Artists of the Roman Avant-Garde

The Caffè Aragno was created in 1886, on the Via del Corso in Rome. It was in Palazzo Marignoli, the residence of Marquis Filippo Marignoli.


Scalone in marmo di Carrara
Scalone d’onore Palazzo Marignoli

This was a favorite cultural meeting spot in Rome where artists, writers, and actors were in the habit of gathering in the “Third Room.”

Established and avant-garde artists were regulars there.

The image above is a painting from 1930 by Amerigo Bartoli, Gli amici al caffè (Friends at the cafe), a portrait of some of the artists who hung out in that room at the Aragno.

We can recognize members of Rome’s artistic and cultural milieu: Emilio Cecchi, Vincenzo Carlo Socrates, Ardengo Soffici, Antonio Baldini, Pasqualina Spadini, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Mario Broglio, Armando Ferri, Quirino Ruggeri, Roberto Longhi, Riccardo Francalancia, Aurelio Saffi, Bruno Barilli, and Bartoli himself.

Amerigo Bartoli Amici al Caffé

The former cafe has been home to an Apple Store since May 2021.

Some of the Caffè Aragno’s artworks have been carefully restored and incorporated into the shop’s new design, including several engraved panels by painter Afro Basaldella in 1950.

Two large early 20th-century frescoes, Dawn by Fabio Cipolla and Twilight by Ettore Ballerini, have also been restored and re-installed.