Our History

About us • Venice and coffee • Why Doge?

About us, Caffè del Doge, Our History

The roasting plant was founded in Venice in 952 by Sir Ermenegildo Rizzardini, a Venetian roster and coffee lover.
Located next to Rialto Bridge, the artisan roasting plant (called ExtraDoge) became famous among the locals for its finest coffee blends and for its delicious blend. The roasting plant soon became a hot spot for hundreds of cafes and shops in Venice and for people looking for fresh roasted coffee. After 50 Years of history Sir Rizzardini chose a worthy successor who learnt the profession and decided to follows his footsteps.
Eventually, Bernardo Della Mea acquired the artisan roasting in 1995. With great foresight he decided to call his coffee “Caffè del Doge”. In few Years, thanks to Bernardo and his passionate staff, the small artisan roaster started to grow and develop in a dynamic and modern export-oriented coffee company.
In 2001 the production premise moved to Padua’s industrial area, a choice due to logistic and production needs. The roasting plant in Due Carrare has now a forefront roasting system that conserves the entire traditional processing method, known as the “Classico Veneziano” method.
Today, the same place that hosted the roasting, in Calle dei Cinque, is a Caffè del Doge coffee Bar, a place where coffee enthusiasts from all over the world taste our products.

The history of Coffee, Caffè del Doge

The coffee, from medicinal infusion to more beloved hot drink in Venice

The history of coffee in Europe began in Venice, it was the first place in Italy where people experienced the delicious aroma of coffee in the late seventeenth century.Historical documents revealed that the ambassador in Constantinople Gianfrancesco Morosini was the first to mention the coffee, in a report to the senate of Venice in 1585.
The credit for discovery of one of the most world’s consumed beverage was given to the Venetian Merchants. They followed the sea routes that linked the far east with Venice and Naples, bringing the first bags of coffee in Venice.
Some ancient papers dated from the early 1600s testify that in Venice the coffee was very expensive and considered a valuable medicine (prepared as infusion with powder of roasted coffee beans). Towards the end of the century, the infusion of coffee became so popular and required by the people, and the senate issued an order for they were procured and imported larger quantities of coffee for the City of Venice.

The coffee shop in Venice, a meeting place

With spread of the coffee, he started the tradition of the coffee shops; indeed, not long after its discovery, coffee became very popular: the beverage most desired and sought by the Venetian people.
A momentous event in 1683 marks forever the social and cultural history of Venice: the born of first coffee shop in Piazza San Marco.
It begins a unstoppable phenomenon: quickly in many other parts of the city, dozens of coffee shops start opening.
The “Cafés” (as they were called) were both commercial and meeting places, where meeting people from all walks of life: intellectuals, academics, politicians, students, artists and ordinary people. In these places the interior resemble a living room, perfect to sip coffee mainly at the coffee table.
As Antonio Lamberti describes in 1802 : “The Café had become the house of people of all classes, of all ages, of all social conditions. The rooms were modest, unadorned, no glass windows, badly lit by a flickering light and uncertain. But like in a breath of elegance and pleasure, wearing charming clothes, the glad crowd inside the dark rooms was divided into little noisy groups where hard gossip and rampant backbiting flourished, while in some secluded angles moves restlessly the fervor of risky games”…
In 1750 Carlo Goldoni, the famous Venetian playwright, wrote and staged at the theater Sant’Angelo in Venice’s famous comedy “La bottega del caffè” (The Coffee Shop) taking inspiration from reality to create situations and characters, and then transpose the scene depicting a snapshot of the eighteenth-century bourgeois society in Venice; a reason to understand what has been the social importance of coffee shops around the city of Venice: everyday places that were combined with the life and spirit of the Venetians.
In later centuries, the fame of the Venetian cafe attracted artists and intellectuals from around the world; to name a few: Ugo Foscolo, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Charles Dickens, Goethe, Byron, Eleonora Duse, Amedeo Modigliani …

The Doge of Venice, the history, Caffè del Doge

Why the Doge? Who was the Doge of Venice

The Doge was the chief of the Supreme Court of the Venice Republic. He was established in 697 and lasted until the fall of the Republic, on 12 May 1797. For more than 1,100 years, Venice had 120 Doges. Originally, the Doge had an enormous power , which were limited in the 12th  century.
He was chosen among the nobles of the Venetian aristocracy and, once elected, he kept his office until his death. The term comes from the Latin word “dux” , which means leader, guide, chief. The most representative symbol of the Doge of Venice is his peculiar crown: the Doge’s horn.
the horn  was a garment of Byzantine origin embellished with gems, pearls and gold. It was.hand-stitched by the nuns of San Zaccaria and offered to the Doge in his Easter visit to the church. One of this precious headgears is preserved at the Museo Correr in Venice.
The Caffè del Doge logo is inspired by this important figure and our logo represents a stylized profile figure wearing doge horn.

Coffee is a platonic academy (…) where no lesson are taught, but where one learns to socialize and to be enchanted. One can chat and gossip but it is forbidden to preach, lecture or instruct.
(by special permission of the author Claudio Magris)