Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cafe Vanvitelli

The Espresso Break:  Luigi Vanvitelli was one of the most celebrated baroque architects in Naples.  While still in Rome, he worked on the construction of the Trevi Fountain and stabilized the dome of St. Peter's Basilica.  The Bourbon King Charles called Vanvitelli to Naples, where the architect spent the larger bulk of his life constructing the Royal Castle of Caserta.  He also designed the Palazzo Reale. 

The Bourbons had visions of not only grandeur, but of wiping out poverty throughout the Kingdom.  To that end, King Charles III of Bourbon commissioned not Vanvitelli, but Ferdinando Fuga in 1751 to build a structure that became known as the Albergo dei Poveri (House of the Poor).  Work continued until 1829.  Unfortunately, the mammoth building was used only for a short time and now, in the last few decades, has been under renovation.

Albergo dei Poveri

Albergo dei Poveri

Today, across the street from the Albergo dei Poveri is Cafe Vanvitelli.  Touting all sorts of espresso twists, I treated myself to the Cappuccino Galak e Lindo.  They wouldn't tell me what's inside -- the drink is proprietary -- but suffice to say that it included milk foam, white chocolate syrup, and an espresso shot.  The sweet taste was simply royal:

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