Milan: Savini, in the Gallery since 1868, is in danger of disappearing
Milan: Savini, in the Gallery since 1868, is in danger of disappearing

For Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, still and always in great fashion (futurist cuisine, futurist cocktails), it was the place to write the manifesto of the artistic movement he had just founded. Even today, hanging on the walls, there are 3 of his works.

And if you take a seat in the Toscanini room (another illustrious client) you will be there where Onassis and Callas (icons of seventies gossip) consumed their extra-marital love affair.

A rather long history that of Savini restaurant.

It is worth remembering now that the Milanese institution, in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele since 1868, risks that its lease will not be renewed.

Born as a café, transformed in 1876 into the very popular Stocker Brewery, in 1884 it was taken over by Virgilio Savini who in 1906 will sell it to Giuseppe Bodina.

With Bodina appear the velvet sofas, the tables with the typical red lampshades, the large candelabra and the wrought iron flower boxes, the only furnishings that survived the devastation of the war.

On 26 December 1950 it reopened to the public with two rooms that are dressed, as at the beginning of the century, with crimson sofas, mirrors, crystal chandeliers and see the VIPs of the time parading: Maria Callas, Luchino Visconti, Charlie Chaplin, Totò, Grace Kelly.

Despite the years making themselves felt, Savini must be acknowledged for having shunned the status of a tourist trap that afflicts other places in the Milanese Gallery.

But now the Anac (National Anti-Corruption Authority) has questioned the extension of the lease for another 12 years in the Gallery, without a regular call for tenders and obviously without contenders, although the Municipality of Milan had already approved it with this explanation:

"The replacement of these activities with different brands would significantly affect the image and historical identity of the Gallery, partially compromising its tourist and cultural attractiveness".

But the Authority's opinion is different: a tender is needed to rent the premises: the Municipality has 30 days to deliver the counter arguments. In addition to Savini, Il Salotto and La Locanda del Gatto Rosso are at risk.

Savini currently pays a rental fee of 537,000 euros to the municipality of Milan, 75,000 euros for the Salotto and 74,000 euros for La Locanda. In the approved resolution, however, mention is made of a retouching of the rents, but the final cost had not yet been calculated.

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