May 11, 2018
This historic Venetian Café-Bar is blessed with one of the best locations in the world. Situated in the classical-style, interconnected buildings of the Procuratie Nuove on the beautiful Piazza San Marco, Caffe Florian has views to die for, with the grand, gaudy basilica smack bang in front of you and the picture-perfect bell tower only a few paces away. Opened in 1720, it is the oldest continuously serving café in Venice, with an opulent, gilt-sprinkled and frescoed interior that reflects its rich history. The works of artists, sculptors, photographers and cartoonists from the past three hundred years adorn its walls, and many in the Florian’s private collection end up on loan to art museums around the world. Its orchestra, which plays nightly to guests sipping drinks in their enviable perch right on the square, is famous the world over. This is an iconic spot and, much like at nearby Harry’s Bar, you’ll pay steeply for the privilege of enjoying a drink here, with even a dinky espresso coming at a cost. If you’re looking for a cheap pit-stop en route to the next gallery or gondola, this probably isn’t the place. But what you’re really paying for here is the experience of eating and drinking in sumptuous surroundings steeped in history. Waiters in impeccably white uniforms serve biscuits on silver trays and pour coffee from spotless silver pots. In terms of romantic location and atmosphere, Caffe Florian simply can’t be beaten. Some things truly are priceless.