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Historical sites

Discovering Caffè di Simo, Lucca’s famed cafè

Art award commemorates Alfredo Caselli

Map for 43.844263,10.504262
In this famed café in Lucca, visitors will find much of its original decor. From the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century, it was stage to an authentic ‘concert’ of friendships, as mentioned in the plaque exhibited in 1958 by its then-owners Angelo Ricci and Fernando Pieri. At the Simo guests still feel the enthusiasm of the Resurgence movement that inspired writers and artists of the time.

Friends of the merchant druggist Alfredo Caselli included the likes of Giovanni Pascoli, Giuseppe Giacosa, Alfredo Catalani, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni, Libero Andreotti and Lorenzo Viani. Alfredo Caselli played hosted to their harmonious concert; he was an extraordinary figure and exceptional confidant of great artists. To honor Caselli, the cafe’s new owner, Giulio Di Simo, created a prize for literature, figurative arts and music in his name.

Unfortunately, the Caffè di Simo has been closed since September of 2012 due to a disagreement. 

A bastion-protected medieval city and a blast of comics, culture and colors
Many people born and bred in Tuscany consider Lucca an outlier—it’s not uncommon to hear Florentines mutter “that's not Tuscan”, probably when referring to the bread, which is salted in Lucca and strictly plain elsewhere in Tuscany; or to the Lucchese people's mode of speaking (unique, to say the least); or to the fact that Lucca is the region’s only city-state to have preserved its ...