An Art Nouveau jewel
For many years, Caffè Meletti in Ascoli Piceno, founded in 1907, was the meeting place for the Senate – a gathering of notable citizens who made institutional decisions. Its splendid Art Nouveau rooms, with original furnishings and floral decorations, were the town’s fashionable salon, where the most innovative ideas of the early 20th century were discussed.
In 1908 and again in 1910, King Vittorio Emanuele came here to buy Anisetta liqueur, choosing it as a supplier to the Royal Household. In these same rooms, Pietro Mascagni began writing his opera Lodoletta, and years later the painter Renato Guttuso started the magazine L'Orsa Maggiore, at the end of World War II.
Famous people who have frequented the tables of Caffè Meletti include the writers Stuparich and Hemingway, the composer Zandonai, the philosopher Sartre, and the poet Trilussa, who was particularly fond of Anisetta and wrote of this place “how many fables and sonnets Meletti has inspired in me”.
You can still enjoy Anisetta Meletti at the café tables in the large room lit by its high windows or sitting under the arcades in front of the historic venue. Note the cage-shaped music box with the bird that sings on command – a symbol of this place.