Cafés continue to be an institution in Venice. Not only are they charming, timeless places, but also a visible testament to centuries of culture, good taste and sophistication.
Not everyone knows that the history of coffee in Europe began in the city of Venice, and not, as you might think, in Naples. Credit for the discovery of coffee goes to Venetian merchants who, while following the maritime routes that connected the East to Venice and Naples in the 16th century, were the first people to bring coffee to the lagoon.
Our tour of Venice Cafès begins at Caffè Florian in St. Mark’s Square, patronized since its opening in 1720 by noblemen, politicians and intellectuals like Goldoni, D’Annunzio and even Giacomo Casanova. Its richly decorated rooms and its 19th-century interiors, still make it a magical, timeless place where you can enjoy an espresso at one of its tables while listening to the notes of an orchestra playing in the background.
St. Mark’s Square is also home to the Gran Caffè Quadri, another historic café that has attracted actors and directors attending the Venice Film Festival, including Woody Allen. With its well-spaced banquettes, designed to ensure the utmost privacy and allow guests to relax and converse freely, it is a must-visit destination for true lovers of coffee, thanks to its wide selection of world-class blends.
Hemp sacks scattered over the floor exposed beams, Venetians drinking coffee at its counter and the aroma of roasted coffee beans. You’ll find this and more at Torrefazione Cannaregio, in the Cannaregio district, which has been serving coffee to gondoliers, artists and intellectuals since 1930. Here you can also purchase one of its delectable blends to take home.
Venice’s San Polo district is home to the Caffè del Doge. Established as a small roastery near the Rialto bridge, it has become a paradise for coffee lovers from all over the world, the beans are roasted according to the instructions of its founder.