Café de Paris (Rome)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Café de Paris was a famous bar on Via Veneto, one of the best known (and most expensive) streets in Rome, Italy. It was located at Nr. 90, close to the United States embassy.[1] The bar was immortalised in 1960 in the movie La Dolce Vita by Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, starring Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée and Marcello Mastroianni who played a "paparazzo" riding his Vespa in search of celebrities.[2] During the heady days in the 1960s, the cafe was one of the preferred watering holes of starlets, residual nobility, nouveau riche and sultans.[3]


On 16 September 1985, grenades were thrown at the outdoor tables outside the bar, wounding 38 people. The Lebanese-born Palestinian Ahmed Hossein Abu Sereya was arrested and charged with the attack.[4] Sereya, identified as a member of the Abu Nidal Organization, was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 1987.[5]

In 2008, the Italian anti-fraud police announced that the bar had been taken over by 'Ndrangheta crime families from Calabria.[6][7] The bar was in the hands of the Alvaro 'Ndrangheta clan. Antimafia judges from Reggio Calabria seized the premises in July 2009.[8] The bar was re-opened in November 2011 and is now managed by the National Agency for the Administration and Allocation of Confiscated Properties (Agenzia nazionale per l'amministrazione e la destinazione dei beni confiscati), and sells products produced by one of Italy's leading anti-Mafia groups Libera, which runs cooperative farms on lands confiscated from the Mafia and other Italian organized crime groups. "The new administrators want the cafe to offer products that are not only good but just", said Father Luigi Ciotti the president of Libera.[3][9]


  1. ^ Battle of the Beach, Time Magazine, October 19, 1959
  2. ^ Memoirs shed new light on La Dolce Vita era of drugs, sex and debauchery, The Observer, February 7, 2010
  3. ^ a b Drink to Mafia's bad health at Rome's Dolce Vita cafe, Reuters, December 19, 2011
  4. ^ "Palestinian Held in Rome Bombing". The Washington Post. 18 September 1985.
  5. ^ "Palestinian sentenced in 1985 grenade attack". UPI. 11 July 1987.
  6. ^ Iconic Rome bar 'bought' by Calabrian Mafia, ADN Kronos, November 26, 2008
  7. ^ (in Italian) La 'ndrangheta al "Cafè de Paris", addio al simbolo della Dolce Vita, La Repubblica, November 26, 2008
  8. ^ (in Italian) La 'ndrangheta al Café de Paris, La Repubblica, July 22, 2009
  9. ^ (in Italian) Café de Paris, nuova vita anti-mafia; nello storico bar i prodotti di Libera, La Repubblica, December 19, 2011

Coordinates: 41°54′28″N 12°29′22″E / 41.90778°N 12.48944°E / 41.90778; 12.48944