Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 1, 2017

Giacosa gone!

For the past 14 years my first stop in Florence has been Caffe Giacosa. I couldn’t believe my eyes yesterday as I turned the corner to find it gone.

The original Caffe Giacosa opened on the corner of Via Tornabuoni and Via della Spada in 1815. It was here in the 1920s that the Negroni was invented. Roberto Cavalli bought the site in 2001 and turned it into his boutique, but retained a section for the cafe and decorated it in his own style.

It was the very best place for people watching. The beautifully dressed staff from nearby boutiques, Gucci, Pucci, Fendi, Prada etc, would rush in for an espresso on their way to work. Elegant Florentines decorated the tables. The coffee was great and reasonably priced as long as you didn’t get table service at the outdoor area. I loved it!

Here I got to know 2 sisters who had been going to the cafe every day of their long lives. I will miss them too. They were always there when I visited, usually surrounded by chatty friends and there was a wave and a smile for me. I felt like a local.

Caffe Giacosa

And there was the beautiful boy sighting.


One day a well dressed chap came in with his bulldog who was dressed in a clear plastic raincoat with a diamonte collar. I wish I had a photo of that.

Roberto Cavalli’s business has not been doing well lately and the shop and cafe closed at the end of July this year. It will be missed.

Caffe Giacosa

Caffe Giacosa

Caffe Giacosa

There is a possibility that Caffe Giacosa will reappear in the future. I hope so.




  1. How sad to see an old favourite place gone. I can almost smell that coffee!

    • I never went to Florence without at least one stop here.

      • Me either

  2. I can’t believe it! Sad news indeed!

    • I hope it is resurrected soon.

  3. This is sad indeed. It was always my first stop when I got to Florence. Such a great place for people watching and the food and coffee wasn’t bad either!

    • I will miss it! I had to go to one in Palazzo Strozzi where the barista was more interested in looking at his mobile phone than serving me. I will have to look for a new place.

    • Remember we had lunch there Wend

      • Many times. Great for people watching.

  4. Oh Deb… how utterly distressing .. I really appreciated the beautiful boy sighting…Never too old do a bit of ogling…!!! Jxx

    • I was actually photographing a funny little chap in a white suit when a friend said “Forget about him, looks at that.” So I did.

  5. I am bereft – I loved those beautifully dressed ladies and the various people who came and went – Florentines on their way to work – I’ve even had lunch there – it was so elegant and fabulous coffee

    • I’m sure you can understand how disappointed I was when I rounded the corner.

  6. On your recommendation we too always stopped here for coffee. Very disappointing to hear that it has closed. Hopefully is will be back again one day soon.

    • It would be a pity if Giacosa disappeared forever.

  7. So sad. Try news cafe if you haven’t

    • Giacosa will be missed.

  8. We spent a delightful evening with Roberto in his villa just outside Florence quite a few years ago. It was a bit difficult to understand each other as he had some beautiful parrots which were always squawking loudly. Cavalli also restored some nearby old public fountains. We knew that he was in difficulties for some time but closing Giacosa is really bad news.

  9. I remember it well and was looking forward to a return visit next May. It is so sad to lose such a beautiful institution.

    • I hope it comes back in some way.

  10. Looks like a wonderful place! I love watching the local people, especially from a sidewalk cafe.

    • It really was my favourite cafe. I hope something new appears.

  11. Always sad to see places you love go….

  12. That is sad news, Deb. I remember you taking us there on our very first trek into Florence. I hope it returns.

    • I took all my friends there!

  13. I remember these posts about the Cafe and your recommendations to be sure to go. So sad when wonderful businesses have to close, and this one has so much history. You have been a part of that history, Debra. Think of all the businesses in Italy who have enjoyed your company. The one in Lucca definitely comes to mind. We were so happy you recommended them.

    • I love to share my favourite places. I am very disappointed that this one has gone. Another of the shops I like in Lucca has gone too. Times are tough.

  14. Shame, places like that should never be allowed to close. It looks a little like Cafe Greco in Rome. Beautiful, sad for you.

    • Cafe Greco is fabulous. It would be awful if that disappeared.

  15. Oh it’s so sad when a place like that disappears. Hopefully it will reappear at some stage in the future.

    • I hope it returns soon.

  16. I had a few cups of coffee people watching here, at your recommendation. Loved the morning an elegant older lady in heels rode up on her bicycle to come in for coffee. Love!

    • I loved to sit and watch the steady stream of interesting people dropping in and out.

  17. Sorry that you lost one of your favorites. 🙁 … Have fun searching for a suitable replacement!

    • I will do some serious research.

  18. I wonder where those lovely ladies will convene now – they must feel very sad.

    • I hope I find them somewhere.

  19. What a loss Debra. It looks like a beautiful cafe.

    • It was, and the coffee and food were excellent.

  20. Hi Debra,
    In case you have not heard:

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