Learn about Wales’s Italian café culture at St Fagans – and enjoy a drink on us!
St Fagans National Museum of History near Cardiff is counting down the days until the most significant redevelopment in its history – and the largest grant ever given by HLF in Wales (£12.5 million) – is complete.
Celebrating Italian culture in Wales
Staff are putting the finishing touches to the brand new ‘Life Is’ gallery, where visitors can discover details about people's day to day lives through the ages. They’ve just put their latest historic object in place - an Italian café coffee machine that belonged to the Rabaiotti family, which was used by brothers Luigi, Giuseppe and Ronaldo Rabaiotti until the 1950s.
[quote=Sioned Hughes, Keeper of History and Archaeology at St Fagans]"Italian cafes such as Rabaiotti’s were common in every town in South Wales. They were warm, friendly places...”[/quote]
We’ve caught up with Sioned Hughes, Keeper of History and Archaeology, to find out why this artefact is so important in the history of South Wales: “Italian cafes such as Rabaiotti’s were common in every town in South Wales. They were warm, friendly places where friends chatted and drank milkshake, couples courted over coffee, and families came for drinks and ice cream.”
Many Italians immigrated to South Wales and the UK in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and set up cafés, restaurants and ice cream shops. Doing so, they brought a new eating style to the country.
It’s hard now to imagine a time before we could grab a coffee or go out for food in the evening - but this is a relatively new phenomenon and much of it started in the 1950s with Italian families like those in the South Wales valleys sharing their passion for food and drink.
Special offer for National Lottery players
Between Saturday 1 – Sunday 2 September, just present any National Lottery ticket or scratch card at the St Fagans café to enjoy 10% off all food and drink and celebrate the roots of Wales’s delicious café culture! (Minimum spend £5).
You can see the Rabaiotti family’s famous coffee machine when St Fagans unveils its brand new Life Is gallery in October, part of the innovative ‘Making History’ project funded by National Lottery players.