The Five Days of Milan: a hat that made history

I maestri della tostatura media
Today I’m going to tell you a story that is very important to us at Caffè Ernani, and strangely enough, it has nothing to do with coffee!

Let’s find out together why…


Setting: 174 years ago exactly (tomorrow), more precisely March 18, 1848. Milan, the capital of Lombardy-Veneto, had been under Austrian rule for more than a century.

In our peninsula, and in the rest of Europe, the “peoples’ spring” began, that is, a series of popular and spontaneous clashes to achieve independence, first in Sicily, with the attainment of the division of the kingdom of the two Sicilies, and then in Milan to free itself from Austrian rule. While riots broke out in Vienna in which citizens demanded the granting of a constitution, Paris was in flames before the birth of the second French republic, and barricades were raised in Berlin.

In Milan it all began because of the harshness of Josef Radetzky, commander of the troops that garrisoned Lombardy-Veneto.

The Milanese were divided into three currents:

  1. Republicans, who identified with Mazzini’s patriotic vision, represented by Luciano Manara and Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso;
  2. The reformists, against everyone and everything, wanted a revolution even against the king of Sardinia, led by Carlo Cattaneo;
  3. Moderates, identifiable mainly in the nobility, who wanted to join the Kingdom of Sardinia, under the crown of the Savoy, of which Gabrio Casati was the exponent.

March 18

A peaceful demonstration turned into an assault on the government building. Radetzky, unprepared, took refuge with about 8,000 men in the Sforza Castle.

The goal? Reclaim all public buildings.

March 19

On the night of March 19, the Milanese built more than 1,700 barricades that prevented the Austrians from moving. They even broke through the walls of adjoining buildings so that they could pass more easily, sheltered from possible attacks by the rulers.

The problem, however, was weapons-how to get them?

They made use of whatever they found in museums and made do with making homemade weapons and bombs.

March 20

On the night of March 20, however, it was the women who were the protagonists, led by Cristina Trivulzio, who gave strength and courage to take to the streets to all the youth of Milan.

An emergency council was then formed with Carlo Cattaneo, Enrico Cernuschi and Giorgio Clerici-a sort of command and coordination center for the insurgents and the first nucleus of a city government.

At the end of the day, Radetzky presented an armistice proposal to the insurgent leaders.

March 21

The war council decided for the continuation of the fighting until the city was liberated.

March 22

The city was in the hands of Milanese patriots, now sufficiently armed, while Austrian troops were relegated to barracks and the Sforza Castle.

Luciano Manara led the decisive assault to conquer one of the gates of our beloved city: Porta Tosa, later named Porta Vittoria.

Instead, the Austrians headed for the fortresses of the Quadrilateral, between Peschiera, Mantua, Verona and Legnano.

March 23

It marked the end of the “People’s War,” but began the “Royal War,” with the intervention of the armies of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the Papal States, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and Charles Albert, who entered Lombardy with his troops, declaring war on Austria.

The first Italian War of Independence officially began.

Why did I tell you the story of the Five Days of Milan?

Because part of the history of the Ernani Coffee Brand starts right here!

No, it was not founded at this time, but it took its values and approach.

I now attach a picture:

Do you perhaps recognize anything?

The feathered hat! This hat was in fact a symbol of rebellion against the Austrian rulers.

We at Cafe Ernani symbolically wear the feathered hat as a symbol of courage, visionary spirit and rebellion.

All of this is conveyed in the logo, the brand and the product: a Medium Roast coffee, as the true Milanese tradition would have it, yet striving to constantly improve and raise the quality.

If you want to find out more about the history of this feathered hat and what it has now become, CLICK HERE >>

Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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sono Martina, come ti possiamo aiutare?
Risponderò a qualsiasi tua domanda dal lunedì al venerdì, dalle 9.00 alle 18.00! ☕️💛