In recent years, the storied Caffè della Pace in Rome has been at risk of closure. Its owners, a German religious institute, did not renew its lease in 2009, instead wanting to shutter the establishment and open a hotel in its place. Dating from 1891, the café has been a favorite hang-out of A-list movie stars and directors, like Federico Fellini, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, and Robert De Niro.
Many blockbuster films have been shot there (To Rome With Love; Eat Pray Love; Woody Allen’s latest). And-- as described by The Hollywood Reporter—this is where “Diane Keaton once slapped Al Pacino so hard it left a welt.” (The caffe's staff "helped avoid a delay in filming by rushing out a bag of ice to keep the swelling down on Pacino's face.")
The caffe’s plight made national media attention, as fans called for the government to intervene, and a petition (still up on the caffe’s website) asked for help in saving the “magical place with its unique atmosphere.” Victory for fans this week: the caffe’s owners announced that it will continue to operate.
Caffè della Pace, Via della Pace, 3/7, 00186 Rome, Tel: +39 06 686 1216, www.caffedellapace.it