Photo by Dan Bailey
Italy’s oldest cafe has been serving coffee on a silver tray with a water chaser and a cookie since opening in 1720. Caffè Florian features a series of ornate gilded Neo-Baroque salons with frescoes and red velvet banquettes, as well as outdoor seating on the terrace – perfect for people-watching across St Mark’s Square. The coffee house has been favored by literati over the years, including Casanova, Goethe, Byron and Dickens. Beyond coffee, espresso and tea, it serves a variety of spirits, snacks and pastries. On certain nights there's even music from a live orchestra, which is a particularly magical experience.
By Becca Blond, AFAR Local Expert
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This jewel box of a coffee shop was beloved by Casanova, Byron, Goethe, Dickens, and Ezra Pound. Yes, it's been around that long: Opened in 1720, it's one of the oldest coffee shops in the world. Head into one of the elaborately decorated gemlike rooms, sit on a red velvet banquette, and order something as intoxicating as Venice herself. Coffee arrives on a silver tray with a water chaser and a cookie, just as it did for Byron and Casanova.
By Gretchen Kelly, AFAR Local Expert
Caffè Florian for Venetian Magic
During the day, the Piazza San Marco in Venice is an overwhelming flurry of activity, but once the sun sets, you'd be surprised at just how much a sense of ease and languor settles in. Life simply slows down as the crowds depart. Stop by Caffè Florian for a memorable evening. Opened in 1720, this is Italy's oldest cafe, and features ornate frescoed and gilded salons, as well as an outdoor seating area for great people-watching. Sip a drink and enjoy Caffè Florian's live orchestra and singers as you sit under the beautiful night sky, with an illuminated St. Mark's Basilica in the background. Looking around at my family, I could see total contentment reflected on each of their faces—the most magical and relaxing night of my trip. While not inexpensive, this evening was worth every Euro to me—a night that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.
By Charissa Fay, AFAR Ambassador
Piazza San Marco, 57, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
+39 041 520 5641
Sun - Sat 9am - 12am