By ALEIX GWILLIAM
In the heart of Venice, in Piazza San Marco, there’s one of the classic and most luxurious Venetian experiences. Caffè Florian is known for its distinctiveness, its exclusiveness and the exquisiteness of its food and drinks.
There isn’t quite anything like Venice. No other city in the world holds the beauty of this city in the heart of the Veneto, a city built on water, where you can only get around by boat or by walking its narrow streets and crossing its small and beautiful bridges over the canals. Staying in one of the many Venice apartments is an experience you will never forget, since Venice is no place to just spend a day in. Yes, Venice is a pretty expensive city and you’ll definitely have to pay a bit more than you’re used to in other cities but you won’t hesitate to do so, because the the beauty of the place all make it completely worth it.
Eating and drinking in Venice can be quite expensive especially in the areas of San Polo and San Marco. However, when in Venice, you cannot miss out on a visit to Caffè Florian. This café in Piazza San Marco first opened in 1720 and it has been serving Venetians and illustrious foreigners ever since. No wonder Lord Byron, Casanova, Goethe and Charles Dickens, amongst many others, were regulars in this Venetian café. Its delicious preparations and luxurious interior make it irresistible to anyone who wants to sample true Venetian culture. Mirrors in golden frames, velvet sofas, delicate chandeliers, and beautiful art scattered everywhere inside makes Florian an almost intimidating place to be in. Its service is excellent as well, with the waiters dressed in impeccable suits and white shirts, ushering the clients to their tables and handing them the menus. Yes, this is the part where Florian makes its exclusiveness known, as the prices on it are a tad high. A hot chocolate at 10€ or a cup of tea at 9€ can seem a bit high, but the quality is immense. Make sure you try the cakes, especially pistachio and chocolate, which at 13€, completely justifies its price. If you fancy something savoury, the sandwiches at Florian are exquisite. Wines and champagne are also available, perfect for a midday snack overlooking the piazza. The food and drinks are served on a silver tray and can easily fit on the centuries-old wooden tables.
Also, usually an orchestra will play classical music outside under a canopy. The music is heard inside the café and makes the atmosphere relaxing and the client feel special. However, don’t be surprised if your bill includes a 6€ musical supplement per person. But with it being Venice and after enduring the dreamy experience of the food and drink, it is well worth it.
There is no point in travelling to Venice and counting the pennies. Venice is a city to be enjoyed and Caffè Florian is an important part of it.
Renting apartments in Venice is a cheap way of finding accommodation, so you can spend the money you’ve saved on treating yourself to Venetian luxuries, such as the incredible Caffè Florian, which overlooks one of the most beautiful and emblematic squares in the world.
Aleix Gwilliam is a 24-year-old from Barcelona who looks English but thinks like a Catalan. He enjoys travelling, especially on old Czech trains, and trying to start conversations in Hungarian with people at Pecs station, even though his Hungarian is as good as his Bulgarian, in other words, not very good. He’s a trier.