This elegant restaurant is renowned throughout Italy for its liquors, pastries, marzipan, sweet creams and sponge cake. The building was originally an oratory, deconsecrated in the nineteenth century, when a land owner named Biagioni bought the building to open a tavern. In 1864, a young couple, Margherita and Dante Valiani, bought the space and made it into a sophisticated coffee house. High class foodies and members of the royal family frequented the café to enjoy its specialties, chocolates and delicate liquors. In 1876, The Valdini’s participated in Philadelphia’s Universal Expo featuring candies, pastries and liqueurs. The café’s owners were known to order wine for Giuseppe Verdi and musicians like Rossini, Bellini and Puccini often stopped to enjoy their delicacies, when they came to Pistoia. The Accademia della Brigata del Leoncino currently organizes cultural events linked to the café, awarding prizes to those who have distinguished themselves in the field of Art, Literature, Science, Theatre and Cinema (Carla Fracci, Zeffirelli, Bolognini among others). The Valiani family still runs the pastry shop; they’ve carried out various restoration projects with spotlight the artistic treasures that were once hidden in the ancient oratory.