The Caffè Cova is one of Milan, Italy's oldest pasticcerie, or delicatessens and coffeehouses. Founded in 1817 by a soldier, Antonio Cova near the Teatro alla Scala, since 1950 situated in the fashionable Via Montenapoleone, part of Milan's quadrilatero della moda or fashion quadrilateral.
Founded by veteran Antonio Cova in 1817, the Caffè was an important place for socialization and the meeting of the Milano bene, or the Milanese upper-class citizens, and it was a haunt for intellectuals, artists, musicians, academics, writers, politicians and journalists.
Unification of Italy
Post-World War II (1950-1990)
During World War II, the Cova establishment and the nearby La Scala were devastatingly affected by the 1943 bombings of Milan. Ever since then, in 1950, the pasticceria transferred itself to the Via Montenapoleone, in the North-Eastern central part of the city.
Modern age and today (1990-)
Ever since the 1990s, the Caffè began to open franchises in Asia, the most notable of which was the Hong Kong Caffè Cova, which opened in the city in 1994. In 1997, the Caffè Cova opened a delicatessen aboard the American Celebrity Cruises, further spreading the institution's influence around the world. Today, the Milan Caffè Cova still maintains its aristocratic atmosphere, and remains common place for the wealthier Milanese to drink an espresso or cappucino, but it has also become popular with tourists and shoppers on the Via Montenapoleone alike. The delicatessen is also well known for its different pastries and rich selection of cakes, including wedding cakes. As of August 2015, the historical Montenapoleone location is undergoing renovations after the acquisition by LVMH in 2013.
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