Caffe Florian Venice: Where Romance and History Brew

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When you visit Caffè Florian Venice you’ll be stepping into the world’s oldest café. Sure it’s pricey, but it’s a Venetian experience you won’t want to skip. This article will provide you with some of the café’s background and reasons why you don’t want to give it a miss!

First of all, this historic coffee house is located in Piazza San Marco, the most important square in Venice. (aka St. Mark’s Square). Founded in 1720 by Floriano Francesconi, it has been a meeting place for artists, writers, intellectuals and tourists for almost three centuries.

Romance lingers in the air from echoes of the past. Imagine sipping your coffee in a place where Casanova, Lord Byron, and Charles Dickens once mused over their favorite brew. Want to know what modern celebrities have visited Caffè Florian? Check out this article on their website.

The View From Caffè Florian

Patrons overlook the Piazza San Marco, one of the most famous and beautiful squares in the world. It is flanked by impressive monuments such as the Basilica of San Marco, the Campanile, the Clock Tower and the Doge’s Palace.

Then there is the lively atmosphere of the square itself, with its pigeons, street performers, tourists and locals. Lots of people watching here! And all of it made more enjoyable if you happen to catch Caffe Florian’s live orchestra. You can listen to them playing both classical and contemporary music, adding to the charming ambience. The view from Caffè Florian is a unique experience that you will never forget!

Music At Caffe Florian Venice

Another bonus, is the live music the café presents for patrons at different times . . .

The orchestra consists of five musicians who play violin, clarinet, piano, double bass and accordion. They perform a repertoire of classical and popular music. Music varies from Mozart to Strauss, tango to jazz, and from opera to film soundtracks. The live music creates a charming and romantic atmosphere to enhance your Caffè Florian experience.

A Brief History

Some interesting historical tidbits for you:

Caffè Florian Venice has a history that reflects the cultural and social changes of Venice and Europe over the centuries. For example:

  • fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797
  • the Napoleonic occupation
  • Austrian domination
  • the Italian unification; and
  • two World Wars.

During these turbulent times, Caffè Florian was often a refuge for patriots, revolutionaries and conspirators, who met there to plot and exchange ideas.

Caffè Florian also was:

  • the first coffee house in Venice to admit women
  • a popular spot for romantic encounters
  • the meeting place for literary salons


Interior of Caffee Florian Venice


Although there is seating on the piazza, you’ll also want to enter inside. Here you’ll discover that Caffe Florian is about more than just coffee. Soak up its ornate interiors and Belle Époque charm for an imagined journey through time and passion. The walls, adorned with exquisite frescoes, whisper secrets of love affairs and passionate conversation.

You may also recognize it from one of the scenes in the movie: The Talented Mr. Ripley. The 1999 thriller starred Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Rebhorn and Jude Law. It might be fun to watch it again before your trip! To refresh your memory, here is a link to the late, great Roger Ebert’s review of the movie.

Caffè Florian Art & Culture


The café is also renowned for its artistic and cultural heritage. You’ll want to check out its various rooms to admire the different themes and styles of each. You’ll see an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures that adorn the walls.

The most famous is the Oriental Room, decorated with paintings of exotic scenes and landscapes by Ludovico Cadorin in 1868.

Other rooms include the Senate Room, the Hall of Seasons, the Chinese Room, the Liberty Room and the Hall of Illustrious Men. Here you’ll find portraits of famous Venetians by Pietro Longhi. 


Caffè Florian Art Exhibition


Caffè Florian also hosts contemporary art exhibitions every two years to tie in with the Venice Biennale. The café invites artists to create installations that reinterpret the Florian’s halls. By hosting these exhibitions and cultural events, it continues its tradition of nurturing creativity and intellectual exchange.

Caffè Florian Dress Code

Although the dress code at Caffè Florian is casual, you’ll want to match your outfit according to where you want to sit. Outside on the palazzo there are no restrictions on attire, so jeans and tees are OK. 

However if you are dining inside, you may feel more comfortable ifi you dress in smart casual or business casual. More elegant attire would be more fitting for evening visits and special occasions. Note that the staff wear white tuxedos and ties.

Food and Drink Offerings at Caffè Florian

Caffee Florian VeniceCoffee

Coffee Drinker at Caffè Florian Sitting Outside on Cool Day
Coffee Drinker at Caffè Florian Sitting Outside on Cool Day – Photo courtesy of Pexels

Caffè Florian is famous for its coffee which is made from a blend of the best Arabica coffee from Central America and Brazil. A touch of precious Mysore Robusta from India is added to give notes of cocoa and Oriental spice. The blend is tailored to the taste of real espresso connoisseurs. As such, it is served in elegant porcelain cups with the Florian logo.

Caffè Florian also offers other coffee recipes, such as cappuccino, macchiato, latte, mocha and more.


Caffee Florian Venice – Hot Chocolate


 Besides coffee, Caffè Florian is also known for its delicious hot chocolate, called “the Indian broth. It is both rich and creamy – perfect for a cool morning or evening on the square!

Caffee Florian Venice – Desserts

 A selection of the desserts you can enjoy at Caffè Florian include:

Tiramisù: the classic Italian dessert made with mascarpone cream, coffee and savoiardi biscuits.

Sacher Cake: a chocolate cake with apricot jam and chocolate glaze, served with whipped cream.

Apple Strudel: a pastry filled with apples, raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon, served with vanilla sauce.

Florian Cake: a sponge cake with custard cream and fresh fruit, covered with almond paste and sugar glaze.

You can also find other cakes, parfaits and savory snacks on the menu. All the desserts are prepared daily by the Florian laboratory and are perfectly matched with coffee, tea, chocolate, wine or a cocktail.

Caffee Florian Venice – Teas

Caffè Florian offers a wide selection of teas, herbal teas and brews from Venice and other parts of the world. You can choose from black, green, white, oolong, rooibos and fruit teas. As well there are special blends created by Caffè Florian such as:


Venice 1720 tea: a black tea with spices that recalls the trade that made Venice famous during the Serenissima Republic.

Florian tea: a black tea with bergamot, orange peel and cornflower petals that gives a floral and citrusy aroma.

Rose tea: a green tea with rose petals and natural rose essence that has a delicate and fragrant taste.

Marco Polo tea: a green tea with jasmine flowers and natural jasmine essence that has a sweet and refreshing flavor.

Note: The tea at Caffè Florian is also served in elegant porcelain cups and saucers, accompanied by delicious sandwiches, cakes and pastries.

Caffee Florian Venice – Cocktails

Caffè Florian has a bar that serve fancy cocktails on silver trays, made by expert bartenders.  Some of the popular cocktails are:

Aperol spritz: a refreshing drink made with Aperol, prosecco and soda water, garnished with an orange slice.

Negroni: a classic Italian cocktail made with gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, garnished with an orange peel.

Pomegranate cocktail: a fruity drink made with pomegranate juice, vodka and lime juice, garnished with mint leaves.

Bellini: a sparkling drink made with peach puree and prosecco, garnished with a peach slice.

The Rossini: One of Caffè Florian’s signature cocktails – a luscious blend of Prosecco and fresh strawberries

You can also find other cocktails on the menu, such as martini, mojito, daiquiri and more.

Caffee Florian Venice Wines

Bottle of Prosecco and two wine classes ready to be sipped; pictured on reflective round table.
Photo by Sergio Souza – Source: Pexels

Caffè Florian offers a range of wines made with selected grape varieties coming from Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Lombardia regions. Some of the wines on offer are:

Prosecco:  a sparkling white wine made with Glera grapes, with a fruity and floral aroma and a dry taste.

Pinot Grigio:  a dry white wine made with Pinot Gris grapes, with a straw yellow color and a delicate bouquet of pear and apple.

Valpolicella:  a red wine made with Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes, with a ruby red color and a fruity and spicy flavor.

Amarone:  a full-bodied red wine made with dried Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes, with a dark garnet color and a complex bouquet of cherry, plum and chocolate.

Wines at Caffè Florian are served in elegant glasses, paired with cheese, salami, breadsticks and other snacks.


Imagine enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine at Caffè Florian in the afternoon or evening, while listening to live music and admiring the beautiful view of Piazza San Marco!



The Shop in Venice – the Caffè Florian Boutique


Did you enjoy a special treat at Caffè Florian?  Perhaps a special dish or coffee you loved? If you’re wondering if you can purchase it somewhere. the answer (for most offerings) is a resounding “yes!” Many of their items are on sale at their boutique. It can be found in Calle Larga XXII Marzo, near Piazza San Marco. The Caffè Florian Boutique’s selection of goods includes: coffee, tea, wine, chocolate, biscuits, jams, honey and more.

No room in your suitcase? Don’t worry. Just visit their giftshop online here.

Unique Gifts

You can also find gift items inspired by the history and art of Caffè Florian and Venice.  For example, design products inspired by famous artists such as Gaetano Pesce, Massimo Nordio and Judy Harvest. If you’re looking for Venetian souvenirs and gifts, you’ll find a lovely selection of vases, glasses, plates, lamps, jewelry and more here.

Accessories such as bags, scarves, ties, hats and masks, made with high-quality materials and decorated with the logo or the motifs of Caffè Florian and Venice.

Books


Prefer a book?  You’ll also find them here. The boutique’s selection includes books about the history, culture and cuisine of Caffè Florian and Venice.  Also on hand are books in different languages, such as Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.

To really get in the spirit, carry one of these Italian-themed tote bags!

Fun Gifts and Souvenirs

And if it’s a small fun gift you’d like, there are mugs, cups, magnets, keychains, pens and notebooks. Most include the image or the name of Caffè Florian and Venice.

Hours of Operation

According to the official website of Caffè Florian Venice, the opening hours are from 9 am to 11 pm daily. However, you may want to check the website or call the phone number (+39-415205641) before you visit. Opening hours may vary depending on the season or special events.

Why Visit Caffe Florian Venice?

Perhaps the best convincer is the café’s website. It boasts: “Florian is part myth, part heritage of Venice as travelers and mindful tourists know very well: it reveals its mysteries and its beauty only to those who can appreciate it. Let yourself be inspired by the art of elegant living.”

You’ll also create a lasting memory of your sojourn at the oldest café’ in the world . . . in one of Europe’s most charming cities!

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Susan Cooper

I'm a "woman of a certain age" who loves to travel, preferably in style! There's something exciting about exploring new places, meeting fellow travelers, and experiencing local cuisine. But I also really enjoy relaxing at a cafe. And it's always fun to absorb a little culture and history along the way!


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