The Style and Evolution of the Historic Peroni Brewery

Here at Peroni Nastro Azzurro, we believe that being authentic and standing out from the crowd is a fundamental part of what makes Italian style so beautiful. It’s evident in the way we dress, the way we eat and through Italian icons from the worlds of fashion, art, design and film. It’s also evident in the way our cities look, from the towering domes of Florence to the captivating canals of Venice, and most glowingly in the historic and vibrant city of Rome, the home of one of our original breweries. We’re proud that our historic brewery has played an important part in the fabric of Rome, and we’re proud to share the story of our spiritual home - how the brewery came to be, who it was designed by and how it has changed today.

Our original brewery in Rome wasn’t our first brewery ever. Peroni was created by Francesco Peroni in 1846 in Vigevano, a tranquil town in Lombardy, and it was here that the first recipe was developed. However, word about this delicious new beer quickly spread, and by 1864 it was time to expand – and where better to build a new home than the capital city of Rome? A new brewery was built, and within a few years Peroni headquarters officially transferred to the capital.

The brewery buildings were designed by a popular and studied Roman architect, Gustavo Giovanni. An engineer, architect, critic and urban planner, Giovanni was admired by his peers for this detailed knowledge of Italian architectural history – and it was this knowledge that inspired the Peroni brewery complex, combined with a forward-thinking attitude towards creating humanised environments that acknowledged the space around them.

The buildings followed the emerging Art Nouveau style of architecture, which originally began in Britain and France before spreading across Europe. This new style, with its curved lines inspired by natural forms as much as classic art, perfectly encapsulated the Peroni approach – complementing the elegant baroque and renaissance structures of historic Rome while looking boldly to Rome’s possible future. While many of his contemporaries were preoccupied with neoclassicism – a building style influenced by the architecture of antiquity – Gustavo Giovanni decided to create a complex that embraced modernity and put a distinctive twist on the historic buildings he respected so much.

Over the next century, the attitudes and architecture of Rome would continuously evolve. The fascist regime that lasted from 1922 to 1943 developed an architectural style that was greatly inspired by ancient Roman buildings, while the decades following this period emphasised a more free, glamorous and modern approach. The 1960s in particular – the era of Monica Vitti, la dolce vita and the international recognition of Italian style – were especially fruitful, as Italian creativity met the industrial world and the two blossomed into the economic boom.

As the times changed, so did the home of Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Increased popularity led to new, more modern breweries in Rome, Bari and Padova, and in 2002 the site of Peroni’s original Roman brewery was transformed into the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (MACRO). Housed in a modern and spacious collection of new buildings that expand on the style of the former brewery, the museum contains an impressive selection of Italian art from the 1960s to the present – a fitting new role for the spiritual home of Peroni Nastro Azzurro.