A year ago I wouldn’t believe that the first topic I will choose for a blog post from my last stay on the Garda will be a museum. Anyone who reads a blog regularly knows that I don’t like this type of places, maybe not counting palaces and castles, but it’s a different category of museums. All the exhibits and even the enormity of works of art do not arouse such delight in me as the charm of the narrow streets of the old towns. However, there are exceptions, in order for the museum to interest me, it must be different than all the others. But to impress me, it must be exceptional. And so the Coffee Museum in Arco on Lake Garda is. The entrance is free of charge.
Coffee museum in Arco an extra unprecedented place to the store
Free of charge museums are a rarity and nobody is surprised that you have to pay for entry. How did it happen that the coffee museum in Arco can be visited free of charge? This is a master marketing performance by the Omkafe brand owners, who on the ground floor of a large modern building have arranged a coffee shop, and on the first floor performed the exposition of valuable exhibits related primarily to the history of the most famous black brew in the world. There are stairs leading to the first floor, you can also use the elevator. The museum attracts coffee lovers who would like to learn more about it. However, not being able to resist the fantastic scents filling the building, they usually do not pass by the store indifferently. And this shop is just as good as the attractions on the first floor. Each of many types and blends of coffee can be disgusted in the form of an aromatic espresso before buying. A great experience! What else – apart from coffee – you can buy in the store? Mugs, cups, coffee makers and gift sets are nicely packed for a gift.
The Omkafe brand history
The coffee museum, a spacious shop and Omkafe offices in a modern building in Arco are the current states and the effect of decades of hard work by the owners. How did it start? Just after the Second World War, in 1947 Ottorino Martinelli and his wife Maria opened a small shop – Casa del Caffè (House of Coffee) – on via Maffei, in the center of Riva del Garda. Mr. Martinelli created his coffee by composing blends and burning grains in the back of the store, later selling it in Riva, as well as taking a bike to the surrounding towns. After years, the sons took over the business – Renato and Remo, developing their family business.
What can you do at the coffee museum in Arco?
Look, it’s a really fantastic place. I honestly admit that going there did not expect that it will surprise me so positively. The museum is tiny, it’s actually one room and the possibility of entering the mezzanine in the production hall. By spending even half an hour you can make an amazing journey in time and follow the path of coffee, starting from plantations in the most remote corners of the world, through the process of roasting and ending with grinders and coffee machines. It’s just a joy for a lover of Italian bars. A collection of antique, old pressure espresso machines, coffee machines, mills, and first brewers, which were created at the beginning of the 19th century. Descriptions of coffees from all corners of the world, stereoscopic photos, coffee samples.
Old coffee machines, coffee percolators and coffee grinders
The greatest impression on me was made by the exhibition of historic mills, coffee machines, and pressure espresso machines. Revelation! I wonder how long the owners collected this collection and how much it is worth. Remember all those old movies that are happening in Italy. Bars from the deep ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s and earlier. A real journey in time.
History and curiosities about coffee
Grinding coffee beans in an old mill
Artur had a nice piece of fun. Anyone can approach the grinder, sprinkle with a spoon of coffee beans inside and try to grind. Yes, try it. As you can see in the picture, Artur is not a walking skeletom :), and he had a big problem to turn the wheel driving the grinder. A video of this grinding will be available 24 hours from the moment of posting on Instagram Stories, take a look. Of course, to view Stories you have to add a blog profile to the ones you follow.
Machines in a coffee roaster
From the museum, you can go to the mezzanine, from which you can see the machines. What’s more, the function of each of them is explained on the boards attached to the barriers. All descriptions – both on the hall and in the museum – are in three language versions: in English, Italian and German.
Coffee museum opening hours in Arco
Shop and coffee museum are available:
- from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 14:30 to 18:30;
- on Saturdays from 8:00 – 12:00;
- on Sundays and holidays the store is closed.
How to get to the coffee museum in Arco?
The Omkafe shop and coffee museum are located in Arco, but not in the historical center of the town, and off the beaten track, by the road leading to the Valley of Lakes. Just leave Torbole sul Garda following the road SR247 towards Arco. Address Via Aldo Moro 7, Arco.
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All the best
The post was created in cooperation with the Trentino region.