Want to take a rest from the fuss and buzz around the Global Square? Our Global Square Café continues the tradition of the historic coffee shops as places where people meet, talk and fall in and out of love, news and ideas are exchanged, styles blossom and fade away. In other words: coffee houses are places where life, even in its digital avatars, can be fully lived.
Drinking coffee became fashionable in Europe when merchants from Venice and other trading cities imported the basic ingredients for the concoction from Turkey and the Arabic world. Soon, the first coffee houses were opened in the main European cities. Legend has it that in Vienna, after the Turkish siege ended in 1683, a Polish nobleman named Jerzy Franciszek Kolschitzky opened the first of the legendary Viennese cafés thanks to the coffee beans left behind by the retreating Turkish army. Instead of offering the drink à la turque, the ingenious innovator filtered the coffee and added milk and honey to cater to the local taste.
Whether the story is true or not, drinking coffee in a public establishment was associated from the XVII century onwards with the elation of mind and spirit towards exotic and uncharted territories and also with the free exchange of ideas, particularly during the Enlightenment. Traditionally, cafés were hotbeds of complots and revolutions, of unflinching political loyalties and betrayals. As it was the case with the Caffé degli Inglesi in Rome, they were also the perfect stage for displaying new styles in architectural ornamentation and interior designing and for testing new trends in fashion.
Today, many historic coffee houses have become magnets for tourists attracted to them as if they were dead museum pieces and not living repositories of culture. And unfortunately many among the new ones are often conceived of from their inception as just another variety of transit spaces, devoid of any charm and inimical to the traditional role cafés have played in the evolution and progress of the arts of civility, whether East or West of the Bosporus.
Conscious and wary of these trends we have opened a Café in the Global Square where our readers can get in, grab an imaginary, or real, cup of coffee, or cocoa, get some news and exchange ideas with our fellow citizens and wanderers.