My last night in Venice - the last night of my Holiday, and I was in Piazza San Marco. The crowds had left - pigeons paddling in the water from that afternoons Aqua Alta outnumbered the humans, music played by the cafe musicians drifted over the square.
Bother the expense!, I wanted to sit in Piazza San Marco, at one of Venices most famous cafes and enjoy a glass of prosecco.
The young, white jacketed waiter glided over with a menu, which he discreetly pointed out the printed note warning of cover charge for the music - I already knew of this so wasn't too shocked.
I'd selected my drink from the extensive menu - chosing a Prosecco and Pomegranite (or was it cranberry?) juice, which was named after Tinto - as I'd seen his house and some of his paintings earlier, it seemed appropiate.
Sadly, this was off the menu - not seasonal - so I settled for a Bellini.
While I waited, I enjoyed listening to the music, from the Florians musicians, and when they had a break, from the other cafes orchestras across the piazza.
I had a good spot for people watching, and just chilling out - (My Camponile/ CamponHell experience was nearly forgotten!- see my Things to do tip)
I was quite amused to see one fashionable young woman, who kept spinning around arms outstretched, while the boy with her was instructed to take her photograph - time and time again. He must have been besotted with her to do this !
My Bellini arrived, accompanied by a bowl of plump green olives and a bowl of puff pastry canapes - I wasn't expecting these, so it was a pleasant surprise - especially as I love olives.
I really enjoyed Florians - I thought that it was going to be a bit of a disappointment - as my visit to Harrys Bar had been, but it was even better than I'd anticipated.
It didn't feel 'too touristy', and it was nice to have 'old fashioned' service.
I think if I'd visited during the day, when the Piazza is crowded, I wouldn't have enjoyed it so much.
UPDATE I intended enjoying a drink here during my Christmas visit, but there were no outside tables, and each time I tried to get a seat inside, it was full. I ended up enjoying an Irish Coffee, sitting outside at Quadris, before catching my flight home.
UPDATE -DEC 09 - my latest Christmas visit, and I decided to treat myself, and found a table inside - I ordered a pot of tea - Bergamot and rose petal, which was delicious- I normally drink Lady Gray or Earl Gray tea at home. Sadly there weren't any 'nibbles', but I just enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere. I think this was 8 or 9 Euros!!!! When I returned a month later to Venice, I called in here to buy a pack of these tea bags- These will be for Special treats!
Favorite Dish: I ordered a Bellini, which came with olives and canapes - as expected this wasn't cheap, but- for the experience of sitting outside one of the most famous and oldest cafes in Italy, in one of the most famous squares in the world, when the crowds had gone home (well at least to their next location/ cruise ship etc) and the lights were reflecting off the waters that had seeped into the square, and music from the orchestras was drifting overhead - it was worth every euro!!!
A perfect end to my holiday - (OK- perfect would have been George Clooney sharing it all with me, but near as damn it) ;-0
Café Florian opened in 1720 and is one of the most well known coffee shop in the world. Get ready to pay about 7 or 8 euros for a coffee, i didn´t do it, just i took a seat for a while and my sister took me a photo, but its a worth pay this money and enjoy of the sights that St Marks Square offers.
Fue abierto en 1720 y es una de las cafeterias mas conocidas en el mundo entero. Preparate para desembolsar una media de 7-8 euros por tomarte un café, yo no lo hice porque era media mañana y no suelo tomarlo pero merece la pena por disfrutar de las vistas que la plaza de san marcos ofrece.
Opened in 1720, Cafe Florian was reported to be the first place in Europe to serve coffee. We never indulged in a cup there-it is over the top expensive. However, it is one of the few places after hours that you can find a bathroom.
I did not enjoy a latte or a hot chocolate at Cafe Florian nevertheless I pass by and check the menu.
The cafe inside looks nice but outside is a kind of normal terrasse with potential classical music band playing on schedule.
The menu was mentioning the price and for a hot drink you should spend about 10 euros which is not that cheap for a coffee !!!! Up to you to decide if it is worth or not.
Favorite Dish: Probably hot chocolate and caffe latte
Oke, it is expensive, € 8,50 for a cappucino p.p. outside but just enjoy it. You are sitting on an unique place. Go there in the morning when the orchestra is not arrived so you don't have to pay the music charge.
We went to St Mark's early to avoid the worst of the crowds and then had breakfast at Cafe Florian.
We were seated in a small salon with padded banquettes, small marble topped tables and chairs. The room was highly decorated with old paintings, mirrors and wallpaper with red and gilt everywhere. The waiters wore white jackets and the trays were elegantly arrnged.
The caffe e cornetto was reasonable but my companions were hungrier and with their paninis, breakfast came to nearly 50 euros but how can you put a price on such a special experience.
As we left, the orchestra was tuning up and many of the outside tables were taken.
The cafe got the order wrong twice [1 sandwich, 1 Quiche and 2 waters] and after 20 mins we gave in and ate the wrong sandwich and microwaved Quiche.
The whole meal was accompanied by a contant ariel soup of feathers and pigeon droppings - an avien flu disaster in waiting.
Excellent food right on San Marco Square with a great orchestra playing while enjoying a wonderful dessert and an exquisite cappuccino.
Favorite Dish: Their pomodoro (tomato) and mozzarella sandwich was great along with a wonderful bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Expensive - but hey this is St Marks Square, Venice and you may never be here again. Note there is a surcharge if the music is playing when you order - so get in before the musicians strike up!
Reputed to be the first coffee house in Europe.
Favorite Dish: Afternoon tea - a perfect place to savour the atmosphere here with smoked salmon finger sandwiches, scones with jam and crean and english tea.
1720 opened Floriano Francesconi under the name Venezia Trionfante the present-day Cafe Florian.
A bulk of this with paintings, high mirrors, and naked wood equipped areas comes from the year 1859.
Favorite Dish: Marble tables and cushion chairs get along also under the arcades and on the piazza where an orchestra plays from the late afternoon.
Drink a cioccolata calda con panna. It is exquisite!
Apparently this was Europe's first coffe house. Inside it has marble topped tables and old wood paneling. There are plenty of tables outside for people and pidgeon watching but don't try and rest your bones on one unless you intend to buy at least a cup of coffee at 5 euro.
Cafe Florian opened in 1720 originally. The rcafe is split into small rooms, each one covered on the walls and ceilings with frescoes and old mirrors.
The hot chocolate is fab on a cold day. In the evening at carnival time it's a traditional gathering place for those in costume and the space outside the windows is 4 and 5 deep with people trying to get a look inside and take pictures.
It is very expensive, but your drinks come with assorted nibbles on a silver tray served by a waiter in a bow tie and white tuxedo. It's a thoroughly pleasant experience.
Favorite Dish: Drinks and nibbles
Take a break from the tourist sights, and splurge on a cocktail at the Cafe Florian. Located in San Marco square, you can enjoy the view of the Basilica and Campanile. Listen to the sounds of the quartet playing in the background, and imagine Lord Byron having breakfast here in 1720.
The band is playing to an empty cafe. It rained a lot during my stay in Venice, as you can tell from my photos. Lovely cafes are around the sides of Piazza San Marco. Florian's is very popular and next to the Cathedral. Around the corner is this cafe - also a favorite.
A leisurely walk to St. mark's Square, past famous buildings, small bridges and inner canals, will take you to the historical Caffe Florian. Opened on 29 December 1720 by Floriano Francesconi under the name Venezia Trionfante, or Triumphant Venice, it soon became known by its patrons as "Florian’s", the most famous "botega da caffè" (coffee shop) of the day.