Spending an afternoon drinking coffee at a sidewalk cafe with good company or a good book is all I ever want to do, and to do it here in Piazza San Marco at Caffè Florian with an orchestra behind me was a dream.
It was raining when we first arrived at Piazza San Marco, so we tried our darndest to find a cafe to dry off in, but everyone else had the same idea and all the cafes had very small interiors, so we ended up walking around and around until it stopped raining. As soon as it stopped raining, the servers started pulling out all the outdoor tables and chairs, and my dad, brothers, and I nabbed a table. (My mom had wandered off somewhere in the crowd, enjoying San Marco at her own pace.)
Now, my brothers aren’t the sort of people who’d spend their afternoon lazing at a cafe like I would, but even they couldn’t resist the menu. Dad got the Frozen Florian (€6)–cold coffee cream with whipped cream; Ken got the Cioccolata Casanova (€6)–hot chocolate, mint cream, and chocolate shavings; Danny got the Ice Caffè (€9)–vanilla ice cream with cold coffee topped, and whipped cream; I got the Caffè del Doge (€6.5)–coffee, Florian Gianduja spread, milk, and hazelnut cream. I wanted so badly to indulge in English Afternoon Tea (€37) as well, consisting of traditional and exclusive full service with tea, home baked English scones, jam, whipped cream, macarons, and a selection of finger sandwiches, but we needed to save room for dinner!
As you can see, we made quite a dent in our wallet–well, Dad’s wallet. Caffè Florian is no cheap trip. The drinks we got came out to be very, very small, and I haven’t even mentioned the additional service fee for the music, which needed to be paid per person. But I think it’s definitely worth experiencing and indulging in once in a lifetime, if you like this sort of thing. A birthday would be a perfect excuse. Also, despite the drinks being very small, they were very rich and very strong, so they did last us the whole afternoon and take us the whole afternoon to finish!
When Mom finally caught up with us, we shooed her away and warned her not to sit down with us unless she wanted to pay for the music! Everyone in the whole piazza can hear the music and it’s free for everyone to listen, but as soon as you sit down, you gotta pay up.
After visiting Caffè Florian, I searched it up on Yelp and found that it has a rich history, which only further validated this indulgent afternoon for me: