Founded in 1780, Fiorio became a fashionable meeting place for the artistic, intellectual and political classes of the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Frequented by Urbano Rattazzi, Massimo D’Azeglio, Giovanni Prati, Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour (who founded the Whist Club here), Giacinto Provana di Collegno, Cesare Balbo and Friedrich Nietzsche.
Inaugurated in 1780 in the Contrada di Po, the elegant Caffè Fiorio was initially frequented by aristocrats and high officials, as opposed to the disappeared Caffè Calosso in via Dora Grossa, a receptacle for fervent revolutionaries and patriots. Attending a clientele with a conservative orientation earned him the definition of “Caffè dei Machiavelli” or “Caffè dei Codini”.
Similarly to what happened for the nearby Caffè Baratti & Milano, the Fiorio was also mentioned in the literature of the time. The fame of the Fiorio grew constantly to the point that it began to be frequented also by the bourgeoisie of the time, but for the aristocratic habitual clientele it was no longer the Fiorio of the past, so much so that in 1850 it changed its name (even if for a short time) in the Café of the Italian Confederation.
It was not until the end of the nineteenth century that the Fiorio became a renowned meeting place for the major intellectuals and political figures of the Risorgimento, including: Urbano Rattazzi, Massimo d’Azeglio, Camillo Cavour, Giacinto Provana di Collegno, Cesare Balbo, Giovanni Prati, Santorre di Santa Rosa and it is well known in the chronicles of the time that King Carlo Alberto nurtured the daily custom of asking what was said at Caffè Fiorio before opening his hearings.
The walking ice cream cone was born in this café.
The restaurant initially included the first three communicating rooms. In 1845 there was a first restoration of the rooms and furnishings, introducing the still present chairs in red velvet, the tapestries on the walls and enriching the rooms with frescoes and sculptures by famous artists such as Francesco Gonin and Giuseppe Bogliani.
In 1850 the room was enlarged by adding the large longitudinal room communicating with the upper floor, also made up of three communicating rooms. This room, normally used as a restaurant, has hosted cultural and musical events over the years. From 1 February 2013 to 21 March 2014 it hosted milongas, Argentine tango dance evenings.
In the cinema
Inside the restaurant some scenes of Davide Ferrario’s film All Down to Earth (1996) were shot.