Biffi pasticceria, opened by Paolo Biffi in 1847 (who was famed for baking the world’s then-largest panettone for the Pope), is one of the few cafés in Milan that (luckily) has changed little over the years. With polished walnut panels, antique Murano chandeliers hanging from high ceilings and scalloped white curtains, it’s a classic traditional café with old- fashioned food and charming old-fashioned service.
Fabulous ladies of a certain age, still styled in the 1950s, meet for cream cakes at dainty tables while refined Milanese gentlemen discuss the day’s business at the grand wooden bar over caffè and cocktails underneath an original Art Deco Biffi advert (the logo of which remains Biffi’s mark today).
A few additions – such as faux Art Nouveau glass screens and new ownership – bring a sympathetic modernity to a civilized ambience, making Biffi an appropriate venue for post-Last Supper musings, or perhaps a sanctuary from Corso Vercelli’s madding crowds. W