Osteria le Colonne is located in the basement of Palazzo Squarciafico, in Piazza Invrea 3R.
The square is named after the Invrea family, a family of cobblers, very likely hailing from the Ligurian village of the same name. Previously, the square was known as Squarciafico square which was named after the noble family that originally used to live there. However, the working class used to call it “animette” square because there was a workshop selling buttons (animette) made of bones and mother-of-pearl.
Squarciafico Palace was built in 1565 on an existing medieval palace whose tower can still be seen. The basement was used for various purposes. It was used as a water tank, as a water source for the palace, and it was also used as a prison. It seems, as well, that for a certain period, the whole palace became a brothel for the very wealthy. The knocker frieze seems to confirm this account.
Osteria le Colonne owes its name to the presence of 13 columns within the restaurant, made of “finale” stones and marble with a late Gothic capital.