An institution and salon of ideas, for years it was the seat of the ‘Senate’, a gathering of the city’s notables. A rare expression of Art Nouveau in the Marche region, with floral decorations and perfect original furnishings.
King Victor Emmanuel visited in 1908 and 1910 to buy Anisetta and decreed it ‘Supplier to the Royal Household’. Mascagni is said to have begun writing his opera ‘Lodoletta’ here.
Guttuso, at the end of the Second War, designed the magazine ‘L’Orsa Maggiore’ here. Stuparich, Zandonai, Badoglio, Sartre, Hemingway and Trilussa passed through, who, greedy for Anisetta, wrote ‘Quante favole e sonetti m’ha ispirato la Meletti’.
Located in the very central Piazza del Popolo, next to the Palazzo dei Capitani, it was inaugurated on the evening of 18 May 1907 at the behest of Silvio Meletti, the liquor industrialist known for the production of Anisetta Meletti, who two years earlier had taken over the building constructed between 1881 and 1884 to house the Post and Telegraph offices.
Thanks to the work of the engineer Enrico Cesari and the painter-decorator Pio Nardini, an elegant Art Nouveau bar was thus created, characterised by the richness of the furnishings, the splendour of the ornaments and the refinement of the paintings that still contribute to making the atmosphere of Caffè Meletti unique.
For “the coherence that binds it to the structures in an inseparable whole, for its unity, having remained, except for a few small variations, in its original state, for the elegance of its lines and decoration that make it a rare document of Art Nouveau style in the Marche region, and because it is the preferred place for socio-cultural encounters that it has held in the past and continues to hold today, so much so that it is nicknamed the Senate”, Caffè Meletti was declared a ‘Local of Historical and Artistic Interest’ by the Ministry of Cultural and Environmental Heritage in 1981.
After a closure that jeopardised its continuity, in 1996 Caffè Meletti was purchased by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Ascoli Piceno, which returned it to the city in 1998 after careful conservative restoration work. Subsequent structural and technological adaptations completed in November 2011 brought the café and restaurant back to its former prestige and charm.