November 2011

The tale of Giubbe Rosse

by Rebecca Bricker on November 28, 2011

Giubbe Rosse, Florence, ItalyMy favorite place to write in Florence was at a cafĂ© on Piazza della Repubblica called Giubbe Rosse, which means “red jackets” in Italian. The waiters at Giubbe Rosse have been known for their striking red attire since the cafe opened in 1896.Giubbe Rosse, Florence, Italy

I felt the magnetic pull of Giubbe Rosse long before I knew of its illustrious history. In the early 1900s, writers and artists, who founded the Italian futurist movement, gathered at Giubbe Rosse to ponder what the future may hold, not only in the world of literature and art, but in all aspects of life, including cuisine—and cocktails. They named one of their futuristic concoctions “Giostra d’alcool”—the alcoholic merry-go-round. A few sips after I was introduced to this drink, the carousel in the piazza started spinning faster. I swear.Florence carousel

Giubbe Rosse is still a meeting place for writers and artists today. I spent many hours writing in my journal there. The waiters would seat me at a table on the piazza, in plain view of passing tourists. “You’re good for business,” they’d tell me.

But on a cold, wintry afternoon, I’d join the regulars inside.

Giubbe Rosse, Florence, ItalyGiubbe Rosse, Florence, Italy









Giubbe Rosse, Florence, ItalyMy favorite spot was the wood-paneled reading nook, under the Wall of Fame where the seeing eyes of Futurists Past peered over my shoulder as I’d read the paper.

Giubbe Rosse, Florence, Italy

And I’d often wonder if today’s news was beyond their wildest imaginings.


Giubbe Rosse, Florence, Italy