Giacosa reopens, the bar where the Negroni was born
The historic venue returns with a new look and a drink list ready to impress
New look for one of Italy's oldest and most important bars, Caffè Giacosa, which reopens thanks to new ownership by the Valenza Group. The address is still the same: on the corner of Via de' Tornabuoni and Via della Spada, right here where the World's best-selling cocktail, the Negroni, was born in 1919 (find out how it came about and its all-Florentine history here).
Giacosa's history dates back to the 1830s when Via de' Tornabuoni and the adjacent streets attracted travelers from all over the world as part of their Grand Tours. Cultured and wealthy guests would arrive in Florence for its beauty, its many historical testimonies, but also for the presence of extraordinary places designed precisely to bring these characters together and welcome them. It was in this "Drawing Room of Europe" that the Giacosa brothers opened their business, which had already been founded in Turin in 1815, in 1860.
Located between the headquarters of the Union Circle and the Londres et Suisse hotel, Giacosa immediately became a meeting place for the dandies of the time. Among the dandies and nobles who frequented the corner of Via Tornabuoni and Via della Spada was a character whose name has entered history, Count Cammillo Luigi Manfredo Maria Negroni. At that time it was customary to sip a small glass of Vermutte or a mixture composed of sweet red Vermouth from Turin, a part of Bitter Campari and completed with a splash of seltzer water, known as the Americano. The story goes that on an indefinite day in 1919 Cammillo suggested a substantial change to young bartender Fosco Scarselli: Fosco, decrease the seltzer and put Gin in it, without being seen. Thus, over a century ago "an American like Count Negroni," the Negroni was born.
Paying homage to such an important and prestigious history, keeping its sacredness intact but at the same time transforming and adapting it to our days is an exciting challenge that Luca Manni, Bar Supervisor of the Valenza Group has taken up with great enthusiasm. "It is an honor for me to be able to breathe new life into such an important name for my city, and a burden, which I carry with great pride and pleasure, that of having contributed to designing the menus of realities such as Caffè Paszkowski, Caffè Gilli and now Giacosa," said Luca Manni himself.
The menu of the new Giacosa, designed by the team led by Luca Manni, could only be entirely dedicated to the Italian aperitivo. The past, present and future of this collective ritual can be found in the pages of this drink list composed of three main sections. The homage to tradition, sees the presence of "classic" Negroni, the central part of the menu is dedicated to modern reinterpretations of the traditional recipe invented by the Count in 1919. Thus are born such creations as the Gibson Negroni or the Cham-on!, a personal reinterpretation of a White Negroni. The future of the aperitif, on the other hand, is presented in the section called Giacosa Creations, in which some great classics of the Italian aperitif are revisited, such as the Garibaldi, revisited here with Savoia Americano, Chinotto, orange and cocoa, or the Cardinale, enriched with penetrating and fascinating notes of incense.
The renovation, by interior design architects Paolo Becagli and Alessandro InterLando, took up the historic image of the venue with understated elegance, working from the most beautiful aspects returned directly from photos of the pass.