Caffe Abbracci has been a staple in Coral Gables for 30 years.
Much of the restaurant’s iconic magic is due to its owner, Nino Pernetti, who has been in the hospital for the past year fighting for his life.
“It’s by the almighty grace of God that he is with us because it has been such a difficult and trying year,” said the owner’s ex-wife, Marlen Pernetti.
The 76-year-old was infected with COVID-19 in December 2020 and hasn’t been back home since.
Get South Florida local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC South Florida newsletters.
His daughter Tatiana Pernetti says the virus caused lung issues and multiple infections.
Pernetti got a tracheotomy in March and has been using a machine to help breathe since then.
“For him to get so sick from this virus was really shocking to all of us and a lot of people,” Tatiana said.
One year later, the family says there’s been some progress.
“He’s now working on speech therapy, physical therapy,” Tatiana said.
They try to celebrate those small victories by Pernetti’s bedside, making sure he doesn’t miss out on holidays and other special moments.
“Graduation was tough,” Tatiana said. “I came to the hospital with my full wardrobe— the hat, the cords and everything.”
Family members say they are confident Pernetti will come back home.
“Hopefully, God first, he will come out well and he will be back here at Abbracci to receive all his patrons and all our beautiful community,” Marlen said.