Bar della Pace closer to eviction

The eviction of the Bar della Pace from its historic location just behind Piazza Navona is one step nearer after the latest court sentence in favour of the landlord, the German church nearby.

The family that has run the celebrity bar for the last 40 years was hoping for a stay of execution but it now seems there is little hope unless there is a last minute change of heart by the Istituto Pontificio di S. Maria dell’Anima.

The institution failed to renew the lease with the bar when it came to an end in 2009 and since then the situation has gone from bad to worse.

Bar della Pace first opened in 1891 and in its heyday from the 1960s it played host to many cinema world stars, from Al Pacino to Madonna, who would rub shoulders with the locals living around Piazza Navona and the shoppers and stallholders at the neighbouring street market. But in recent years the bar has started to look tired – although it had a final moment of fame in Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love – and has become a stopover for tourists exploring Piazza Navona or on their way to an exhibition at the Chiostro del Bramante.

The bar’s owners are hoping that a meeting with the vice-mayor on 6 March will work miracles otherwise they will have to close or move in the next six months.

Newspaper reports have it that the whole building – the bar makes the ground floor – will become a hotel or residence, like the one just across the street.