in the 12th century, was chosen from among the nobles of the most important Venetian aristocratic families and, once elected, held the office for life. The term Doge derives from the Latin dux, which means guide, leader.
The most representative symbol of the Doge of Venice is his particular crown: the doge's horn. Garment of Byzantine origin, the horn was embellished with gems, pearls and gold. It was made by the nuns of San Zaccaria and offered to the Doge on his Easter visit to the church. An example of a doge's horn is kept at the Correr Museum in Venice.
In the Caffè del Doge logo, a figure in profile wearing the doge's horn is stylized.
The Caffè del Doge roasting company virtually dedicates its coffees to this very important figure for the city of Venice.
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