The Caffè Al Bicerin is part of the Association of Historical Locales of Italy, that are responsible for conserving the integrity of these places and promoting their public image. Due to the importance of their work, the historical locales make every effort to retain memories of the past by using period furniture, original recipes and simple little things of the past. This heritage is of significant, cultural, artistic and gastronomic value. These places represent a fascinating resource which the city offers to its inhabitants and tourists and its right and proper to protect and show them to the public, all-be-it outside the national borders. Italy as a country can boast such great historical riches in its many locales founded centuries ago. There are a good 177 that have been conserved in their original state over the last 70 years, testimony to tradition in a world often given over to the banal.
Similar associations exist abroad. One such is the French Route Historique Stendhal which, a few years ago, proposed a twinning of the Al Bicerin with an ancient locale in Grenoble, The Cafè de la Table Ronde, already twinned with the White Horse Pub in Oxford (1669) and the Fleku Beer House in Prague (1480).
There were thirty or so such ancient locales in Italy in 1975, when Angelo
Pozzi of the Savini and the journalist Enrico Guagnini thought of uniting them in the association Historical Locales in Italy, precisely to evaluate this heritage of large and small, known and unknown museums of national hospitality. (
) Every historical place, scattered throughout each region, prestigious examples of architecture and history, and preserved thanks to the good will and hard work of generations of owners (
) with all these locales replacing tile after tile, colour upon colour, a mosaic of Italys unique historical past, has been reconstructed, uncovering secrets and uncensored events, visits from illustrious persons, unique occurrences (
) Yes, an intellectual force has been formed in order to protect and value this historical heritage- examples of good taste.
(Claudio Guagnini, Associazione Locali Storici dItalia- Il sole 24 ore)