A fully pink restaurant in Piazza Navona in Rome: Gianni Politi's intervention

The Roman artist has chosen to paint the former Caffè Barocco, now Camillo, historically touristy restaurant that is making a big comeback among Romans thanks (also) to its colourful new look.


In Piazza Navona in Rome, one of the most crowded places for tourists, since 1890 Caffè Barocco has been a restaurant much loved by the international public because of its strategic position. Today that same place is Camillo, which was taken over in March 2020 by Filippo and Tommaso, sons of the historic family of managers, the De Sanctis.

Filippo and Tommaso De Sanctis, Camillo's current owners, Rome © Andrea di Lorenzo

The "new" Camillo, also forced by the pandemic and the obvious reduction in the number of tourists, breaks with the past, moving towards a contemporary and experimental cuisine, at the right price, which replaces the classic "tourist catcher" approach that characterised its previous version. Attention to raw materials and their seasonality, a constantly evolving menu that draws on history to change it with a new, "other" approach.

Pink variations even in the kitchen @ Andrea di Lorenzo

Camillo's changing interiors © Edoardo Iervolino

As "other" than in the past is the new colourful look that the Roman artist Gianni Politi, a frequent guest at Camillo's, has proposed to the De Sanctis brothers to transform the restaurant: over the last few weeks a coat of pink has been covering all the furnishings, the walls, the ceilings, the floor, the chandeliers, even the paintings, armchairs and sofas. A bizarre operation to which they have given the name of "pigging". Like a temporary crystallisation, Gianni Politi's installation stops time on the interiors, as they were, of what was Camillo's past, in a maternal embrace open to a new idea of conviviality and community

Camillo's changing interiors © Andrea di Lorenzo

Photographic project based on the practice of #pigging © Andrea di Lorenzo

Photographic project based on the practice of #pigging © Andrea di Lorenzo

Pink is here an expression of freedom, hospitality, love but also seduction. It is associated with ice, intended as the element that traps time and when it melts it reveals the past. Or to a mother's womb, the same one that Piazza Navona represents for Rome. 

The monochromatic setting designed by Gianni Politi will not necessarily be permanent. Perhaps in the future Camillo will be dressed up in another colour, or burn in the fire, giving back fossils of past life ready to welcome a new version of the space. In fact, as the artist states "a place is a box, which must be emptied cyclically to be filled again with memories". 

© — All rights reserved. — Published on 14 May 2021

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