From the outside this looks like another typical café/ bar in Italy – it has the kind of smart, stylish understated elegance that citizens take for granted. It is in a run of the mill location, situated in the Savignano sul Rubicone shopping mall near the small coastal town of Cesenatico.
The green plant logo is the only thing that gives a clue that this is something different. Caffe Pascucci is the first 100% vegan bar in Italy! Three cheers for them! It officially opened in September this year and hopefully will give others the courage to follow suit.
A lot of restaurants, shops and cafés are responding to the rising number of customers seeking humane alternatives to the standard carnivore diet. These, however, only take a half way house approach by providing veggie friendly food without entirely sacrificing the ubiquitous ham and salami options.
After 17 years of living in Emilia-Romagna, it is a relief to finally find a place where there are no such compromises. All the drinks, snacks and light lunches at Pascucci are unapologetically 100% vegan.
One of the cool things is that it otherwise has such an ordinary appearance – you don’t get bombarded with animal rights propaganda for example. In this way it makes veganism into a natural choice (which it is!) rather something that needs conspicuous publicity.
As a consequence, I imagine the staff will, at least initially, have to continually point out that the cappuccino and other milk drinks are made from soya based products and that anybody desperate for meat will need to take their custom elsewhere. This is the best way to show people that non-meat and non-dairy alternatives are not only possible but also tasty.
I am vegetarian but my daughter is vegan and she, more than me, has become used to reading labels and asking questions about ingredients before making purchases.
At Pascucci she was in seventh heaven knowing that she could eat and drink everything!
I sincerely hope this is just the beginning of a bigger trend.