Founded in 1817 by Antonio Cova - a Napoleonic soldier - Cova is one of Italy’s oldest pasticceria. Celebrated for its product excellence, impeccable service and exquisite interiors, this historic Milanese institution has always been a place where tradition meets elegance and style.

Creation date: 1817
CEO: Paola Faccioli
Head office: Via Montenapoleone 8 – 20121 Milano


In 1817, Cova first opened its doors next to the famed Teatro alla Scala in the fashionable centre of Milan. Born as a literary café, Cova emerged as one of the most important historical openings of the era. A fashionable café for post-theatre rendez-vous and the meeting place for patriots of the Risorgimento, Cova hosted the élite of the busy, high society. Caffé Cova soon became the preferred  locale for  world famous artists such as Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. In the 1950’s, Cova relocated to Via Montenapoleone at the heart of Milan’s booming fashion district where it continued to pursue the prestigious tradition of Italian know-how.

Today, with a rich heritage crossing two centuries, Cova is an institution that celebrates tailored craftsmanship and creativity. Entering Cova is experiencing a timeless ceremony where experienced chefs meticulously prepare fine products, elegant waiters host an immediate feeling of a warm welcome and where the fashion crowd, businessmen and a cosmopolitan clientele come to indulge in the unique atmosphere of Cova, the time capsule of Italian tradition.

The Panettone by Gastel © Cova


Jealously guarded since the beginning of the 19th century, the Cova panettone recipe has been passed secretly from generation to generation. With exquisite ingredients including flour, yeast, butter, eggs and dried fruits, this iconic pastry is a symbol of the festive season, the convivial art of eating together and the joy that comes with unwrapping a delectable ornately-wrapped gift.

The iconic Panettone of Cova, a veritable symbol of the Italian festive season © Cova


Paola Faccioli, Cova CEO © Cova

“Cova is synonymous with Milan and represents a taste of Italian excellence in the art of food and pastrywherever you are in the world. Today, whether in Milan, Shanghai, Hong-Kong, Montecarlo, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Greece or in Paris – and soon other trendsetting capital cities – entering Cova means unveiling a world where craftsmanship blends harmoniously with creativity and impeccable service.”


The inspiration for Cova’s architecture begins with a glimpse of the past. Drawing inspiration from the original Cova, the design hints a series of codes: a strong colour, a distinctive pattern and a central masterpiece – the bancone bar. The magnificent signature installation will lie at the heart of the Cova experience, a high splendid counter where guests are beckoned to sip a morning cappuccino or an afternoon espresso or enjoy a stunning Italian aperitivo. Located inside the prestigious neoclassical courtyard designed at the end of the 18th century by Giuseppe Piermarini, the Cova Garden is an enchanting dehors that is configured as a courtyard in the courtyard and it is the result of a modern transposition of the neoclassical characteristics of the building.

The spirit of Cova’s traditional architecture and design © Cova


In 1993, Cova began its international expansion in trendy cosmopolitan capitals capitals in Asia,opening caffès and restaurants in Hong Kong and, later, in Shanghai. In 2013, Cova joined the LVMH Group to strengthen its position as Milan’s leading pasticceria and pursue its worldwide development. New locations have opened in Montecarlo, in Paris, in the Middle-East and in Greece with several more scheduled to open in leading world capitals in the coming years.

Key figures

  • 8 via Montenapoleone, the heart of Milan’s fashion district
  • 10 kg the most generous size of panettone, ideal to share amongst friends and families
  • 1 100 the average number of customers visiting Cova Via Montenapoleone every day